A reality check:  Don't be too impatient...

The single biggest reason overseas visitors have problems booking European train tickets is that they try to book too early, before booking opens or (almost worse) at the extremity of the booking horizon when strange things happen, such as some trains being shown in the search results whilst other trains are missing.

Europeans typically buy train tickets just days or weeks ahead, to go shopping, attend business meetings or visit Granny.  We don't tend to plan 50, 150 or 250 mile journeys 6 months ahead.  So whilst it pays to book ahead to get the cheapest fares, it doesn't pay to be too impatient.  You can't book before reservations open, but nor can anyone else.  If you book soon after bookings open, you'll still find cheap tickets.  Booking early is all about getting a cheap price, not about getting a place.  Generally speaking European trains don't sell out, even on the day of departure.

The Golden Rule...

European trains usually open for booking 90 days ahead...

...but many trains now open 120 or 180 days ahead.

...and some trains still only open 60 days ahead.

Important:  The timetable changes mid-June & mid-December...

Train you want missing from the search results?  Could be engineering work...

Top tip 1:  Sign up to a booking alert at www.loco2.com...

Top tip 2:  Book your accommodation before train booking opens, risk-free...

 


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