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Best site to buy train tickets-in advance?

Best site to buy train tickets-in advance?

Old Apr 28th, 2002, 07:11 PM
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Best site to buy train tickets-in advance?

Is it best to buy tickets enroute on N. Italy and S. France trip. The Eurail seems a bit expensive for the short distances I'll be travelling. Can someone provide a good source for European timetables? Is purchasing in advance possible? Thank You. Sylvie
Old Apr 28th, 2002, 07:49 PM
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Virtually none of "us regulars" recommend buying in advance. Buy 24-48 hours in advance (IN europe), if it gives you added peace of mind.

The Thomas Cook European timetable is a fairly worthwhile investment if you think you will need to do a certain of planning "on the fly" while you are in Europe.

Among many other sources, you can buy one from

Best wishes,

Old Apr 29th, 2002, 03:36 AM
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to the top, for sylvie

Old Apr 29th, 2002, 04:45 AM
Ann Young
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go to the web site of Go under rail lines. It is a wonderful site and offers every rail road pass in europe, plus just oneway or round trip fares. Most countries, if you spend the time and really look over the site, will give you rates and timetables. I just saved myself $75 by checking out prices and not buying in the states. Which countries are you interested in? If you have any more problems let me know and maybe I can help. We have trained all over europe many times. My one word on advice buy over their unless it is really worth your while for a Eurail pass.
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 07:51 AM
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Frequently overlooked os the fact that discounts are available for groups of as few as three people. For a family of three or more, this can be a substantial savings. I know you can get these discounts when you purchase directly at the train counter. I am not sure about buying from any of these other sources. And this might only apply in some countries. I know that these discounts saved us a lot of money in Italy.

This could be one of the most important reasons to wait until you get there to buy your tickets.
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 06:30 PM
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Rex, would you recommend buying rail passes? They seem quite expensive to me.
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 07:20 PM
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No, in general I think that the purchase of a rail pass seduces you into thinking that you will have a better trip to Europe if you travel all over the place, connecting far-apart dots on a map - - from Paris to Berlin, to Vienna, to Rome, to Nice, to Barcelona, etc.

I say travel around less, see where you are more.

And even extensive itineraries might not benefit from the purchase of a rail pass. I think that is the best website I know to do this analysis. Rick Steves site - - also has a "pass analyzer", I think.

My suggestions:

1. rent a car
2. travel around less, see where you are more
3. buy point to point tickets when train travel does make sense (and it often does)
4. Buy 4-24 hours in advance if you are in a group larger than six; cut that by 50-90% for fewer people - - but make sure you know what you want to do as far as a departure time - - based on unpredictable factors like weather, unexpected discoveries at the last minute - - shopping and otherwise. Don't force yourself to adhere to a schedule you wish you didn't have to. It's called a vacation.
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 07:45 PM
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REX: hello, i would like to know if a $199 france italy pass is worth buyin here in the states, or just buying point to point tix once there?
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