When to buy Europe train tickets?

Feb 27th, 2008, 08:26 AM
  #1  
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When to buy Europe train tickets?

My wife and I are going to Europe in early May. We want to take the Eurostar from London to Paris and stay a few days, then a day train from Paris to Montreux, Switzerland, then a night train to Rome.
Should I book and pay for these now or wait until I get to each city.
I would feel better if I had my tickets in advance.
Bindery is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 09:48 AM
  #2  
 
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You definitely want to book the Eurostar tickets far in advance. You get the best prices if you buy nonrefundable, nonchangeable tickets (and it can sometimes be cheaper to book a same-day round-trip and throw away the return than to book a one-way fare).

You can certainly buy the other tickets in advance if you know your travel dates, and I tend to think that's a good idea. But I'd avoid using Rail Europe to book the tickets. They charge a huge commission. You do better by booking on the train line's web site. The Rail Europe web site is a good source to get a quick answer on routes and schedules.

I usually buy train tickets once I arrive, but there are alot of posts on this board about precisely how to book tickets online.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 10:15 AM
  #3  
 
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Book your Eurostar tickets NOW at www.eurostar.com. The longer you wait, the higher the fare.

The standard 2nd class fare for Paris-Montreux with a change in Geneve is 93€. However, if you book Paris-Geneve separately NOW at www.voyages-sncf.com, you may still be able to get a Piccolissimo fare of 22€ (if they aren't already sold out). The Geneve-Montreux leg will be 16€. You can either book that on the SNCF site or simply wait and buy that ticket in Geneve.

If you can handle French, the booking is simple. Leave France as the default country and do NOT buy cancellation insurance. It's trickier to book in English because you are likely to be bumped to the RailEurope site where you cannot buy discount tickets. There are ways around this. If you want to know more, just ask.

You can book the Montreux-Roma night train online at www.sbb.ch/en. Or you can do it over the phone. Dial your country's international access code + 41 (country code for Switzerland) + (0)900 300 300. Omit the initial zero which is only used for calls originating in Switzerland.
TimS is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 10:24 AM
  #4  
 
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You could, if course, book Geneve-Montreux through Swiss rail. Trains run frequently and there really is no need to book that leg in advance.
TimS is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 03:15 AM
  #5  
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When I go to www.sbb.ch/en to book the Montreux-Roma night train online I get the following message:
Direct online price information for international train journeys is not possible due to the extensive range on offer.
However, orders/enquiries can be made here in the Ticket Shop. For more information click here .

When I click on click here I can not find how to order the tickets.
Bindery is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 03:28 AM
  #6  
 
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Hi Bindery,

The SBB (Swiss rail) is a bit confusing right now, but I do believe you'll be able to buy your tickets.

On the main page (I use www.rail.ch), you'll see a small blue box on the right-hand side announcing, "New in the SBB Ticket Shop." If you click on that, and on the next page click on it again ("New in the SBB Ticket Shop"), you can buy them from those pages.

I just tried it with the date of 4 May from Montreux to Rome, and I got all the way to choosing accommodation (couchette, etc). I tried it also on the routine pages, and I got the same message that you got. So try it again on those "International" pages and I bet you'll get it done.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Feb 28th, 2008, 03:47 AM
  #7  
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Thanks,
That info did help. I was able to get to a screen to fill out all the info, but I had to request a quote by email. It said I would get an answer in 48 hours.
Bindery is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 03:51 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Oh, well, sure hope it works! Let us know if they take care of it for you, please! Frustrating to have to wait!

s
swandav2000 is online now  

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