Don't be too impatient...

The single biggest reason overseas visitors have problems booking European train tickets is that they try to book too far ahead, 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.  Or fares are shown, but the booking fails.

Here's a reality check:  Europeans use trains to go shopping, attend business meetings or visit Granny, things they plan days or weeks ahead, not 6 months.  In the UK, 90% of ALL train tickets are bought less than a month before travel.  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...

...some trains open 120 or 180 days ahead.

...some trains only open 60 days ahead.

Important:  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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