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Train Travel Europe - How to Buy Tickets to Travel Europe by Train - Ways to Buy Tickets for Train Travel in Europe

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Planning a trip to Europe is so exciting it almost rivals the trip itself. There is just so much to see and do in such a seemingly small area. What is only interstate travel in the U.S., is international travel in Europe moving through vastly different cultures with people speaking totally different languages. Most of us do not have the money to fly from point-to-point in Europe, and the proximity of the attractions makes flights impractical. To solve this problem, Europe has developed a fast and efficient rail system throughout the continent.

European train travel is much different than it is here in the States. It is affordable, fast, energy-efficient, and goes just about everywhere. In addition, most European trains have large and comfortable cabins. There is also less of a wait and hassle from security for train travel. Rail travel also affords passengers a more scenic and potentially romantic view than air travel.

While there are some high-speed, international trains that have a uniform service from country-to-country, it is important to realize that service and prices can vary from by country. Some countries have much more comfortable and convenient service. To avoid the problems of varying price, tickets can be bought for unlimited travel in a number of different regions, including: single-country travel, limited regional, large regional, and full Europe.

Ways to Buy Tickets for Train Travel in Europe

Several choices exist for buying train tickets for travel through Europe. While many people prefer to buy their tickets online, there is really no best way. Here are the benefits of each way to buy tickets:

• Online tickets – Every major rail operator in Europe sells tickets directly online. By purchasing rail tickets direct, you save money on travel agent fees, booking fees, and elevated, third-party prices. Even more money can be saved by booking tickets well in advance. In addition to direct online websites, online travel agents are also available. While their prices may be higher, it is possible to book tickets from more than one rail service at the same time.

• Tickets by phone – Many travel agencies will help you find the best rail tickets for your needs and book them for you over the phone. Tickets will be a little more expensive this way and the agents will also charge an additional fee that ranges from $10 USD to $50 USD.

• Tickets at rail offices – Rail tickets can also be purchased from one of many rail offices throughout Europe. This is probably the best way to buy tickets if you do not have them, but you are already in a European country. Be aware, though, that in some countries, these offices sell only tickets to limited destinations. To continue a journey, new tickets must be bought at the new destination.

• Tickets at the train station – Most rail lines sell tickets directly from the station. If you are in Europe and cannot find an office, make a visit to the station for tickets.

Discounts for Train Travel in Europe

Several discounts are available for those seeking to purchase tickets for rail travel in Europe. In order to get the best deal, always ask about information for available discounts. Discounts can include the following:

• Advance purchase – Purchasing advance restricted tickets cost less than same-day tickets. If purchasing advance tickets, it is important to be sure that your plans are concrete because there will be fees for cancellations and changes.

• Group travel – Discounts are available for those travelling in groups. What constitutes a group, however, varies by rail company. For some, a discount is available just for travelling in pairs. For other companies, you need a group of five or six to be eligible for a discount.

• Discount cards – Most rail companies have discount cards available for certain groups of people. Some of the discount cards available are for children, seniors, the disabled, and families. While some companies have residency requirements, others only ask for a passport as proof of eligibility.

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