Europe train tickets with discounts and promotional fares
One of the best things about train travel in Europe (except for the UK) is that you can usually get the same fare if you buy just as the train is pulling out of the station as you can get months in advance. We’ve discussed the fact that for most people it’s not wise, but there are times when you should buy European train tickets in advance.
It’s not widely discussed, but Rail Europe, which is the company that dominates the buy-in-advance scene, has a list of special discounts at any given time. This is something everyone should check out before they start a trip around Europe by train.
To be honest, if you buy tickets in advance on Rail Europe you’ll be paying around 10% more than you would if you bought them in person at the station. Now, that’s not unreasonable in order to save you the headache of having to stand in line for most of an hour in a country where half the clerks only know a few English words, but for some people they don’t like to pay more than they have to for anything.
Right now they are showing discounts of around 20% off quite a few of the rail passes and certain trips on high speed rail in France. Other times of the year the discounts are different, but obviously it’s wise to see if they have any discounts that match your plans because you’ll get by far the lowest fare if they do.