Subject: Reservation for Train do it now or Wait until Europe?
Hi Garry

As you've discovered from the messages in the Zine archives, opinions differ. Is it worth the savings to take your chances? Only you can decide as you know your comfort-level best.

On the DER site :

As Friday and Sunday afternoons and evenings are peak travel periods for Europeans, you may wish to consider a seat reservation.

Rick Steves opinion is here:

Here are some Ziners points-of-view:

Diana Ball said:

We took our two children on their first trip to Europe last summer (huge success!), and like you, I felt advance reservations on some of the significant train trips were necessary simply from a mom's worry point of view. They cost $11 per person per trip when bought from the US--and that was a year ago! Across the pond, the same reservations would have been roughly $5 USD. And, of course, once we were there, I was reminded of the general efficiency of the Euro train system and realized the reservations were so unnecessary. Never again will I reserve stateside!(Well, never say never--I suppose if it's a peak holiday period for the locals and we *have* to get somewhere on a strict schedule, I might pre-reserve...but even then, I think I'd take my chances and either handle it myself at the first station or follow the excellent advice to utilize a Euro TA as soon as I arrived.)

Rosemary Perkins said:

We really needed advance reservations AND seat reservations between Rome and Florence round trip. When we boarded the train, every single seat was filled. I showed the conductor my little piece of paper showing seats for our group, and he promptly moved students out of our several compartments.

Students were using the little pull down seats in the aisle, standing, having a good time, and it's not such a long trip - for students. But it would not have been so good for people our age. I am so thankful that someone had told me to be sure to make the train and seat reservations in advance.

Regards, Don and Linda Toronto