|Subject: Re: Train reservations in Europe, the ongoing saga|
You stated that you were looking at a cost of $850 U.S. plus the cost of the passes for three train rides (for 6 people). That isn't the best way to look at it. Since the price represents the cost of sleepers, you'd be best thinking about it in terms of the combined cost of lodging and getting to your destination. Nobody can decide for you whether or not you should take the chance of not making advance reservations. That's a judgement call you should make with your family after discussing the complications vs. costs involved.
Have you compared the cost of point-to-point second class travel (without train passes) in combination with overnight lodging in hotels instead of on sleeper trains? In your desire to cram as much as possible into very limited time, you may have boxed yourself into a corner you could have avoided. Seasoned travelers of TheTravelzine would never consider an itinerary you (yourself) categorized recently as insane. Lots of luck with your trip. Hope you prove us wrong.
Regards, Linda Toronto http://www.thetravelzine.com