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Brooks Cooper
Brooks Cooper

Train Tickets Italy Buy In Advance

Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy and is owned by the Italian government. ItaliaRail is a private agency that sells Trenitalia tickets. Both companies sell online tickets to the general public.

train tickets italy buy in advance

In short, they both have better user interfaces, customer service in English, and no issues with accepting non-Italian credit cards to book train tickets online (a very frequent issue on TrenItalia, in my experience).

But buying them ahead of time will save you money and time, and will help you avoid the possibility of waiting around in case tickets are sold out (which definitely happens). And having your tickets already saved on your phone just simplifies the train station experience.

You cannot cancel Super Economy or Economy tickets, but you can change the date or time for an Economy ticket. Base price tickets can be changed (or refunded for 80% of what you paid) any time until one hour after the train leaves the station.

According to the stats printed on the back of Italian train tickets, taking the train in Italy emits about 75% less CO2 than the same trip in an airplane, and about 65% less than driving, on average.

Thank you very much for all the detailed explanation to clear the italian train related confusion in my head. I found your site very helpful. I was able to figure that there are two main train services but multiple websites and way to buy tickets. I am planning to visit Italy in early April. How far (latest) in advance should I buy train tickets to get a good deal and decent time options? I would like to buy in advance buy not too much in advance just in case my plans change. I am looking for tickets for my family between Rome and Florence, Rome and Naples.

Regional train tickets between Florence and Rome are valid on a range of dates and times, which means you do not have a reserved seat. They can be secured before departure at ticket stands and ticket machines inside the train station.

Researching and buying your train tickets through a consolidator such as removes all these hassles. You will then be emailed the ticket which has a QR code on it, that can be scanned by ticket inspectors.

A Eurail Pass is an all-in-one train ticket giving you flexible access to most trains across Europe. Unlike traditional train tickets, with Eurail you can go wherever you want, whenever you want. Some trains do ask you to make a reservation, but most trains can be boarded as easily as flashing your Pass.

Eurail Passes are famous as a way to save money while exploring Europe, but they are also confusing and often misunderstood. They are still an amazing money-saving tool for certain types of travelers, and not a wise idea for most others. Before Europe introduced dynamic rail pricing (like airfares, where the price varies depending on when you buy it), a Eurail Pass was an easy way to save money since all tickets had fixed prices that were generally fairly expensive. These days most travelers can save far more money just by buying their train tickets at least a few weeks in advance.

That said, Eurail Passes are still great for longer trips and especially for people who like to make plans as they go. Dynamic rail pricing made advanced tickets much cheaper, but it also made last-minute tickets MUCH more expensive. Below we will discuss Eurail Passes and whether they are a good idea for your trip or not.

For England in particular this is a big deal because train fares in that country are typically insanely expensive unless you book at least a few weeks in advance. Now with a Eurail Pass you can, say, go from London to Edinburgh for free and just hop aboard. The train system in Britain is very extensive but previously you needed to book everything way in advance or it would practically be cheaper to hire your own helicopter.

Brussels in particular is one I recommend a short stop in because the small historic center around what they called the Grand Place is amazing and gorgeous, while the rest of the city is rather boring by European standards. With a Eurail Pass you can jump off the train in Brussels and explore the city center for a few hours (luggage storage is cheap and easy) and maybe have lunch, and then hop on a later train to complete your journey to Amsterdam. There are opportunities like this on many if not most trips between larger cities, and if you buy the point-to-point tickets you have to stay on the train you booked.

The cheapest way to get around Europe by rail is to buy all train tickets online at least a couple months in advance. The fares are low, but they are non-refundable and non-changeable. See how far in advance you should buy train tickets to get those attractive fares.

If you fly, you absolutely have to lock in your exact schedule weeks or months in advance, and if you buy train tickets individually you will be spending hours in queues and then waiting around. You can buy European train tickets in advance, though the convenience comes along with an extra fee. But with a Eurail Pass, on most routes you can just hop on any train you feel like.

In the last few years, almost every long-distance train ride in Europe has switched to a pricing system similar to low-cost airlines. In other words, tickets go on sale 2 to 6 months ahead of time at very low prices, and they keep getting more expensive as the train fills up and the date approaches. For most trips where a rail pass is possible, this is how things stack up:

For the best prices on the fast trains, book direct with the operator as far ahead as possible. Trenitalia tickets go on sale 4 months before travel, Italo rather less predictably, and the cheapest tickets often sell out quickly. Discounted ticket prices keep going up as the travel date gets closer.

Book ahead, no hassel when you get to the station. We just did it and felt sorry for the people that were buying last minute tickets and all the confusion at the station. When you book ahead you go ahead and board your train, your reservation is your ticket. It has a barcode that the conductor will scan at some point. Do not anyone handle your luggage at the risk of being stolen or asked for a payment.

I agree with the previous individuals' posts, and I have certainly benefited from significant savings by purchasing trenitalia tickets in advance. But, you need to realize that discounted fares may offer limited flexibility (regarding exchanges, etc., the terms of which are outlined on the trenitalia website) and the most discounted tickets are 100% NON-refundable and NON-exchangeable: if you do not use the ticket for your specific train you will forfeit the entire fare.

Given that the ticket price can be as low as EUR 9 (last time I traveled), it's not such a big deal, but if you, let's say, miss your train you will then need to pay for a same day ticket, and that will be the highest fare. Just something to keep in mind, when you purchase your tickets and plan your travels.

The airline-style pricing of many long-distance European train tickets means that the further in advance you book, the less you pay. This is the case with intercity and high-speed trains in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Sweden, as well as certain international trains traveling in and out of France.

Passengers traveling in the UK specifically can take advantage of off-peak fares, as the national railway system offers cheaper rates for traveling on trains that are not as busy. Various trains in France also offer cheaper tickets for traveling off hours, usually midday or midweek. You may also find cheaper fares across Europe for traveling in slower seasons like late fall and winter, similar to trends in flight prices.

Validating train tickets is especially common in France and Italy, although not all tickets require validation. Check the terms in your confirmation email or on the back of your physical ticket, or inquire with the information desk at the train station to be sure.

Exploring Europe on rails is often a lot cheaper if you can commit to a specific train ticket with limited or no options for refunds and changes. Budget tickets are usually sold at final sale, while pricier options may come with full or partial refunds. Eurail Passes, for example, offer customers a choice between an 85% refund or an exchange for a different Eurail Pass. Trenitalia offers fares with up to a 60% discount for high-speed train tickets purchased in advance on a no-refund basis.

Another plus of buying tickets in advance on the official website is that we have a wide selection of seats in the coach. Traveling as a family or a company of 3-4 people, you must agree, it is more pleasant to sit near each other. So we always reserve seats with tables whenever possible. There are 2 places nearby.

An option to change the date or time of departure is provided only in the Base fare. If you bought tickets with a discounted promotion (Economy, SuperEconomy): they cannot be changed. Your ticket is valid only for a specific date, time and train. To replace a ticket, go to a special web page, and enter your email and reservation code. You will have options to change a ticket, request a refund, request compensation for the delay of a train, or add or change the number of passengers on your trip.

Trenitalia regularly holds promotions. For example, buying a one-day round-trip ticket can save you money. But the surest way to save money is to reserve tickets one month in advance. Share your feedback and experience in buying tickets on the Trenitalia official website ( in the comments.

Usually train tickets are cheaper than car rental, but not if you rent from dirt cheap auto dot com (I just made that up but you get the point), and of course it depends on the number of people traveling. The cars I book for my clients are quality cars from reputable car rental companies who offer excellent service and are not dirt cheap, because you get what you pay for. I usually tell people to budget about 80 euros per day for a car that holds 4 people plus luggage, and that price includes the car rental, gas, and tolls. It would be more expensive than 80 euros to buy four one-way tickets from Rome to Florence at the last minute. But, if you buy train tickets in advance (and if you have kids and travel on a Saturday when kids travel free) then it would cost less to buy four train tickets compared to renting a car. Cost should not be the only factor, though. It can be a huge hassle to have a car in Italy. 041b061a72


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