I have a few questions concerning the Eurail Select Pass and the reservation of seats?

Question by Josephine: I have a few questions concerning the Eurail Select Pass and the reservation of seats?
I will be going to France, Italy and Switzerland in July. I am considering buying a Eurail Select pass. But I have a few questions concerning the use of this pass.

1) How can I validate the pass? can I do it at the station on the day I arrive?

2) Do you recommend me to reserve seats before I go to europe or reserve it until I arrive at the station? (coz I will be travelling in peak season, I am worry that seats will be fully booked)

3) If I reserve it at the station, is it possible to still get a seat if I reserve it in the morning/afternoon for a night train on the day I travel? (say from Geneva to Rome)

4) How much does it cost to reserve a seat on the web and at the station?

Best answer:

Answer by Alison
1) You can validate the pass at the station when you arrive at the ticket counter.

2) It is best to reserve seats as far ahead of time as possible. The problem with the rail passes is that you only need to buy the reservation, and I’ve found that you cannot buy just a reservation online. It’s easy to buy the ticket online, which comes with a reservation, but the only place I’ve ever had success buying a reservation only was at the station itself. (I found a couple sites that claimed to let you buy the reservation only online, but they are few and far between and they never actually worked for me…) My policy was to reserve for my journey out of the city when I arrived in the city, in which case you’re still able to reserve ahead of time.

3) I think you would be able to still get a seat. But my experience was that even if there are supposedly no seats, there may be room…I was told once that there were no beds left on a night train, and when I got to the station itself that night and asked on the train, there were plenty of spare beds and I bought a place directly from the conductor. So it might be worth it to, if you’re told there are no spaces, go anyway and try to get a seat when you board the train.

4) Like I said before, I’ve never been able to reserve a seat on the web. At the station, it can be anywhere from no charge to 15 euros (which I paid for a high speed train between two major cities, not realizing there was another less expensive option…).

What do you think? Answer below!