Buying sleeping resv online from USA

I'm embarrassed to have to ask this question because I thought I knew the answer, but if I did, I fergit! I'll be using a Eurail Global pass this summer, from mid-June to about a month later. I will be moving all around, and I'm trying to avoid my lifelong anal compulsion to over plan everything, but I am a seasoned train buff and I know I'll need to book some sleepers. But I can't decide if or how I can do that from the USA online. I know how to book seats and seat resv for daytime trains, but for overnight trains that cross borders, how do I do it, knowing I'll already have the Eurailpass? Is raileurope the only way? I thought Rick Steves had his own best provider but I can't find it on the website. Thx. Tom

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
399 posts

I booked mine through rail europe when I purchased my pass - railEurope.com is where Rick's site sends you to purchase passes.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

RailEurope of course charges premium prices. You might try calling the railway you'll be purchasing the sleeper reservations for and see if you can do the transaction over the phone.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
678 posts

For German City Night sleeper trains you can arrange/pay the sleeper supplement on their website if you already have the eligible pass.

Posted by Clare
Topsham, Maine, United States
17 posts

I'm going over using a ScanRail pass and plan an overnight. I tried yesterday to book the reservation for it, and it didn't work. A little investigation showed that they don't book overnight reservations (separate from the rail pass) until 60 days before you will use it. So I'm going to have to be patient!

Posted by Tom
Easley, SC, USA
268 posts

Thanks. I knew RailEurope is expensive. I didn't know about the 60 days before I use it limit. What puzzles me is that I did this last April also, and when I bought resv then, I found a different group of folks Rick Steves's site pointed me to, NOT RailEurope. As I recall, they were a small group, based in Munich, where I spoke face to face with their agent and retrieved all the papers they had created for me, some folks in Berlin, and a woman who I spoke to by phone several times here in the USA while I was making my arrangements. But for the life of me, I can't find any info about that group now, on RS's site, and I can't find their contact info in my folder of stuff I kept from last April's trip either. Ring any bells, anyone?

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
399 posts

"Thanks.
I knew RailEurope is expensive. I didn't know about the 60 days before I use it limit." I was able to make my night train res more than 60 days out. I also compared the rates to book directly with the RE rates and they were comparable. I will add that one of trains is from Barcelona to Paris and most trains in France are pretty spendy!

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11263 posts

Ring, ring. As I recall, they were a small group, based in Munich You probably used Euraide (www.euraide.com). They have a German Rail ticket terminal and write the ticket for you and express mail it to the US. They charge your credit card the same amount as you would pay from the train company in Europe, but add a one time $60 service charge.