Has anyone used eurotrip.com to book reservations, it says they do them through railkey. Each reservation costs $7 and shipping is $14 for the total order. This seems like a good deal to me for night trains that I'm worried about getting shut out from in August. For 4 night trains my reservation total would be just over $40 which I don't think is bad for having the assurance of being on those trains considering they would cost about $5 each in Europe from what I've heard. Any opinions?
ok thanks for all your help...just to clarify: in order to take a train from florence to munich all I would need is my global eurail pass and the supplement for a reclining seat which I can apparently get for 5 euros on the site you listed?
For night trains that begin or end in Germany, you can book "reservations" (actually a supplement to cover the accommodations) for free at http://buchung.nachtzugreise.de. Click the British flag for English. These tickets can be purchased online using a credit card, and they will send you a pdf file of the ticket to print on your home computer.
However, if you haven't already purchased a rail pass, check to see if there are still SparNight fares available for the train you want. These fares are usually only a little more than the cost of a reservation, and less than the cost of a reservation plus a day of your rail pass.
If I have a global eurail pass and the reservation can be booked for free, what am I purchasing from them (why do I need to give them a credit card number)?
I went to the site and it said it was 5 euros for accomodation charge...is this the same as a reservation?
I don't know what you think you are getting from Eurotrip, but for night trains, "reservations" is a poor choice of terms. Night trains require a supplement, or Aufpreis, in German, depending on the class of accommodations (seat, couchette, or sleeper). Supplement are often mistakenly called reservations. A supplement costs much more than $7 per night. A couchette 6 could be €39 ($53), a double sleeper €69 ($95). Even a reclining seat will cost you €29 ($40). With payment of that supplement, your accommodations are reserved. The $7 per reservation must be Eurotrips fee for doing the work, but you will still have to pay the supplement.
With Nachtzugreise, you will need your credit card to pay for the Aufpreis, but there will be no additions fee for making the reservation or for shippping.
For rail lines in Europe, it costs €3,50 ($5) to reserve a seat. If you book tickets online from bahn.de, you can get reservations at the same time for €1,50 per seat.
Some other trains in Europe charge a supplement for premium day trains. Italian Eurostar charges, I think, €10-20. There is also a supplement on Thalys.
Eurotrip might sell you the €3,50 seat reservation for $7, but I am sure any supplement is extra.
Sorry, the night train accommodation rates I previously cited were SparNight fares. These are promotional fares, limited in quantity, and requiring advance purchase. They are complete fares and don't use a rail pass.
An example of rail pass supplements is €65 pP for a double, €20 for a couchette 6, and €5 for a reclining seat. If they are charging $7 (no additional fee) for the reclining seat reservation, that's not bad, except for the shipping. However, I don't think I would want a seat on a night train.