Can we purchase train tickets thru Rick Steves Tours? Trying to purchase train tickets from our local travel agencies is difficult.
As far as I know, RSE doesn't sell train tickets.
It's generally not a problem to buy long-distance train tickets from the website of the company operating the trains. Regional-train tickets can usually be purchased easily at the departure rail station after you get to Europe. Most if not all European train stations have vending machines with English as an optional language.
If you tell us what specific tickets you need, we can provide more guidance.
Where and when will you be traveling? Some tickets aren’t available yet for summer travel.
This website says they sell point to point tickets ( through Rail Europe) but the link to “buy” does not work.
Your best option is to tell us where you will be traveling, and people here can help you with the country’s own website for ticket purchases.
You can and it is easy to buy tickets directly from the train company. There are also third party sellers, like Rail Europe, that will sell tickets but generally at a higher price or includes additional fees. Sometimes it does not make sense to buy ticket in advance. If you buy discounted tickets in advance, they generally come with restrictions -- no change, no refund, etc. The ONLY reason to buy tickets in advance is to take advantage of any discount offers. For some trains there are no discounts.
On an initial trip, the purchase of train tickets can be overwhelming. You can browse the Man in Seat 61 for some help, though that website is a little overwhelming on first visit too. In general, the best deals are the country specific train site. Like Renfre for Spain. Oui/SNCF for France, Trenitalia for Italy, etc. I use 3rd party sites when I have credit card issues. Rail Europe is generally more expensive than others, like Trainline. I have never found rail passes (which you'll see discussed in the RS guide) to make any sense for my travels. Lastly, for some countries, the high speed trains, are the tickets you may want to buy in advance.
I have found this forum to be quite helpful on the issue of train tickets.
EDITED TO ADD: I did buy a Swiss Travel Pass for Switzerland. I priced out my plans and that one did make sense.
We bought train tickets from Rick Steves years ago and know that we paid more for them asI believe they were sold through Rail Europe.
Rick Steves' company has sold rail passes, isn't doing so right now, but apparently plans to start again. At the same time, in his books and on his website, he generally advises people to buy specific tickets (at the station or in advance depending on circumstances) rather than passes. And most posters on this forum seem to agree with that. Suki's experience surprises me, but it was a long time ago.
As mentioned in a few previous replies, it would be really helpful to know which countries you'll be visiting, which routes you'll be travelling and therefore which tickets you'll require. In some cases, it's better to buy tickets in advance to save money but in other cases it's much easier to just buy the tickets at local stations.