first time Eurail trip

  • 17 October 2023
  • 6 replies

Just a few questions for an upcoming trip with a couple of kids…

  1. what’s the difference between when a trip says “you’re ready to board” and “you’re ready to board. You can purchase a reservation if you’d like”?
  2. we have a few trips with train changes. I’d like to add the whole trip to my eurail app. Is there a way to do that or do I have to pull up each trip individually? I’ve purchased reservations for the ones required, but they don’t show up in “my trip” for some reason. They are under ‘my reservations”
  3. is there a place to see what terminals the tickets are associated with? I’ll be with two little kids and some of these transfers are quick.
  4. I don’t think we’re going to use all the days I purchased the pass for. Is there a way to downgrade without affecting my reservations?



Best answer by ralderton 17 October 2023, 22:17

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6 replies

Userlevel 7
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1 I think the only difference is that Eurail is willing to sell you an optional seat reservation in the second case. In both cases you don't need one. And don't buy them from Eurail if you can help it. It's usually cheaper elsewhere.

2 Reservations are totally separate from your pass, so they won't show up in your trip unless you add the journey. I tend to add each train separately, as it makes it easier if I need to change things later.

3 Do you mean which station and platform? The national operator of eeach railway is the best place to find platform numbers, if they're available.

4 It's possible to exchange your of for s different one, add long as it hasn't been activated yet. It will cost you €15 per pass to exchange.

Userlevel 7
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If you post your itinerary, or even a screenshot of your Trip, I might be able to clear up any questions.

Thank you so much! That’s super helpful. Yes, on number 3, that’s what I meant.


Much appreciated!

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Thank you so much! That’s super helpful. Yes, on number 3, that’s what I meant.


Much appreciated!

I don’t know which countries you will go to, but some useful websites to get live information on platforms and any delays would be

United Kingdom: or 

There’s a good list of the rest on the Seat61 website (which is generally an excellent source of rail information) here:

If you scroll up a little, the same page also has a bunch of station guides - useful to see the lay of the land before you go.

So I don’t need to purchase a reservation. Understood. One more question just to clarify...


If I have a eurail pass and the trip says either “you’re ready to board” or “you can purchase a reservation if you’d like,” does that mean I still need to purchase a ticket when I’m there or can I just show the conductor my eurail pass?

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

If it says you’re ready to board, then your pass is all you need. Just find an empty seat and show your pass to the conductor.

You can still sometimes make a seat reservation if you want, but it’s not compulsory. 

If you tell us the journey you’re making, we can advise better.