Updated: Jan 31, 2019
It wasn't until I started booking A LOT of different trains and buses around Europe that I realized something: ticket prices are not fixed, and not every merchant sells them at the same price. In fact, I've been kind of shocked in finding out the price differences can sometimes be upwards of €20-€30 - That's huge! That's a whole other train ticket! That's madness!
My favorite website/app to use for booking tickets is GoEuro, but for some reason, I still have RailEurope bookmarked on my laptop, so i automatically just click that every time. And then when I check my GoEuro app, the price is almost always significantly lower. I'm currently in the process of booking my Summer trips, so I've come across some pretty good examples of this price difference, and I've listed them below for you.
The same exact train, going from Berlin to Prague (same date, same time):
Different trains, both going from Brussels to Amsterdam on the same date and around the same time:
Different train on GoEuro - cheaper and faster.
And since GoEuro also shows bus tickets, I came across this deal below. The bus takes about the same amount of time as the train on RailEurope (4hrs), but it's less than 1/4 of the price!
To be fair, I have, on occasion, found cheaper trains on RailEurope as well - this is why I always check both. Here's a good example from London to Paris - same company, same date, same time - HUGE PRICE DIFFERENCE.
Aside from the significant savings (most of the time), another major benefit of GoEuro is that they show you not only trains for your selected routes, but also buses and flights. I highly recommend downloading the app as well, since you can just book on the go, and scan your tickets right from your phone.
The moral of the story here is: Don't just assume the prices will be the same wherever you shop. They can vary a lot, and what you save on one ticket can cover a whole other trip!
I know there are a lot of other sites out there that sell train and bus tickets, but these are just the two I use most frequently. Do you have a different site you'd recommend for the best deals?