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How far in advance can reservations be purchased?

I'm planning a trip w/ my boyfriend to France and Italy in August. We've already planned on purchasing the France/Italy pass with 5 days of travel in 2 months. Now, the question we have is: when/how do we go about booking the actual trains? We know the dates on which we want to travel to each city. Do we reserve each individual train once we're in the country, a few days before we know we want to leave? Is reserving really worth it, or is it likely that a train will have open seats if we don't reserve?
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  • In general, we can only make seat reservations within 60 days of the train travel date. We are able to make reservations on some premier trains 90-120 days in advance.

    Your railpass allows you to travel on the rail networks of the countries covered by the pass you purchase. It does not guarantee you a seat reservation, sleeper, or couchette. To make sure you get the accommodations you desire, you must purchase a reservation. You can do this online at http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/poi....

    With a railpass you pay a special passholder fare which varies depending on the kind of train and the service offered. The supplement includes the compulsory seat reservation and sometimes a meal aboard the train or other amenities.

    Since you will be traveling during August, I would highly recommend that you book your seat reservations before you depart from North America.

    Please note that the number of seats available at the special passholder fare is limited. Advance booking is highly recommended.
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  • Thank you for your reply! This is exactly what I needed to know.
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