I am trying to sort out train travel for a trip from Mainz to Amsterdam for two with two bikes. The costing I got was around £180.00 (yes that is in pounds!) which I find extremely expensive for a train trip on the continent, although a trip of this length in the UK would be considered a bargain. Can anybody give me advice on how to get a cheaper fare. We are traveling on a Friday in September if that helps.
Make sure you're looking at a second class fare. These sites often default to first class. Also, there can be discounts for 2 people travelling together so you could look for a ticket that encompasses that. Tickets crossing an international border also tend to be pricey so an old trick that sometimes saves money is to buy 1 ticket to the border and a second ticket from the first station inside Holland to Amsterdam. If you're not in a hurry, in Germany they do have what's known as a Schoene Wochenende ticket ('nice weekend') which lets a group of people (used to be 5, not sure what it is currently) travel together on slower trains for a pittance. Not sure how far your trip is but you might consider that to the German border and then a regular ticket inside Holland.