I have researched which rail pass I would like to buy for my 20 year old daughter and myself. We will be traveling for 10 different days over a 16 day time period. I have priced it on Rail Europe ($628), on the DB Bahn website (414 euros which converts to $439) and the German Rail Pass site which was a link from the DB Bahn website where it is $681. Obviously the best deal is from the DB Bahn site. Can I buy it from the DB Bahn site and will they mail it to the US? Also we are an adult and a youth, but can I buy the twin pass which is the cheapest? We will always be traveling together and we will be traveling before the end of May, so we qualify for the 20% discount. Thanks for any help with these questions.
German Rail will sell you the railpass at the price shown on their website and mail it to you. Depending on the exchange rate at the time of purchase, it might be cheaper that way. Note that they will charge it to your credit card, which might add 3% for a foreign transaction. Your daughter does not HAVE to use a youth pass. She can use a Twin Pass as an adult.
If you know your itinerary, you should also price your travel as individual tickets taking advantage of advance purchase Savings Fares and regional (Länder) tickets.
"We will be traveling for 10 different days over a 16 day time period....I have priced it on Rail Europe ($628), on the DB Bahn website (414 euros which converts to $439)... we will be traveling before the end of May, so we qualify for the 20% discount."
Railpass prices are indeed coming down with the decline of the Euro. Good for you.
You absolutely WILL qualify for the 20% discount pass. However, the €414 price already INCLUDES the 20% discount (your post made it seem as though you're hoping for an additional 20% off.)
The German railpass is now good on certain international train routes and on IC bus routes (operated by DB) outside Germany in case you were unaware. See German Railpass Flyer.
You have done your research and you know you're traveling by train for 10 days. However, IME, it's quite rare that a 16-day trip requires a 10-day railpass. Many travelers do their best to do their homework, but still end up "overbuying" railpass days. It is very possible that your trip might require only a 5-day pass at €260 instead. How's that possible? Railpasses are a good tool for long-distance routes. But many times, certain travel days involve limited travel, or bus, tram, or subway travel that is not included on the railpass and must be paid for in addition to the railpass, and it's better just to buy a regular ticket or a local day pass than to buy a railpass day. If you're in Munich, for example, it wouldn't make sense to spend a railpass day getting to Dachau or to Herrenchiemsee or Augsburg or to MUC airport - or maybe even to Salzburg. So if you want to share the trips you plan to make, we can probably advise you on this.
"the German Rail Pass site which was a link from the DB Bahn website"
I could not find a link to germanrailpass.com on the Bahn site. I did find a link on the Eurail site. (Understandable since germanrailpass.com is a division of Eurail, not the Bahn.) Their euro to dollar exchange rate has not kept up with the recent decrease in the Interbank rate, making their price in USD higher than it should be. I think RailEurope gets their German Rail passes from Eurail, making their prices higher, too. On their site, eurail.com will sell you Eurail passes in euro, to which your CC company might add a currency exchange fee. However, Eurail.com does not sell single country passes for Germany. You have to go to germanrailpass.com for that and they only sell passes in US, Canadian, or Australian dollars, not euro.
Note also that the German Rail pass includes the S-Bahn in cities like Munich, but not other local transport such as U-Bahn, trams, and buses. Other options such as a Bayern-Ticket (in Munich) or other Länder tickets or day tickets (Tageskarten) in the metro areas include all public conveyances.
Yes, Going. That was the page I found a link to on the Eurail site, but not on the Bahn site.
By the way, neither the German Rail pass nor any Eurail passes are accepted for the Bayerische Oberlandbahn, BOB, south of Munich, serving Bad Tölz, Kochelsee, Tegernsee, Schliersee, and Bayrischzell from Hozkirchen. (But you can use a Bayern-Ticket there.)
on the DB site go to the "Offers" on the top red menu banner, passes are at the top on the left
"discover Germany" will take you to the regional offers
There appear to be one or more misunderstandings in the prices you quoted, Amy. Rail Europe's current price for the 10 days within one month, 2nd class, German twin pass with 20% discount is $502 total for two and UPS shipping to your USA address is free. Since the euro continues to drop, this dollar rate could be adjusted again at any time; I would not be surprised if it goes down again, but have not yet been informed of that. On either web site, be sure to choose the version that allows travel within one month.
DB's price of €414 appears to be for 10 consecutive days, not a flexipass. DB will mail passes to you from Germany, but there is no protection if they are lost in the mail. I don't think their shopping cart is as easy to use as it should be. They do also sell passes in person in train stations.
"There appear to be one or more misunderstandings in the prices you quoted, Amy... DB's price of €414 appears to be for 10 consecutive days, not a flexipass."
The €414 price Amy quoted came from DB. DB lists the 2nd class twinpass for two adults - 10 days FLEXI with a 20% promotional discount for travel before the end of May - for €414 at THIS PAGE.
The 10-day 2nd class CONSECUTIVE twinpass with the discount lists for €367 at the same page.
"Rail Europe's current price for the 10 days within one month, 2nd class, German twin pass with 20% discount is $502 total for two"
If so, that's €476 at current rates, vs. €414 from DB, for the same product.
Thank you everyone for all your suggestions. I looked over my itinerary and checked all the train trips I would be taking. Two of them look to be on S-bahn trains (one is from the Leipzig/Halle airport to Leipzig and one is from Munich to Dachu and back) so I could not buy those tickets ahead and will just buy them that day. I ended up with 7 other days that we will be taking trains. I priced the individual tickets and it came out to be 3 euro cheaper to buy a 5 day flex pass and two regional tickets. So I opted to buy the 5 day twin flexi pass from the DB Bahn website ($285 with the current exchange rate and bought on March 30 so I got the extra 20% off!) and I will buy two regional tickets. On four of those days, I do not want to be locked into a specific train, as we might get done earlier, wish to stay longer, or stop in another city for a couple of hours on our way.
One other question I have is do I need to buy the regional tickets ahead of time or can I buy them the day of for the same price that I see online now. One ticket is from Leipzig to Eisnach with a possible stop in Halle which is 27 euros for two and the other is from Salzburg to Munich airport which is 28 euros for two (and that was the ticket option it gave me when I priced my individual tickets).
If you are looking at the Bahn site, the price you see for regional trains is the price you will pay if you buy the ticket just before travel. Regional tickets are not reserved seat tickets. It's more like the bus into town. You buy the ticket and get on the train. It doesn't matter if you were the first person to buy a ticket for that train. It only matters when you get on. If there are seats available you get one; if not, you stand, but as long as there is any space to stand, you can get on the train (in 15 years, hundreds of trains, I have only had to stand twice on a regional train.
For your trip from downtown Munich to Dachau, you will need to take the S-Bahn to the Dachau station, then a bus to the Memorial. A "Muenchen XXL Gruppen Tageskarte", for 14,80€, will cover the entire RT plus any other conveyance you might want to use in the inner two zones that day. A German Rail Pass would have only covered the S-Bahn, not the bus.
does anyone have any experience with a Rail Pass (Twin Pass for 10 non-consecutive Days) bought directly from Deutsche Bahn, and mailed by them, but not received in the US? What are my options if this never arrives? I bought my pass directly from DB on March 17, and they mailed it March 18. I would think it should have arrived within these three weeks. Thoughts on this anyone? at the time, the US travel sites were quoting $682, and with the exchange rate I was billed $601 from Deutsche Bahn plus the 4 Euro postage. ........ Our travel days are the end of May
I suggest starting a new thread with your question.
Yes, kimmelrose, I have heard from a few people who have had the issue of not receiving their mailed rail pass in time from DB and were not able to get a refund for it. You cannot prove whether or not an items sent by regular mail has arrived and therefore I believe you have no recourse. A rail pass is like cash, and if it's lost, it's lost.
If you want to buy a pass from DB, I recommend doing so at a train station. (Their web site works fine for single tickets that you can print at home.) If you want a pass delivered to your home before you go, I suggest our US booking link; Rail Europe ships passes by UPS 1- or 2-Day Air with tracking and signature required.
DB's new consecutive-day pass is also sold online as an e-ticket, but I still find issues with their shopping cart, such as some paths through the cart that make it difficult or impossible to add more than one traveler name and age (required).
I ordered my rail pass from the DB Bahn website on March 30 and my credit card was charged on March 31. I received mine via the US mail on April 10 and it was postmarked April 1 so it took about 10 days.
That's about right. I ordered my 10 day (with the extra day added making it 11 days), within 2 months, 2nd class Pass on 20 March, got it on 27 March, surprisingly early, and paid no shipping charge, ie, free delivery