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DB Sparpreis tickets...

Whoa...I thought tickets were available 90 days out, and I figured I'd be buying the September tickets next month, but I just happened to look today, and they're already available! What's up with that? I'm not ready to commit to the specific trains! Is this a change in policy that I somehow missed? Eeek!

Posted by
6811 posts

The window was changed recently to 6 months for many tickets.

You might want to share your specific journeys for feedback. Sometimes Sparpreis tickets are the way to go, sometimes not. They do come with some consequences.

Posted by
560 posts

Thank you, Russ. Did not know about the changes for some tickets. I do realize there are cons with the Sparpreis tickets.

Specific longer journeys are:
Schiphol to Hannover
Hannover to Binz
Binz to Goerlitz
Dresden to Magdeburg
Magdeburg to Haarlem

I pretty much know what I want, but maybe there are options I haven't considered. Any thoughts are welcome. :)

Posted by
14580 posts

"...commit to the specific trains." That's the crux of it. The advantage to buying the Sparpreis tickets is the lower price but you lose the flexibility by locking yourself in to a specific date and time of departure. It's choosing between sacrificing flexibility over savings, depending on your priority. I use these Sparpreis tickets too but sparingly.

Posted by
6811 posts

A 5-day German Rail pass will cost about €223 from DB and offer complete flexibility within Germany. You'll also need individual tickets between your NL destinations and the border as well - www.ns.nl may be helpful.

Unless you are overnighting at Schiphol, I would avoid the Sparpreis option for the first trip from Schiphol airport - you cannot be late because of a flight delay for those saver fare trains.

So compare your five p2p ticket total to the rail pass + NL p2p tix. I imagine you'll get some good p2p prices at this point. If the rail pass is a little more expensive, it may be worth it for the flexibility.

Posted by
560 posts

I think the p2p Sparpreis 1st class tickets come to about 249E, so a 2nd class railpass would come out about the same, including the NL add-on. I do like the flexibility of the pass, and I've used them in previous years, but I also like the peace and quiet of the 1st class compartments...especially for long train segments. I'll have to really sit and figure it out. That first day, if I arrive at 6am, I would likely be safe with a 10 something train. Or even 2.5 hours, unless there is a huge delay.

Again, thank you for your helpful thoughts.

Posted by
560 posts

Some have compartments. Some they bring your coffee and whatever you want right to you.

Posted by
6811 posts

"Some have compartments. Some they bring your coffee and whatever you want right to you."

I believe there are a mere handful of high-speed trains in Germany that still have compartment seating. The trend in new equipment is to the open seating areas (Großraum.) I recently saw a combo open-room/compartment car (just a few compartments for first class.) Have you found specific trains for your trip that offer the compartments?

Food service in first class high-speed train cars is indeed possible at your seat (but not complimentary.) This could actually be a good perk if you need a warm meal while underway; the diner-cars are skimpy on seating and tend to fill with people that hang out there for long periods. For long rides, I usually have a beverage and take-out with me, purchased from one of the station vendors.

Posted by
19171 posts

I use these Sparpreis tickets too but sparingly.

I do too, but only because I rarely (4 times in 4 trips, 9 weeks, in the last 10 years) take long distance trains. Of the 4 opportunities, I've use SparPreis ticket 3 times.

Posted by
560 posts

I had a compartment in several trains on my last trip, but am still working on finding specific trains for this trip. I usually do carry something to eat and drink, but being served coffee "am Platz" is fun.
I'm enjoying the train discussions; helpful as always. Thanks!