Our family of four is traveling to Munich, Bolzano Italy, Venice and then leaving from Milan. In looking at train ticket prices it seems this would cost (3 adults one child) $970 for individual tickets but an Interrail Pass for 5 days travel over 10 days would only be $912. It seems this may make more sense but maybe I'm missing something...?
Funny, but when I look at a random date a month from now, I come up with a full fare price of half of what you have are showing. Where did you come up with that price? I am looking at www.trenitalia.com.
We did something similar to this a few years ago at a much lower price. It really helps to (1) book early and (2) use the German and Italian train sites for your booking. I chose some random dates in August for your family of 4 and I got total prices of about 240 euros total. Many of the lowest fares were gone but there were Munich to Bolzano tickets for 119 euros, Bolzano to Venice for 79 euros and Venice to Milan for 39 euros. Use the bahn.de for pricing the 1st leg of your journey and the trenitalia site for pricing the last 2 segments (sites listed below). There could even be much lower prices if the super saver fares aren't gone. When we booked our tickets that year we got Munich to Milan for 39 euros each. Good luck with your search dates.
Hmmm, maybe I'm doing something wrong, although our trip is much sooner...early July, so maybe that's why. We are going Munich to Bolzano July 4
Bolzano to Venice July 6
Venice to Milan July 9.
The sites for DB Bahn and Tenitalia are the ones I used but I will check again. I would love to pay less, though I sort of hate to lock myself into the tickets!
I think we are missing something. Munich to Bolzano for 3 adults, one child, from the Bahn, would cost 190,80€ full fare, 117,00€ with advance purchase.
Tickets from Bolzano to Venice would have to come from an Italian Rail company.
Are you including the fare from Milan back to Munich? You didn't say.
What route? Back through Bolzano, or through Switzerland? You didn't say.
Only Europeans citizens can use an InterRail pass, but not for their own country? Where do you live?
What kind of an InterRail pass were you looking at:? Global? Single country passes?
Without specific information, we can't give you a specific answer.
Sorry, I wrote my post before you wrote the second one, but only submitted it later. I guess you are flying into Munich, going to Bolzano, going to Venice, going to Milan, and flying out of Milan. Right? You want three legs, Munich to Bolzano to Venice to Milan?
The full fare from Munich Flughafen to Bolzano is 208,80€, any date. For advance purchase for that date, I still see 117,00€ for three of the five ECs, if you book today.
Even paying full fare for Munich to Bolzano, that leaves you with over $600 for Bolzano to Venice and Venice to Milan vs the rail pass. I can't see it costing that much.
Thanks for helping me with this. Yes, you are correct. We are flying into Munich and out of Milan 12 days later. I must be doing something wrong in how I'm booking it. I was doing Munich HauptBahnHoff to Bolzano. It seems like this is the most important to buy ahead of time as it is the most expensive, but maybe the rest would be okay to buy as we go? Or do you think I should buy them all ahead of time? How do I navigate the site to tell me the cost difference between buying ahead of time or on the spot? Also, I remember on the German railways there was an option I didn't understand....I think between "standard" fare and something else. Do you know what those options are?
Thanks so much!
"I remember on the German railways there was an option I didn't understand....I think between "standard" fare and something else. Do you know what those options are?"
The Standard fare is full fare. If you are interested in this (you want full flexibility, for instance), there's no need or advantage to buying tickets ahead.
The Savings fare is discounted (sometimes sharply), and has restrictions on refunds and exchanges. If you know your plans, you can save a lot by getting these, but do understand the restrictions before buying.
"How do I navigate the site to tell me the cost difference between buying ahead of time or on the spot?"
A simple way to do this (for any country) is to look at the price for later today or tomorrow, and compare that with the prices shown for 2-3 months out. Again, if you can live with the last minute prices, no need to stress over buying ahead. Be sure to put in the fact that you are four travelers, along with the ages of the children; there is a saving on advance fares for two or more traveling together.
A real example from 2012 of the possible savings: My mother and I went round trip from Berlin to Dresden. A Standard fare would have €38 per person, each way. The Savings fare was €19 for one or €29 for two traveling together. So, by using Savings fares on this one round trip, we saved €94!
You print out online tickets at home (the site says to use A4 paper, but 8.5 x 11 works fine). Then on the train, you hand the printout and the credit card you used to buy the ticket to the conductor. They scan your printout, swipe your credit card, and you're set.
OK, you said Munich Hauptbahnhof (or Hbf), so you are leaving from downtown, not from the airport. If you were leaving from the airport I would be concerned because discounted purchase ahead tickets are for specific trains and flights can be late, but it sounds like you will already be in Munich, therefore no concern with making the train. Put in "Munich Hbf" to "Bolzano" (it will say Bolzano/Bolzen. Northern Italy is bilingual. Bolzano has two names, Bolzen is the German name.) If you use a date a day ahead it will give you a column for "Savings Fare" and a column for "Standard (or full) fare". You can always buy the standard fare. If you book ahead you will have the option of the standard fareor the restricted advance purchase Savings Fare.
Quite a few responses also received on the Germany forum version of this question.