My daughter and her friend will be traveling in Italy over Spring Break and I are trying to determine if purchasing a International Student Identification Card has any value for discounts on trains. planes etc that one would normally use to get around in Europe? any help would be greatly appreciated.
I don't think so. Others may share other experiences (although the student travel forum doesn't seem to be heavily frequented), but I never found a time when I needed it while living in Italy. I think it's a money-making venture in part. I carried my university ID from my school here in the US, and that always worked if I needed proof of being a student for a discount (a castle in Switzerland, a museum in Palermo). There were other student discounts at museums and such that were only available if you were a citizen of the country or of the EU.
Especially in Italy, trains and airlines don't (as far as I know) give a student or even an under-25 discount, typically. If they did, her passport would be enough.
I would suggest buying rail tickets in advance directing from Eurail. Students can get a break and can buy tickets that will carry them all over Europe to most places including Italy and most of the rest of Europe. Rick sells tickets right here. The passes need to be purchased in the USA. Anyone can buy inexpensive bus passes in Italian cities (or other European cities) for local in-city travel. I wouldn't bother with the ISID. Of course, your daughter and her friend should carry their passports for ID and if they have college ID's, that is proof enough that they are students entitled to any student discounts.
I disagree with Terri Lynn - rail passes are almost never worth the cost. Point-to-point tickets are typically more economical. Especially in Italy, a path is rarely worth it. Don't buy a Eurail pass, just buy tickets either in advance (for fast trains you can get good deals) or as you go around Italy. Trenitalia is the main provider, although Italotrain now runs fast trains between big cities too.
The above comments are correct. Eurail is a reseller or travel agency if you like. Not a train company. The best deal price wise is buy from the local train site. There are no student discounts for rail tickets in Italy. The locals can help her for the right time to buy discount tickets.
Another mode of transportation that offers discounts is going by bus, esp in Germany and its neighboring countries, eg, Berlin-Amsterdam. See berlinlinienbus.de
So if I want to take a train from Barcelona to Italy then tour Italy, go to the Czech up to Amsterdam , Paris then across to the UK You suggest buying as I go? Dont use euro rail?