Train instead of car
Gasoline prices are rising and rising, especially in the holiday season. But at home no one has to stay that way: the train lures with special fares that can actually be cheaper than driving by car. Assuming you get the cheap tickets really. However, this can be difficult if one relies on the railway employees at the counter: Because find, so a test result of the Stiftung Warentest, not always the cheapest offer.
Looking at your own fist on the Internet is perhaps the better and cheaper option, because often the train also requires a surcharge for the purchase at the counter. However, the traveler must then find his way through the tariff jungle alone, without any advice. It can be difficult to filter out the cheapest offer among all the savings, special offers and country tickets. We will explain how it works and how to find the best price.
The duration special is currently advertised as particularly favorable. From 29 Euro you can make a one-way trip with the IC, the ICE or the City Night Line across Germany per person. It does not matter how long the track is. For example, Hamburg-Munich with ICE costs just as much as the Frankfurt-Munich route with IC. However, there are only a certain amount of cheap tickets: If the trains are heavily used, the tickets in steps of ten more expensive - up to 69 Euro each way. Bonus: Children under six years ride for free. In the permanent special family, even two adults and children ride from 49 Euro 15 years even travel for free.
The ticket must be purchased no later than three days before departure - the sooner the better and best vending machines or the Internet, because at the counter it will be five euros more expensive. The cheap tickets are available from three months before departure and who comes too late, must drive more expensive. In addition, you set yourself with the duration special on a specific long-distance train, exchange and refund excluded. However, if you also use a local train for part of the route, you can choose it freely.
Another plus: you can interrupt the trip for 24 hours and even make smaller detours: For example, you can stay on the way from Nuremberg to Berlin for the same money even a day and a night in Hannover. The employees of the railway often do not know that. If you want to book this on the Internet, you must click on the option "About" when selecting the destination and then enter a corresponding length of stay. But beware: If this is too long, you will not get a permanent special.
Savings price 25 and 50
The duration special is not the cheapest option in all cases. For example, if you travel from Dortmund to Hamburg and back, you pay with the duration special in the cheapest variant 58 Euro. It can also cost 118 Euro - so that the duration special would be just as expensive as the normal price on this route in the IC. Far cheaper with the economy price: With the savings price 25 you pay only 93,75 Euro, with the low price 50 even only 58 Euro. It is still cheap, if you still have the Bahncard 25: Then you can deduct 25 again. Already for 44,95 Euro you can travel in the IC from Dortmund to Hamburg and back and just like the duration special make a detour or interrupt the trip for a day and a night.
As with the duration special, there is only a certain contingent of tickets that you can buy up to three days before departure and you have to commit to certain trains in long-distance travel. However, the 50 discount between return trip must be one night from Saturday to Sunday or one week from Sunday to Saturday (so-called weekend binding). And the minimum price must be without BahnCard 38 Euro. For this you can exchange the tickets in the economy price until one day before departure for 15 Euro. Both savings rates can be used in combination with the passenger discount. Up to four passengers travel in this way for half the price.
Almost the same conditions apply to the austerity prices 25 and 50 Europe: Only that the weekend commitment here almost always applies and the minimum price must be 19 Euro.
Spontaneous frequent travelers: BahnCard 50
What else is there for the BahnCard, where there are special prices and permanent specials? The BahnCard 50 for 220 Euro (reduced 110 Euro) per year in the second class is interesting for you if you drive a lot spontaneously or travel frequently in local traffic. Then you get 50 percent discount without having to book in advance. Since the BahnCard does not apply in many alliances, you can use a trick here, if your start or destination is close to the compound border: Just buy one more station than you would like to drive or take the IC for short distances - and already applies the BahnCard, which can significantly reduce the fare. For example, the one way trip from Neuwied-Engers to Bonn in the Verkehrsverbund Rhein Sieg costs 6,30 Euro. If you start one station before in Vallendar, you pay only 50 Euro for the same route with BahnCard 5,45.
Double savings: BahnCard 25
But the BahnCard 25 can possibly bring significantly more savings than the BahnCard 50 - and costs with 55 Euro in the second class in the year only a quarter as much. Because the BahnCard 25 is credited on both savings rates. Up to 62,5% savings of the normal price are possible. And also in many transport associations the BahnCard 25 is credited. The Youth BahnCard 25 even costs only once 10 Euro to 19. Age.
With the BahnCard you can also earn bonus points and use the city ticket function free of charge. This means that you can continue to use local public transport in many German cities free of charge. Prerequisite: You buy a ticket with BahnCard discount, the destination station of your train journey is over 100 kilometers away and your destination is within the scope of city tickets. The latter is sometimes not easy to recognize: For example, the city ticket in Berlin is valid only in area A and only in the S-Bahn, but not in the subway.
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