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Rail pass confusion

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Sep 10th, 2016, 11:54 AM
  #1
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Rail pass confusion

Traveling throught Bavaria this December for about one month with side trips into France and Austria.
We are going in and out of Munich.

Living outside of Chicago all my life vehicle travel is just about all we use here.

Which is the most cost effective rail pass to purchase.

Greatly appreciate any advise in advance.
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Sep 10th, 2016, 12:11 PM
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Start here. Rail pass or point-point tickets:
http://www.seat61.com/Railpass-and-E...-point-tickets

Which pass:
http://www.seat61.com/Railpass-and-E...ail-pass-range
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Sep 10th, 2016, 12:22 PM
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>>> side trips into France and Austria.
>>> We are going in and out of Munich.
>>> Which is the most cost effective rail pass to purchase.

This depends on your usage model and where in Austria you are going.
If you usage is off peak hours, and not on ICE/IC like long distance trains, and 2nd class, there are regional bargain like:

https://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/p...a-ticket.shtml

I thought it used to specifically mention Salzburg being included, but I don't see that mentioned.

France is a country where pass is usually not effective. But this also depends on your undisclosed travel plan in France.
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Sep 10th, 2016, 12:56 PM
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Rail pass confusion
Posted by: veronicak on Sep 10, 16 at 2:54pm


For excellent advice contact http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id19.html. The website has plenty of information to guide you. Phone for free personal consulting. They are closed for the weekend and open at 9AM Monday. For an illustrated introduction to trains in Europe see http://www.enjoy-europe.com/hte/chap17/rail.htm.

If you plan to ample about Bavaria you may be better off renting a car. You will make much better use of your time. You could stay in Munich for up to a week, check out and rent the car, and drive around. Stay and eat in Gasthausen in the Dorfs everywhere for a really economical and carefree visit.
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Sep 10th, 2016, 01:06 PM
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Where in France? Germanwings/Eurowings flies from Munich and also from Nürnberg to Paris, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse - check for seasonal variations.

AirBerlin flies from Munich and Stuttgart and Nürnberg and Memmingen

Google Munich airport and see what others are listed under departures and arrivals.
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Sep 10th, 2016, 01:52 PM
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If only taking two trains out of Bavaria then the rest in Bavaria you can use the day Bavarian Lander Pass for unlimited travel on regional trains throughout Bavaria (and buses and city transports in Munich or other Bavarian cities)for about 30-35 euros total for up to several people on one pass.

Then for trips out of Munich nab discounted fares at www.bahn.de/en - the German Railways official site but book ASAP - as they are sold in limited numbers.
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Sep 10th, 2016, 06:02 PM
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If it were us we would drive for a trip like that. But we have done many road trips in europe and are used to driving in winter weather/snow. Also we never do more than 4 hours on the road in any day.
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Sep 10th, 2016, 10:10 PM
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Hi veronicak,

I live in Garmisch, south of Munich, and I don't have a car. I can tell you that you absolutely do not need to have a car to sample Bavaria -- there are good rail/bus connections to cities, towns, and villages in the region. And with the Bavaria Ticket, you can travel for a great price, too.

It's a LOT more fun to travel by train, as you get to get inside the culture instead of being trapped inside a private bubble. In addition, using the train system will help keep Bavaria clean, as we are already seeing some damage from climate change in our mountains here.

In many parts of the world (most of the USA, rural France, rural Italy), you don't have much choice because public transport is so bad; if you want to ramble, you have to have a car. But there is a choice here in Bavaria, and it just makes sense to try it out. It would be an additional layer of adventure for your European adventure!

As for your question, yes, a pass could be over-paying for your journeys. Local journeys (within Bavaria & including Salzburg) will be covered by the Bavaria Ticket. For any long-distance travel, you can get fares as low as 29€ or 39€ per person. I think that's probably cheaper than a day would cost on a rail pass.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Sep 11th, 2016, 08:59 AM
  #10
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Thanks to all for the responses, especially Swandav2000.

I was tempted to rent a car because the train schedules seem so confusing and I'm certainly an experienced winter driver but we will simply learn the trains for a little less travel stress!
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Sep 11th, 2016, 02:16 PM
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because the train schedules seem so confusing>

Trains go every hour or more on most of your routes -in Bavaria forget about schedules for now - buy the Bavarian Day Pass when there and head to the station and hop the next train.

Book early for long-distance trains to save money like swandav (whose take on trains you should put great credence in because she lives in Bavaria and rides them all the time) say -www.bahn.de/en- the official site of German Railways.

Trains may seem confusing but really they ain't - especially in countries you are going to and especially in Bavaria and Germany in general.
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Sep 11th, 2016, 02:51 PM
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>>> I was tempted to rent a car because the train schedules seem so confusing

Is it more like "vehicle travel is just about all we use here" and the car trip has an appearance of familiarity and simplicity. I am seen many posters coming to this forum with the similar view. Some pull it off and some go home with snafus.

If you want to do a driving trip, first realize that the traffic rules are different. Study up on these before you box yourself into a drive option only trip.

Traffic enforcement is different. Just because you did not see a flashing light behind you did not mean you did not picked up tickets. Many traffic enforcement are automated and the tickets, along with the rental agency administrative charge per incident will greet you a few months after you return home.

If you venture into Austria using a car rented in Germany, it would likely to lack a highway vignette allowing you to drive on highways in Austria. If you venture into Switzerland and drive on a highway, you need yet another highway vignette for Switzerland.

If you have to gas up at an unattended pump off hours especially in France, unless you have a CHIP and PIN card, you cannot get gas. Most so called "CHIP" cards issued by US banks DO NOT work. Unattended pumps usually don't take cash.

Now, which is more confusing?

I think it is more productive to look at where you want to go first (which is not stated beyond countries and one big German state) and compare driving vs. train benefits and liabilities. Some places are very time consuming to string together by trains while other destinations can be pain with a car. Experienced travelers know when to deploy a rental car and when not to.
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Sep 11th, 2016, 08:36 PM
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very much agree with spaarne above concerning the budgetrail europe travel service - they couldn't be nicer.
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Sep 11th, 2016, 09:57 PM
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Hi again,

So happy that my comments were helpful!

If you have specific questions about a specific journey or two, be sure to post again.

I really think that it's a good idea to get out of your comfort zone (the car) and to get into the culture a bit. I think you'll have a lot more fun!

s
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Sep 12th, 2016, 11:39 AM
  #15
 
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A car would be great IF:

you would be using it a lot for the whole month but if boomeranging out and back to Munich where you may stay a few days each time not - cars in cities are useless

and cars are nice for countryside routes - but if going mainly to large cities as the novice tourist often does then no

and in December the weather can be nice or dicey for driving- trains are so so great in that area but it depends on your actual plans.

I'm like swandav in that I love trains and mixing more with locals than being isolated in a car and leaving the driving to the train.
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