Berlin From 1 June, holidays by train will be significantly cheaper, at least in regional transport. The 9 euro ticket makes it possible. But to make sure nothing goes wrong, planning is necessary. We provide tips and answer the most important questions – including stumbling blocks.
Travel to your holiday destination for 9 euros: The special ticket for local public transport can of course also be used for travel, especially as the ticket period from 1 June to 31 August falls exactly during the summer holiday season. And then it should be a pretty tempting prospect for some: to travel with Regio instead of by car or ICE. We explain how to get the ticket here.
Only: The trip to the holiday destination, which is almost unsurpassed in terms of price, can have its pitfalls. We explain what travelers need to be aware of.
What is important when planning a trip?
It is easy to find clean regional connections. On the Deutsche Bahn’s booking portal, reiseauskunft.bahn.de, or in the “DB Navigator” app, check the “Local transport only” box in the entry mask. Only connections that can be used with the 9-euro ticket are displayed – this is then also displayed as the first booking option. This applies to tours from June.
Depending on the route, sometimes more or fewer paths leading to the destination are displayed. A few tips on how to choose the right one:
- Schedule transfer times realistically: The best thing to do, of course, is to go on vacation. For example, if you want to travel from Berlin to Warnemünde on the Baltic Sea, you can take RE 5 to Rostock. The S-Bahn from the city to the seaside resort is no longer an obstacle. But if you want to travel from Bayrischer Hof to Warnemünde, for example, you have to change trains twice to Rostock. It can be said that the more changes, the greater the risk – especially if there is a short time to change trains. Especially on routes that are heavily used by tourists, the trains can be very crowded during peak times, and delays can quickly accumulate because it takes longer to get on and off at the individual stops. The connecting train could then possibly be gone. When planning your trip, keep this in mind and, if in doubt, prefer trips with slightly longer transfer times. Or at least make sure you can still arrive with the following trains in case you should miss a train.
- Tip: The transfer times can be adjusted on the train booking page under the “Intermediate Stop” tab. For example, if you do not feel like stress and prefer a small time buffer, you can set “at least 30 minutes”. Connections with shorter transfer times do not even appear in the selection.
- Be careful on tourist routes during rush hour: Especially on routes to the coast or in local recreational areas, day tourists will need the weekend. To stay with the example of Berlin: the regional trains to the Baltic Sea sometimes burst at the seams in the morning. If you want to get on such a train with your suitcases, you might want to look down the drain. “On the most important tourist routes, the trains can be so crowded that you can not get on,” says Karl-Peter Naumann from the passenger association Pro Bahn. If you want to be on the safe side, it is better to avoid these routes during peak times, such as Saturday morning. This is especially true for people who want to take their bike on vacation.
What is the problem with the bikes?
By bike, long distances with regional trains through various associations are not without pitfalls. For many reasons:
- You may not be able to move on at all. Deutsche Bahn never gets tired of emphasizing that it can not always be guaranteed to take bikes. Specifically, she advises: Avoid riding a bike on holidays.
- A word of advice: In the travel information from Deutsche Bahn online and via the app, you can select the option “Show connections with available bicycle parking spaces”. Only trains on which the bicycle can be taken are displayed.
- Bringing a bike is not included in the 9 euro ticket. In some associations, bicycles can be taken for free at certain times, but they often cost extra. In North Rhine-Westphalia e.g. 4.80 euro pr. And if your own subscription includes taking your bike with you, it may no longer apply when you switch to the next transport association. You should check this in advance.
- An option for cyclists who ride through multiple networks and do not want to be caught in the tangle of individual fares: Bahn bike day passes. It is valid across the network and costs 6 euros for one day.
Are there pavement views for regional trains?
Many of the pitfalls already described could be avoided if one knew how crowded the regional trains would be. But while pavement views are common in long-distance traffic, they are only occasionally found in regional traffic, says railway expert Naumann.
This is because the possible capacity utilization there is often difficult to assess and at best based on empirical values due to the lack of specific booking data, while in ICE, IC and EC you can predict more precisely how full a train will be through sold tickets. and reservations. Although the coating views are also not always 100% reliable here.
What about children?
Children up to the age of six generally travel free of charge by train. Then they have to have their own ticket of 9 euros. In many associations, customers can take children up to the age of 14 or sometimes other adults for free at certain times with their subscription card – the benefit consists of the three months where the subscription only costs 9 euros. But only in your own association.
That’s why the NRW Consumer Counseling Center advises: Anyone traveling through multiple federal states should check if all passengers aged six and over should get their own 9-euro ticket.
Each association regulates this a little differently. In general, the size means according to Deutsche Bahn. If Bello is bigger than a domestic cat, he needs an extra ticket on many regional trains. You can not buy a ticket for 9 euros for your dog.
Small dogs and other small pets (up to the size of a domestic cat) can travel free of charge in closed containers (eg in a pet box).
What about the catering?
While most ICE trains have a bistro on board, which is not always open, but most of the time, regional trains only have snack machines on board – if at all. It is therefore a good idea to fill up with enough provisions before you travel.
Travelers should also not blindly trust what is offered at train stations during transfers. Small train stations in particular often have neither a supermarket nor a snack bar. “It should be possible to get something to drink at most train stations, but it’s sometimes harder to eat,” says Karl-Peter Naumann. The problem is: you can hardly figure it out in advance. Even on the station portal, “bahnhof.de”, there is often no specific information about the equipment of smaller stations.
How is the comfort of the train?
Unlike long-distance trains, seat reservations are generally not possible on regional trains. So one has to hope for a vacancy – especially for families with young children it can be uncomfortable to the fullest.
If you have a subscription card with first-class use, do not forget: it only applies in your own network. So if the train crosses the network boundary, it actually means: off to second class.
Yes. Especially on tourist routes, for example towards the coasts, some regional trains are also designed for large amounts of luggage, says Karl-Peter Naumann. According to the railway, however, the rule applies: Normally, a maximum of one load per load is allowed. passenger. So: One passenger – one suitcase. There is room for luggage in the racks and under or behind the seats, but not in the hallway.
Strollers can also be taken on the train. However, it can get cramped during peak hours. Deutsche Bahn therefore recommends bringing collapsible models and buggies with you, especially on holidays, weekends and public holidays.
Good to know when a regional train is about to burst at the seams: When it comes to taking a train, prams – as well as passengers with reduced mobility – have priority. The NRW Consumer Advice Center points this out.
Can I combine an ICE ticket and a 9-euro ticket?
To travel long distances with ICE or IC and travel small sections at the beginning and end of the journey with the 9-euro ticket – it is possible. For long-distance traffic, you must have a separate ticket.
It can e.g. pay for families: Most long-distance trains have family areas and compartments for small children, some of which also have a folding changing table. These seats can be secured with a family reservation. It costs 8 euros.
There is a special case in NRW: Here you can sometimes use ICE without an extra long distance ticket. We explain how it works here.
Despite the 9-euro ticket, Karl-Peter Naumann will as far as possible not travel by regional train: “I prefer to take ICE to avoid local transport,” says the Pro-Bahn honorary chairman. “I do not want to take crowded trains that are delayed and where the connection does not work.” When in doubt, Naumann accepts even longer distances.
From a tourist point of view, the 9-euro ticket is particularly interesting for day trips to destinations where there are good (that is: as direct as possible) connections. “For the longer holiday trip, it will probably primarily be used by bargain hunters,” reads his assessment.
There is nothing wrong with saving. And with the mentioned tips, you can get safely to your holiday destination – even for 9 euros.
Here is the picture gallery: Nine Euro Ticket – Discover the most beautiful destinations in Germany from Düsseldorf