How does a train go?

Rail travel for beginners

Do you usually not take the train in everyday life? Do you like to leave your car behind on excursions or on vacation and use public transport? Offers, bookings and processes for a train journey are sometimes a bit confusing, especially for unfamiliar train drivers. So that you have an overview right from the start, we have put together the most important tips for you about traveling by train:

1. Book where it is most convenient for you.

You can book a ticket in different ways. Either directly on site in the travel center or at a ticket machine as well as online at bahn.de and in the DB Navigator app (free of charge in the app stores). If you bought your ticket online or in the DB Navigator, you will need to identify yourself when you are checked on the train. Your identity card is sufficient for this. If you have a BahnCard and specified it when booking, you must also carry it with you.
Please note: For day and multi-trip tickets that you have bought from the machine, it is sometimes necessary to validate them before departure.

When booking, you have the choice between a saver fare, super saver fare and a flex fare ticket, depending on the allotment. The option you choose will depend on your preferences and the circumstances of your trip. If you want to stay flexible in terms of time and, if necessary, take a later or earlier train, opt for the flex price. If it is important to you to travel cheaply and you already know exactly when you want to travel, you can choose the saver fare. You can find more information on this in our article on Sparpreis, Super Sparpreis and Flexpreis.

Above all, is a cheap offer important to you and you can choose the time of your trip flexibly? Then try the best price search on bahn.de and in the DB Navigator. There you will find various offers on the selected day so that you can compare directly and book the best offer for you.

2. Reserve the seat that is best for you.

If you want a guaranteed seat during your trip, you can book this when you buy your ticket. If you book your ticket online or in the DB Navigator, you can even choose where you want to sit during your trip. Did you only decide after booking that you would like a seat? No problem, you can still book a seat afterwards, regardless of the ticket. When booking a seat, click on “Select seats” (when booking via bahn.de) or “Show seats” (when booking in the DB Navigator), then you will be shown an overview of the seats that are still available on the train.

3. Travel as a group and benefit from special offers.

Would you like to go on a day or weekend trip and are only traveling in one state? There are special country tickets for numerous areas with which you can save money and use several means of transport at the same time. We have put together an overview for you in our article on country tickets.
For example, if you are traveling with your club or your colleagues and are planning an excursion as a group, you can use our offers for groups.

4. Always be informed during your trip.

If you buy a digital ticket, you can either do so directly via the app or you can then load it into the DB Navigator, so you don't have to print it out. But even if you don't want to save your ticket in the navigator, it's worth downloading the app before you travel. This means that you have an overview of your connection at all times before and during the train journey and see immediately if there are any changes to your connection.
With the notifications for the trip, you can also conveniently be informed by e-mail or push message if there is a delay on your connection.

5. Stand in the right place at the train station.

Are you on the platform in good time before departure, have you reserved a seat and would like to be in the right place so that you don't have to walk across the train to your seat? No problem. At the train station you will find the car status indicator, an overview board with which you can see which section your car is in. So you can position yourself correctly before the train arrives.

Sometimes, however, due to technical processes, the order of the cars may differ from the display at the train station. If you have installed the DB Navigator on your smartphone, you will get a real-time display there (only applies to the start and end stations and only for ICE trains). We have summarized exactly how this works for you.

6. Make sure that your children don't get bored on the go.

Would you like to travel with the whole family? We have a range of services that are designed to make your train journey as pleasant as possible. A special advantage: children under 15 even travel free of charge when accompanied by their parents or grandparents. So that you don't have to worry about disturbing other passengers on the way, there are special compartments and areas such as the toddler compartment / area or the family area, which you can book directly when buying a ticket.

Would you like to send your child on a trip alone, but would like to leave them in trustworthy care? No problem, there is the “Kids on Tour” service, where your children are safely accompanied by trained staff from the station mission.

7. Just take your pet with you on your trip.

Even if you travel by train, you do not have to go without your pet. Small pets can even be taken along free of charge in a transport box. Larger dogs need a leash and muzzle. You can find out what to consider before driving in our article on traveling with pets.

8. Pass the time on the go with free WiFi and movies.

Traveling through Germany by train and surfing the Internet at the same time, that's possible with the ICE. Simply log into our free WiFi while you are on the move. We explain how this works step by step in an article.
If you are more into entertainment on your journey, you can stream free films and series, read newspapers and magazines, or pass the time with small games on the ICE Portal. You will also find current information on your trip in the ICE portal. We have put together a small overview for you of what you can expect in the ICE Portal.

9. Have your luggage delivered to your holiday destination.

Would you like to take the train on vacation, but not carry your luggage or, for example, your ski equipment with you? We have the DB luggage service on offer for this. This allows you to conveniently check in your luggage at home and have it delivered to your holiday destination. You can find out exactly how this works on the DB luggage service website.

10. Know in advance what to do in the event of a fault.

If your train is delayed or canceled, you may be entitled to a refund. What you can do if the worst comes to the worst, you can find out clearly and bundled in our overview.

If you want to buy your ticket at the machine and it is broken but no one else can be reached, you can still travel with you. There are a few things to keep in mind, however. In our article on defective ticket machines we give you an overview.


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