German railpass validating stamp
If you buy point-to-point tickets, this supplement is included in the full price, but sometimes it’s printed on a separate ticket.
If so, validate both tickets (usually you do this by stamping the tickets in a little box at the beginning of each track).
For average travel times by rail between the destinations in this book, see the appendix.
Shady consolidators can go out of business overnight (make sure you pay by credit card for insurance), they have a higher rate of cancellation, and many of the airlines (often Middle Eastern and Asian carriers) follow lower safety standards than major U. By keeping their overhead down — electronic ticketing (often via Web sites exclusively, no phone calls allowed), no meal service, and using either major cities’ secondary airports or flying from smaller cities — these airlines are able to offer amazingly low fares.
In fact, one of the biggest, Ryanair ( frequently runs promotions during which it gives away tickets for free (though taxes bring the total to around ). The system is still evolving, with new players appearing every year and a few failing or, more commonly, being gobbled up by the growing competition.
Making reservations Some of the speediest high-speed trains require reservations, including Eurostar (the Channel Tunnel train), TGV in France, Pendolino in Italy, and long-distance trains in Spain.
You must reserve ahead of time, for a fee, any train marked with an R on the schedule — usually around , but the price can reach beyond if you include a meal.
Another site, applefares.com, will do a pricing metasearch of some two dozen low-cost European airlines, includ- ing some — but not all — of those listed above, plus some other, smaller ones.