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Under 30? Here are the young person rail discounts available in Europe

There are plenty of student and young person rail discounts to take advantage of in Europe.
There are plenty of student and young person rail discounts to take advantage of in Europe. Copyright Sara Groblechner
Copyright Sara Groblechner
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
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There are plenty of student and young person rail discounts to take advantage of in Europe.

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Rail travel is fast becoming the method of transport of choice for travellers looking for low-cost, sustainable options.

This summer has seen the launch of monthly passes and offers on train tickets in several European countries including Germany, Portugal and France.

Young people are particularly keen on taking the train according to a report by EY Future Travel Behaviours, which analyses travel trends of Italians and Europeans.

There are plenty of student and young person rail discounts to take advantage of in Europe. Here’s how to save money when taking the train.

What rail discounts are available for young people in Italy?

Trains are the preferred means of transport in Italy particularly for Generation Z, according to the EY travel trend report.

Trenitalia, the country’s leading rail operator, has a variety of reductions for young travellers.

The ‘Young’ discount offers up to 70 per cent off tickets on Intercity and Intercity night trains and on the high-speed Frecciabianca. To qualify for the concession, you must be under 30 years old.

You also need to be signed up for the CartaFreccia loyalty programme for Freccia, Eurocity and Euronight trains or the new X-Go programme for Regional and Intercity trains where points can be converted into cash back for future trips.

On the high-speed Frecciarossa and Frecciargento services, those under 30 can take advantage of the FrecciaYoung offer.

This caps standard and second-class ticket prices at €19 or €29, depending on the line. The discount is valid for travellers with a CartaFreccia.

Young travellers aged between 12 and 26 can also purchase a Carta Verde. It costs €40 a year and entitles holders to a 10 per cent reduction on any type of basic first or second-class ticket, including couchettes and sleeping berths on night trains.

Students can obtain a Carta dello Studente, known as the IoStudio card, from the Italian Ministry of Education. This gives you a 20 per cent discount on first or second-class tickets on Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca, Intercity and Intercity night trains.

What rail discounts are available for young people in France?

SNCF, France's national state-owned railway company, offers a youth card for travellers aged between 12 and 27. The Carte Jeune costs €50 and entitles young people to discounts on TGV, TER and Intercité trains.

When you book any TGV and Intercité train, you receive a guaranteed 30 per cent discount. There is an added 10 per cent discount on ‘Prem’s’ or early bird tickets which are available up to four months before the train’s departure.

There is also a 25 per cent discount on lines between France and Spain, Luxembourg and Germany as well as the TGV Paris-Freiburg im Breisgau, Lyria trains and TGV France-Italy.

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Travellers between 16 and 27 years of age can purchase a TGVMAX card for €79 a month which allows unlimited travel on TGV and Intercité trains.

In Paris, those under 26 and students can get the Carte Imagine R card, which is valid for one year, for travel in the entire Paris Region (Île-de-France).

It costs €342, payable once or over 9 instalments, plus an €8 administration fee.

What rail discounts are available for young people in Germany?

Non-European citizens travelling in Germany can purchase a German Rail Pass for unlimited journeys on all scheduled trains operated by DB Bahn, high-speed ICE trains included.

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You must be between 12 and 27 years of age to be eligible. You can purchase the pass for 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 or 15 consecutive days.

For any traveller between 6 and 18 years old, the Youth BahnCard 25 entitles you to 25 per cent discounts on flexible and saver fares within Germany and costs €12.

Those aged 26 and under can purchase a My BahnCard from €36.90 a year which gives 25 per cent and 50 per cent discounts on flexible and saver fares within Germany.

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