The German Rail known as the Deutche Bahn was an amazing experience for our family. We have rode the Bahn before such as to Paris, France and to Trier and Saarbrücken in Germany. Though none of those were as lengthy as our train ride to Tropical Islands this past weekend. I decided to take the train since I just did not feel like driving. The drive would have been a good 6-8 hours from Kaiserslautern with lots of stops. Taking the train was in my opinion a much easier option for our family. We did not have to stop to refuel, eat, and have potty breaks. We were able to do everything on the train.
My children, my friend, Sara (unfortunately my husband was not able to tag along), and I started out in Kaiserslautern at 5:15 am in the morning. Arrived punctually in Mannheim around 6:45 and our train to Berlin was already waiting. Unfortunately we arrived late to Berlin and missed our connection to Tropical Islands so we had to wait another hour for the next train. We arrived to Tropical Islands at 13:30-ish.
Arriving in Mannheim, we noticed that our train had already arrived so were able to get on, find our compartment, get our luggage situated and relax. Having the compartment was certainly the way to travel! My kids really enjoyed the experience as well. They did not have to be super quiet since we were the only ones in there. The upgrade to the compartment was only 9€ each way!! So if you are travelling as a group or as a family I HIGHLY recommend upgrading! For families, be sure to select the Family Compartment during booking. Our compartment had 6 seats, a table, plenty of space for storage PLUS you can control the climate and turn off the lights! Please keep mind that this compartment is NOT for regional trains and are only on the ICE trains. There are some trains that have sleeper cars as well for travelling overnight. The price of our tickets was 87€.
We booked our train tickets a little over a week in advance. Purchasing a Bahn25 card, which will take 25% off the price of your ticket, is also recommend. The great thing about train travel is that you are not limited in what you can and can not bring on board. You can bring food, but if you do not bring any there is a small bistro on board. Even though there was plenty of storage space, if travelling with children, less is more. Unfortunately even though we packed light, children whom were gifted new suitcases for Christmas wanted to bring theirs on the trip. So lugging 4 suitcases and 5 backpacks around everywhere was not ideal.
A Few Recommendations:
I wish I would have researched more was about if train stations being open from 1:00 am-4:00 am, which I thought they would be open 24 hours (they are not). Unfortunately the train station in Mannheim is closed during this time which was horrible. We had to sit in the cold for 2 1/2 hours. So for future reference, we will not be doing that again! I will be driving and parking in Mannheim.
Make sure you have your wallet before you leave the house (oops!) and also make sure you download the Bahn app! It is awesome!
Look for the suitcase/key sign at train stations too! We stored ALL of our luggage on our way back home for only 5€ for just under 5 hours! Which was great! We didn’t have to lug it all around Berlin!
Would you like to read more of our weekend trip to Tropical Islands? READ MORE HERE! (The hyperlink has not been set up! Please give us a moment to link! Thank you!
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