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I am planning some travel in the Netherlands by train and I found this ticket for groups which seems an intersting solution:

http://www.ns.nl/reizigers/producten/losse-kaartjes/groepsretour.html

It seems like a day ticket, but it's not very clear if you can return with the same ticket or if you need a new one.

How does this ticket work?

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1 Answer 1

Translating/summarizing from the page you linked to:

  1. You order the ticket online, everybody must go to the same destination, which you have to enter in the order form.
  2. You (the “group leader”) receive an email with a “coupon” code and explanations about how each group member can get their ticket.
  3. Each group member fills in a departure station (you can even come from different places and meet at the destination) and gets an e-ticket to print at home.

In Dutch “retour” means return so you can certainly go back to your point of origin with the same ticket but it's not a day ticket (i.e. you cannot travel freely on the whole network, unlike many German group tickets).

The main conditions are:

  • Travelling after 09:00 on weekdays or in the week-end (you can't use it during the morning rush hour)
  • Ordering online and printing the e-ticket (it can't be bought or redeemed at the station). This also means you need a Dutch debit card with iDeal, you can't pay by credit card.

Until now, it's a temporary offer, running until August 2014 for travels before October 2014 (I write “until now” because it's been extended once and I imagine it could become a permanent things or maybe a recurring offer).

Note that Dutch railway cards offer a somewhat unusual discount (at least compared to other countries I am familiar with): Under some conditions yearly card holders can take up to 3 other travellers with them with a 40% discount (it's called Samenreiskorting). So if you are travelling in a group with a Dutch resident, you might want to ask them about it, it can also be an easy way to save money.

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Note that there are more restrictions to the last paragraph about traveling together with others for 40% discount (not the "groepsretour" but the "samenreiskorting"). You have to make the same travel (same departure, same destination, same route). Also, not all discounted cards offer the same kind. The newer ones don't offer the discount in the evening rush hour either. Further there are multiple kinds of discounted cards, i.e. specifically for the weekends, or all time. See (Dutch): ns.nl/reizigers/producten/abonnementen –  Lode May 12 at 8:34
    
@Lode Thanks for the precisions, I edited the answer to reflect that. –  Relaxed May 12 at 8:45

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