I want to purchase a ticket from DB Bahn, but the train ticket can't be printed online. The estimated delivery time for the ticket is just past the day that I leave, and, additionally, I don't know if that estimated delivery time is for those who live in Germany or for anywhere abroad.

I was considering mailing it to a hostel, but I was worried it might be thrown out, lost, or properly handled.

What is the best course of action?

Update: Yes, of course I can always buy it at the station! But it costs 80 euros more!

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    Buy it at the station instead? – Relaxed Oct 12 '13 at 17:09
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    In the US the postal service offers "general delivery". You address mail to "Joe Bloggs, General Delivery, Anytown, XY 12345" and it is delivered to the Anytown post office and held there until you pick it up. Does anyone know if Deutsche Post has an equivalent? – Nate Eldredge Oct 12 '13 at 19:18
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    This would be called Postlagern or, internationally, “poste restante”. According to the website, it is only available at some post offices (not all of them) and kept for 14 days only. Could be another solution. – Relaxed Oct 12 '13 at 20:16

Your best option is to pre-book a hostel/hotel, then phone them and ask if they'll receive mail for you. Many will, perhaps they'll charge a few euros. Or phone first, then book. Failing that try going through a travel agent (in Germany) who will probably charge you less than the eighty euro extra.

Other options are to have someone get the ticket and FedEx/DHL it to a drop point where you are. This will work but is surprisingly expensive (and you'll likely have to pay to go to the office, unless it's in-town).

Or, just take printed evidence you bought the ticket (maybe also get someone to scan the ticket and send it to you), plead ignorance and hope for the best. You don't say where you're travelling so I'm not sure what's the worst case if you get fined. But even then you may be able to offer to send them the ticket later (I wouldn't recommend this, but if nothing else will work I think you'll get away with it 90% of the time -- it's not like you're trying to avoid the fares and most* staff will understand this).

(*most -- please don't hold me responsible if you get one of the few that will not)

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