Interrailing Around Europe
The interrail is a unique way to travel around the continent of Europe, it’s a train pass that allows you to travel using almost all trains in Europe which allows you to see the entire continent using just one method of transport. The pass covers 33 countries giving you the availability to choose between 30,00 different destinations by simply showing your pass on your phone and hopping on the train. The interrail can be a more cost-effective and efficient way to travel for someone who wants to experience a lot and see numerous different locations.
There are a variety of ways to use the pass as well as different pass options, passes differ depending on the duration of the trip you want and the number of countries you want to visit. The passes go from travelling for just a couple of days up to 3 months and from travelling around one country in Europe with the one-country pass or up to 33 countries with the global pass. The passes also come in 1st class options and 2nd class options, and these differences also affect the cost.
The different passes mean you can tailor your trip to what you want and ensure you see everything you want to see with the flexibility it allows. Some passes allow you to travel unlimited for the full month or you can choose a pass that has a set number of travel days within a time frame, such as 15 travel days within 2 months or 7 travel days within 1 month. Having a mobile pass allows for even more flexibility by allowing you to start travelling anytime in 11 months once you have purchased your ticket.
Having unlimited train rides available to you means you can see the country you are visiting as you prefer and see every detail that excites you. On the Interrail website, there are many guides and trip ideas to look at which are specific to the type of trips people might be looking for. Such as a trip tailored to the French cuisine in France or the trains that take you around one country to see all its famous landmarks and attractions.
Interrailing can be a more cost-effective way to see so many destinations in one trip, with the variety of passes it means you can choose one in your price range, and it means you don’t have to pay for public transport or rent a car. As well as this, if you spend some nights on a night train it will also mean you don’t have to pay for somewhere to rest for some nights of your trip. The average price for a hostel in a city in Europe is between 10 to 45 Euros whereas the average price for a seat on a night train is 20 Euros. The convenience of being able to buy your interrail pass and having 11 months to use it also allows you to buy in advance and helps you save money for your trip and any other expenses, which is great for people who are travelling on a budget.
Also, there is a youth discount for people aged between 12 and 27 which gives them a 25% discount on their pass and a senior discount for people aged above 60 which gives them a 10% discount. Meaning interrail could also be a more cost-effective option for students on a gap year or people in retirement.
In addition to this, having an Interrail pass also gives you some extra discounts and benefits on other travel essentials, such as bike rentals, food and drink discounts and attractions. This added bonus will also help save you money on any extra activities and things you might like to do whilst in a country. The Interrail website will show you the discounts and offers you can get if you use their trip planner and add the countries you are going to visit.
Interrail is beneficial in saving you money, but it can also help reduce the stress associated with travelling on other modes of transport. It eliminates having to sit in traffic on the roads and paying for petrol or charging your vehicle if you travel by car and eliminates waiting around in airports and going through passport and luggage control if you are travelling by air.
Not only does using rail transport save us emotional pressure but could also save pressure on the planet, helping to save the beautiful scenery and nature that we travel to see as travelling by train is an eco-friendlier way. Globally travel accounts for around a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions, a 2018 survey showed that rail travel was the lowest carbon dioxide polluter from all forms of transport and travelling by plane and car was the highest.
Rail travel and associated companies also boost the economy of the countries you will be visiting as they employ millions of people and generate money into the economy, the EU rail sector generates 66 million Euros in gross value, another way rail transport is helping to maintain the amazing destinations we travel to.
Most trains that the interrail pass covers don’t need a reservation, meaning no extra cost and allows for you to have a flexible trip not working around to train timetables. On the other hand, they are needed for high-speed trains and some night trains. These trains will mean you can travel around the continent faster and whilst you are sleeping at night so you can make the most of your days exploring and not worry about booking accommodation at hotels and hostels on the dates you are traveling.
Considering seat reservations will depend on your budget as well as what you prioritise, as travelling throughout the day will mean you are spending more of the day on the train and will have to look for other accommodation to sleep at night but also means avoiding the extra cost and seeing the scenery as you travel. For the high-speed trains, the average price for seat reservations is around 10 Euros and for the night trains, the average price is 20 Euros.
Top tips for interrailing:
- Pack as lightly as possible, you will be carrying around your luggage a lot of the time so only take the essentials.
- Book your accommodation in advance, this will reduce the anxiety and stress of trying to find where you are sleeping when you get there and will mean you can relax and enjoy and each destination.
- Many interrail pass companies will also have a rail planner available to help organise your trip and book any reservations that are needed, using this will make your journeys easier.
- Ensure you know the currency for each country you are visiting, as not all countries use Euros.
- A helpful skill can be to know a little of each language of the countries you are visiting, even just simple common words will help.
Is it worth it?
I think if you want to see as many countries and destinations as possible in your time travelling around Europe, it is worth it! It is a flexible way of travelling that allows you to see as much of the continent as you want to and really personalise your trip making it truly unique.
So, I think if you’re looking for an adventure, I would definitely recommend it!
Written by Mia Lorriman