Considering Going Interrailing? Here's 8 Things To Know
Interrailing is a rite of passage for many young people in the UK and across Europe.
The appeal of travelling around different European countries, partying in hostels, meeting people from all walks of life, making memories in tons of new places, as well as saving money by travelling on trains rather than catching flights, who wouldn’t want to experience it?
Since the interrail pass was introduced in 1972 more than 600,000 Passes are sold to European and non-European residents every year. These days, interrailing is still hugely popular, especially amongst young students due to the convenience and flexibility it offers.
If you’re wanting to head off on an adventure of a lifetime and see Europe on a budget, carry on reading for all the things you need to know before your trip.
We’ll also be focusing on the different Interrail Passes which are available so you can get yours booked.
What Is An Interrail Pass?
There are a few different types of interrail passes but the most common is The Interrail Global Pass which is a train pass which European citizens of any age can make use of.
The Interrail Global Pass offers an exciting and affordable way to travel around Europe with over 40,000 destinations in 33 countries available to explore.
There are tons of different variations of the Global Pass depending on the time frame you want to travel for, so ticket prices do vary.
You can find out more and discover what countries you can travel to by heading over to the interrail website.
If you’re wanting to travel around just one European country, then you may want to look into The Interrail One Country Pass which offers unlimited train access within one particular destination.
You can choose from 30 different countries like Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Norway and so forth, depending on where your dream destination is!
Again, there are different variations of this ticket and prices depend on the time frame you’re wanting to travel for, you can find out more on the Official Interrail Site.
If you’re stuck with which pass to choose, go for the one that suits your itinerary and budget better.
Regardless of which Interrail Pass you go for, you can get on and off as many European trains as you like simply by showing the pass on your phone.
Forget about having to buy plane tickets and wait around in an airport, with an Interrail Pass it’s never been easier to explore all your must-see destinations!
Things You Should Know
Now you know a bit more about the different passes which are available to European citizens, read our interrailing guide for all the things you should know before heading off on your travel journey!
1. Book Accommodation In Advance
To make the most of your Interrail trip we’d suggest doing your research in advance and making sure to plan your accommodation so you know where you’re going to stay each night.
You could just arrive at your destination and find somewhere but this will add more stress to your trip and you’ll end up having to pay more due to booking last minute.
In some cases especially within popular destinations during the summer, there may not be any accommodation available.
It’s worth looking at stays which offer free cancellation so if your plans change, you have that flexibility.
Even if you don’t book accommodation in every destination, it’s worth having a vague idea of where you’re going to rest up for the night so you’re not wandering around aimlessly.
2. Plan Where You Want To Travel To
Our next tip to remember if you’re considering going interrailing is to make sure you plan where you want to travel to.
Interrailing is all about adventure and we know that plans change when travelling, you may meet new people and head to different destinations than planned, and that’s the fun of it.
However, it’s worth creating a rough itinerary so you can determine the duration of your trip as well as the countries which you definitely want to visit.
It’s worth planning which country you want to head to first so you can plan your outbound journey.
It’s important to be realistic with your travelling too especially if you’re choosing to travel all across Europe.
You may want to travel to as many countries as you can, but you may spend more time on trains than actually exploring the destinations!
3. Don’t Forget About Seat Reservations
Most trains you can hop on and hop off using your handy Interrail Pass and they don’t require you to book a seat reservation, but this is not the case for all train journeys.
Some trains require compulsory seat reservations at an additional cost like high-speed and night trains so, it’s always worth doing your research and checking.
Even if it’s not compulsory to book a seat on all trains across Europe, you’re guaranteed a place to sit and you can make use of power sockets, sleeping facilities and so forth.
There’s nothing worse than having to stand around with loads of luggage!
To save yourself some money on seat reservations, regional trains are a good alternative but they do tend to take longer than high-speed trains.
You will have to book a reservation for a sleeper train, but it’s worth it as you should get a sheet, blanket and pillow which makes long distance travel that much better.
4. Download The Rail Planner App
There’s plenty of useful apps out there to make your travel experience that little bit easier, but the best for interrailers travel is the Rail Planner app.
Ensure your adventure is organised and stress-free by downloading the app before you go.
It’s free to download and provides tons of helpful features like being able to look up train times offline, book seat reservations, find out which trains need a reservation, as well as search for trains which you can use your Interrail pass on.
Not to mention, you can even get some extra perks with the app like discounts and benefits on ferries, buses and attractions.
Once you’ve set up the app you don’t even need an internet connection to use it, which is super handy if you don’t want to use up all of your precious data when abroad.
5. Be Prepared For Things To Go Wrong
No matter how organised you are, there’s just some things which are out of your control when travelling so it’s important to prepare yourself for things to go wrong.
There could be train delays, cancellations or disruptions which affect your routes across Europe.
It’s not just train services which could impact your trip, you could get to a country and realise it’s vastly more expensive than you anticipated, or a lot busier than you imagined making it harder to get about and explore.
Before you go, prepare yourself for things to differ from what you had planned.
This way, you’ll go in with the mindset that these things happen, and you’ll be less stressed if you do encounter any big changes in your plans.
6. Stay Safe
We cannot stress enough just how important it is to make your safety a priority when travelling across Europe, especially if you’re a solo traveller.
A few ways you can stay safe whilst interrailing is by keeping in contact with your family and friends and letting them know where you are.
You’re bound to make friends when travelling, especially if you stay in hostels, so you could buddy up and travel to some of the same places.
We’d also suggest being cautious with your belongings as pickpockets are fairly commonplace in Europe.
Investing in a bag lock is a good idea too, as well as being aware of the common scams in the destination you’re headed to.
It’s always worth buying travel insurance before your travel experience too in case of any emergencies.
This means you’ll be covered in medical emergencies, your favourite tech will be covered if they’re stolen and you’ll have a bit more peace of mind on your trip!
7. Pack Light
Our next interrailing tip is to make sure to pack light as you’ll be carrying your luggage around with you from each destination.
We’d suggest only bringing the essentials and opting for a backpack rather than a suitcase as they’re much easier to easily transport everything you’ll need – make sure to get a padlock!
Don’t forget to pack your travel essentials and keep them safe and secure like your important documents such as your passport, driving licence, bank card as well as any medication you’re prescribed, a first aid kit, and a universal adapter.
Not only is it important to pack light but it’s also vital to ensure you bring along comfortable clothing as you’re going to be travelling for long periods of time on trains.
8. Have Fun
Whilst interrailing you’ll have different cultural experiences in every destination, immerse yourself in new things, meet people from all over the world and re-discover yourself all whilst making everlasting memories.
Make sure to have fun and make the most of the experience, it may be the first of many but it’s still worth loving every second of your travel experience.
We haven’t even told you the best part, you can even get 25% off the price of an adult Global Pass if you’re below 27 years old. So, go out there and get booking your interrail experience, Europe is your oyster!
That’s it from us on interrailing tips, we hope these have been useful if you’re considering heading off for an adventure you’ll never forget this summer. We hope you have an enjoyable trip!