A Beginner’s Guide To Interrail! πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΊπŸš†

Quite a few people have seen that I travelled around Europe at the end of August/beginning of September and have asked how I did it. So I thought there’s no better place than compiling everything in one place!

So you may ask… How did I travel to 5 countries?

Earlier this year, I applied for an Interrail pass through #DiscoverEU to travel in the summer. With only 15,000 given out across Europe from all applicants, I never thought I would be one of the lucky ones! When applying, I had to fill in some questions, along with some personal details and there’s a requirement that you are 18 too.

You’re probably also thinking… What is Interrail?

It’s an easy and cheaper way to explore multiple counties in the European continent by train, to put it most simply. Every time you have to fill it out on your travel diary – it has to be correct first time you write it in otherwise, it is invalid.

There are a couple different types of passes to suit your trip; global, one country and the premium pass. Depending on the type, you may only be able to travel in only one specific country of your choice or it can be unlimited travel of 30 European countries in a specific period of time.

These include: France, Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey.

So… where did I go with Interrail?

I visited:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark πŸ‡©πŸ‡°
  2. Hamburg, Germany πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ
  3. Budapest, Hungary πŸ‡­πŸ‡Ί
  4. Prague, Czech Republic πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ώ
  5. Brussels, Belgium πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺ

If you want to find out where I stayed and what attractions I saw during my trip, then keep a lookout as I’ll be posting about these five places soon!

and… Where did I stay?

I stayed in hostels during my trip and honestly it’s a great way to meet other people doing the same thing as you. I’d recommend booking these in advance as the popular ones can get sold out quickly, and when doing so, booking through a trusted site like Hostelworld or the actual site, so you know you’re protected. However, there are people who just ‘wing it’ and hope for the best, but that wouldn’t be my preferred option as I like to be organised and prepared.

Quick question… Do I have to reserve my trains?

The answer will be yes if it says you need a mandatory reservation, this happens more on night trains and if it is a popular route for travellers and commuters. Most of these are easy to book and you can do so cheaper via sites like OBB which let you reserve just a seat. Some of which can be as little as 3 euros.

I hear you say… What’s the best way to plan my trip?

You can look at all the trains online or through an app on your phone called Rail Planner on iOS and Android. This will show you all the trains with timings and connections. It is handy to know that once downloaded it can be available offline as well.

It’s good to bear in mind that you can’t use the pass in your own country other than on the first and last day of your trip! Also, remember that your InterRail pass is personal and cannot be used by anyone else, only you can use it and you may have to prove you’re you. So make sure you keep your passport safe and in reach in case you need to show it to the conductor on board the train(s).

So… How can I go interrailing?

If you’re 18 years of age, you can apply for a free Interrail pass through #DiscoverEU here!

If not, passes are available to buy on the Interrail website and it will be delivered to you in the post. My tip would be to order it in advance, to make sure the travel document you need arrives before you start. It is likely that you will have the ability to track your pass in the post, so that may be helpful for you!

I’ve been asked would I do it again?

YES! I think I’ve caught the travel bug and I can’t wait to plan my next adventure in Europe when I have some time and money (student here πŸ˜‰ )

In the future…
The scheme is aiming to get interrail passes for young people in the continent, allowing them the experience to travel and explore different places around Europe. They want everyone to feel truly European, as the European Union prides itself through culture and national identity. So you could be the lucky one! Good luck all!

Have you been interrailing or done something similar? Where would you like to go in Europe?

Until next time,

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