The Benefits of the InterRail Pass and Top Ten Tips

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Here are a few of the benefits of the pass:

  • When you want flexibility because you can always change your plans and take the next train if you want to explore somewhere and stay a bit longer.
  • If you don’t want the hassle of having to buy tickets on-route.
  • When you want the peace of mind that if you miss a train you can simply take the next convenient one, at no additional cost.
  • When you want the freedom to meander around a country or the whole of Europe without a fixed timetable.
  • The pass can offer a major saving especially on long journeys and during high season.

Ten InterRailing Tips:

  1. InterRailPlanning pays off if you want a leisurely and comfortable trip, especially pre-booking at least the first nights accommodation at each destination.
  2. Download the handy InterRail planning app which works on iPhone and Android devices and is great for checking times and routes whilst travelling.
  3. InterRail have a good website for planning journeys and they can book necessary reservations for sleeper trains and high-speed routes.
  4. Use overnight trains to save on accommodation costs and minimise perceived travelling time, but there are supplements to pay.
  5. For short trips between destinations it may sometimes be sensible to take a bus or buy a local train ticket and save a rail pass travel day for longer journeys.
  6. Although you can usually take as much luggage as your like, its sensible to pack light and only take one wheeled bag/case to reduce transit hassle.
  7. Buy your favourite picnic food and drink for long journeys and skip the overpriced and usually poor fare from the snack trolley.
  8. Whatever it is that you enjoy at home for relaxation - reading, music, games, films - take some with you for long journeys or station waits
  9. You can reserve seats at any station on your day of travel, but during high season (June-September) reserve seats as far in advance as possible if you need to travel on a specific train - especially French TGV, Thalys and sleeper trains.
  10. The InterRail website has an option to search timetables to find which trains do not need a reservation.

•  Read my blog about my journey around Europe by InterRail

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Other Members' Thoughts - 6 Comment(s)

  • GeminiJen
    about 5 years ago
    Many thanks, Peter, for such an interesting and informative blog.
    So many useful tips too.
    Last time I went inter railing I was a student, living in Germany for a year and travelling extensively throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France. Happy days!
    That was 50 years ago....Time to give it a go again....?!
    Having grown weary of airports, queues, delays, security etc. I had just begun to consider alternatives, so your blog has come at just the right time.
    Hope you don't mind if I do a cut and paste to keep as a reference?
    Thanks again
    Jennifer.
  • peterlynch
    about 5 years ago
    Now that the busy summer period is over, this is a great time to travel around Europe - the crowds are gone & reservations are not so vital. If you've got the time, avoid the high-speed networks (TGV, Thalys & ICE) & opt for traditional express & regional trains, then you don't have to bother about reservations at all. InterRail give you a detailed map (view it on their website) of European rail routes so you can just turn up at the station & board any express or regional train to your next destination.
  • tallrose
    about 5 years ago
    Many thanks. Your offer is a welcome incentive.
  • Silver-Travel-Advisor
    about 5 years ago
    We're happy to read that Peter's article has inspired you for future rail travels! If you need any assistance on how to make the reservations, do send us an email at [email protected] and we'd be delighted to help.
  • tallrose
    about 5 years ago
    I love the idea of travelling around by rail. But consider myself a novice independent traveller and the whole idea feels a bit nerve wracking - I know I must sound a right idiot and having recently retired after 39 years from a responsible professional job I should be able to make all the right reservations. I think it is about time I made this happen.
  • Jenny-Lunn
    about 5 years ago
    What a good idea! I always thought Inter Railing was for students and young people - however I do consider myself to be young at heart - if not in body!. I have always enjoyed train travel, and my first trip abroad (when I was 12) was heightened by a very exciting train journey from London to Montreux in Switzerland. I can remember it in minute detail although it was over 50 years ago! In fact I can remember the journey as clearly as I remember a bus journey in my home town only last week! Such is the impression it made on me.

    Now that plane travel is becoming more and more stressful, train travel becomes more and more of an attractive option, and I will definitely consider Inter Railing the next time I travel to Europe.