Interrailing is one of the most affordable ways to visit Europe with no restrictions on where and when you move from country to country. By simply ordering a ticket you are able to travel around participating countries with full control of where you visit, however, there are some tips to consider to make your trip much safer, affordable and fun!
It best to be aware of some other charges that can occur depending on where you visit. The interrail ticket you buy in advance is a set price which allows you to travel limitless times over a certain period of time, but this doesn’t account for booking fees. Some of the longer or overnight journeys will require that book in advance and pay a fee to reserve the spot, because some trains can be more popular due to the time of day they set off or arrive in another destination. The train service needs to put a charge in place to avoid people skipping the train and getting the next one. Some of the costs can be very low and not worth mentioning, but if you are considering a long-haul journey from Barcelona to Rome for example, you can expect a weighty sum in order to reserve your spot.
Although you have full control over where and when you travel to new cities, planning out your overall route will help you save time, and possibly money. Naturally, moving across countries can be a timely process, and you don’t want to make your train journeys longer than necessary, so planning the trip and where you want to visit that include the shortest travel distances will give you more time in each city. Obviously you can meet new people, and they might recommend places well enough for you to impulsively change your travel plans, just be sure to add it in where it works best rather than making it your next destination.
The days of using traveller’s cheques and carrying large amounts of cash are gone, and the safety of your funds needs to be a priority. You can now request a travel card that allows you to transfer money from your current account to the travel card using your phone. This means that you can transfer money to it daily or weekly and if it went missing, only a limited amount of money would be in jeopardy. You can withdraw cash or pay electronically with the card, and you normally receive a better conversion rate when compared to your current account, so there isn’t a valid reason not to have one while interrailing.
Europe is a big place, and you’re not likely to know everything about every city on your travels, so looking for recommendations from friends and online will give you more assurance of the goods and service you choose to buy in different cities. There can be situations where a hostel is overbooked, or an attraction isn’t open, so have a few places in mind so not to panic will help you enjoy your time in a city.
With all the organising that comes with travelling around Europe, the travelling time itself can be forgotten. Even the shortest journey will be around 2-4 hours on the train, and it’s best to have different avenues of entertainment to rely on to keep you from losing your mind. Not all trains around Europe have WiFi capabilities yet, so having a book, music and a tablet are the best accessories to take. Another tip is to bring a premium travelling pillow, if you plan to get some rest for the longer journeys a better-designed pillow will support your neck and let you feel well rested before you begin a day of exploring.
Naturally, having insurance for your holiday should be essential, especially with the amount of travel and hostel involved with interrailing. The interrail company will also offer you protection to protect your ticket, meaning that if it is lost or stolen during the trip, you will be compensated for any extra travel costs you have had to incur. If your travel insurance covers it then great, but it’s always best to check so you can avoid any stress while trying to enjoy your trip.
Richard Meadow is a freelance writer that has spent 4 years travelling after University. He’s been all around the world and learnt a lot about different cultures compared to his home in the UK. He enjoys reviewing travel accessories and city experiences online and if currently planning a trip to journey around Asia.