If you have come this far, you are surely thinking about taking an Interrail. If you haven't dared because it seems complicated to you, or you don't know how to organize the trip, don't worry, in the following article we explain basic aspects that you should take into account before setting off.
1. What is INTERRAIL?
The interrail, for many an unknown; For others, a great friend, it is a special train ticket with which you can ride as many trains as you want during the days of its validity.
So that you understand what we are talking about, we recommend that you visit their website, where you will find all the necessary information to start planning your trip.
2. What pass should I buy?
There are multiple passes, the main differences are: the duration of the ticket, and the destinations you can go to.
As for destinations, we find global passes, with which you can go to all the destinations included in Interrail, and others with which you can only go to one country.
Regarding the duration, it also varies substantially, with passes ranging from three days to three months.
Furthermore, you have to keep in mind that when they tell us, for example, “five days in a month”, it means that of the entire month, you can choose five days, without having to be consecutive, to travel by train. If, on the other hand, it is a “three-month” pass, it will be valid for three consecutive months.
Therefore, the purchase of the pass depends on many factors, from the number of destinations you want to visit during the trip, to the days you can be away.
3. What destinations can I visit?
You can travel, without limitation, to any European destination. Additionally there are passes for Switzerland and Türkiye.
4. Is it necessary to start and/or end the trip in my country of origin?
This was one of our big doubts, and the answer is no. In no case do you have an obligation to start the trip, or end it in your own country of residence.
In fact, it is convenient to know that the Interrail pass only includes one train journey within your country of residence. And each trip with independent tickets is considered a journey.
For all this, it is possible that you are not even interested in using it. You must consider whether you have to buy additional trains to leave the country, or if the distance to your destination is too great and you prefer to purchase a pass to visit only one country.
5. How do you plan an Interrail trip?
You have to be clear that Interrail does not plan the trip. It is true that on their website you can find some of the most famous itineraries, and even some suggestions depending on the time of year in which you are going to travel.
But most of the work will be yours. On their website you can find an itinerary calculator, with which you can plan your trip.
And with the application “Rail planner”, you will have train schedules available at all times, and you can even make seat reservations from this application.
It is very useful during the trip, as it will allow you to make last-minute changes while making the most of your time.
Our advice is that you plan thinking about possible train delays, and the time needed to visit each city or town, because it is not the same to visit Rome, for which it is necessary to invest at least two days; than Bari, which being a smaller city, can be seen in a single day.
6. Can I travel with Interrail if I don't like backpacking?
Of course. Although it is true that in general it is more comfortable to travel with a backpack to be able to move more comfortably and quickly, if you prefer to travel in a more relaxed way it is possible.
Keep in mind that the shortest duration pass is three days, which can be enjoyed throughout an entire month, so it could be perfect for a relaxed two-week trip, in which you take the opportunity to visit three large cities.
7. How far in advance should I purchase my Interrail?
You have to keep in mind that the ticket is physically delivered by courier, so it is possible that delivery may take longer, taking between one and two weeks.
8. Are seat reservation fees included in the ticket?
No. It is important that you keep in mind that some European trains require a mandatory reservation (almost always high-speed trains and night trains). The reservation entails an additional expense ranging from 3 to 10 euros. So it is good to make an approximate itinerary of the trip we are going to make, and add to the cost of the Interrail the cost of the reservations we have to make.
9. Can I travel on any train in the country?
Not always. We clarify, Interrail allows you to travel on the trains with which they have an agreement, which implies that if there are private train lines in the country, they may not be included in the price of your Interrail.
How to identify which trains are not included? With the “Rail planner” application, which we have already mentioned previously. In this application, when you search for the routes you want to take, only the trains that are included in the Interrail ticket appear.
10. What happens if I have to travel by bus or ferry?
It is very possible that you will not be able to make all the journeys by train. No problem, check the Interrail website, since you have associated discounts with your pass. And not only in means of transport, also in hostels, and attractions in the destinations.