Travelling Europe with Interrail has been one of my most memorable travel memories to date. I completed a 12 day route visiting some absolute European hot spots and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this to all of you guys. This being said the planning that went into making this trip the best it could be was key. From my experience I’m going to share how to plan the perfect Interrail trip including some important things to do prior to hitting the trains. If you’re wanting to use the Interrail, you’re in the right place!
How To Plan The Perfect Interrail Trip – Choosing Your Ticket.
The type of ticket you use will be determined by several different factors. First of all you need to establish the duration of your trip. I personally travelled Europe for 12 days but you can get tickets that will cover you for up to a month! Once you have decided this you then need to think about how many travel days you’ll need. My ticket was continuous. If I didn’t quite like a certain place I could shoot off the following morning with no worries. If however you have a set plan and you know how long you will spend in each location, get a ticket with a set number of travel days. Example being 5 travel days within a 15 day trip. This will work out cheaper! The last thing to consider is your age. 12 – 27 is classed as youth and you will get a slight discount. There are also adult, child and senior options. Travel has no age limit!
How To Plan The Perfect Interrail Trip – Using Your Ticket.
Once you have your ticket it’s not just a case of chucking it into your rucksack and then getting on with the travel. You do have to use it! Along with your ticket you’ll get a travel diary. This includes all of your personal information, the dates of your inbound and outbound travel (if done via train) and every other journey in between. You need to fill this diary out before each trip you make and show it to the staff on the trains. If you forget to do so you could get a fine! If you do so much travel that you need more space you can just download more sheets from the Interrail website. Once your trip is finished you can also send off your completed diary to interrail and receive a free gift for doing so!
How To Plan Your Interrail Trip – Planning Your Trip.
Planning your Interrail trip has to be one of the most fun parts of the whole adventure. Other than the travelling itself of course! For this you are in total control. Choose how many countries you want to visit and how long you would like to spend in each. By doing some reasearch on each location you will have a good idea on how long you would like to spend there. This will then let you figure out how many travel days and night trains you may wish to use. By this point your route will start to form and once it becomes more solidified you can start to look at accommodation for each city you visit. The last thing you can then plan is your budget. Break it down in to food, accommodation and general travel experiences. If you really want to save the pennies then tightening up on this is a simple solution.
How To Plan The Perfect Interrail Trip – Booking Your Seat Reservations.
Booking your seat reservations is extremely important! Make sure you give yourself good time to do this before you set off, especially if you are travelling in a busy time of year. I got caught out by not being able to book some seats as I was too late! This meant a few journeys sat uncomfortably on the floor in between carriages. All part of the experience right?! Not all trains will require reservations but for those that do it will make the journey a whole lot more comfortable. Also by booking your reservations it will kind of solidify your route a little as you will have set arrival and departure times to make.
Booking is very simple. Simply use the rail planner app to find your trains, see if a compulsory reservation is required and if you need to make any changes. Once you have the correct one for your journey you can book them easily online. I did this via the Interrail website and it took no time at all! Keep your confirmations handy when they come through!
How To Plan The Perfect Interrail Trip – Using Night Trains.
Using night trains during your Interrail trip is a good thing to do! If done correctly you will only use one travel day. Basically you must depart after 7pm and arrive at the final destination after 4am. This is useful for those with a set amount of travel days and alongside saving on these you will also obviously cut the costs on accommodation. You do have to pay a small fee to reserve your bed but from my experience this was a lot cheaper than a second night in Milan! The last reason to mention is that it just adds to your overall experience! Your Interrail trip will likely include tonnes of new experiences so why not pop this on the list!
Now there are a few things to mention about night trains. Bank on at least one person snoring, take ear plugs if you will struggle with this. Be prepared for a very small bed and not a lot of space. Get ready to sleep fully clothed and at some point be ready for someone to come and collect your passport. This is normal!
How To Plan The Perfect Interrail Trip – Packing Your Bags.
Your bag will be your best friend on your Interrail trip as it will likely contain everything! To start with, the bag I personally used and recommend is the North Face base camp duffel bag (large) It was so perfect for the 12 days and I could squeeze in everything I needed. The bag has plenty of sections to separate of all of your luggage and with shoulders straps and side carry straps it’s easy to get around even with a heavy load. On top of clothes, documents and all of the other daily necessities, I took my camera gear. This was pretty important for me as I was forming a 5 part blog series so needed the photography content! I have a post already on my travel camera gear so check that out. With all of the above in your bag, something you need that is often overlooked is travel insurance! The last thing you want is to lose or have something stolen and not be covered!
How To Plan The Perfect Interrail Trip – Being Flexible.
Being flexible is one of the most important things to remember on your trip. There’s a big chance that you won’t fall in love with every single place you visit. Somewhere might not live up to its expectations but that’s ok! You are creating your own story. If you need to change your plan then do so. I found myself at the train station before the sun had even risen ready to leave a day early from somewhere. This wasn’t in my original plan but it was part of my overall Interrail story. In hindsight it was also a great decision to do this as it left me with an extra day that I made use of later in my trip! There are plenty of trains to jump on so make good use of all the options you have and create an epic adventure!
I hope all of the above pointers give you a good insight into how you can plan your own Interrail adventure! I’ll certainly be doing it again at some point and can’t wait to go through the whole process. Make sure you keep me up to date with any Interrail travel adventures you do. You can use the hashtag #NextOnTheMap and I’ll be able to pick that up on Instagram! All that’s left to do is get out there and create your own story, enjoy!
You can find my Interrail blog series linked below so if you fancy a read, click the images and check them out! All the pointers on how to plan the perfect Interrail trip were used here!
Thanks for reading, I’ll see you in the next one!Like the content? Share on your socials!