The Benefits of the InterRail Pass and Top Ten Tips

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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Peter Lynch

Journalist, rail and wildlife specialist & contributor to Great Train Journeys of the World

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