This summer I had a super experience traveling Europe with trains. A huge part of what made it easy and fun was using InterRail. Now, I knew nothing of this magical way of traveling and since a lot of my friends have never heard of it also, I decided to share a bit of food for thought.
InterRail (for EU citizens) or Eurail (for non-EU citizens) is basically a company where you can purchase a train pass type of a thingy. Depending on if you are a European resident or not the passes you can purchase and the prices differ but the main benefits are the same.
- Freedom! If you have an InterRail pass you can literally jump on almost any train at any time. Since you fill in your travel day right before you step on the train you can easily decide to postpone or expedite your travels. You can also decide to get off the train at any point and continue your travels later in the day. I mean sometimes you just have the urge to have breakfast in a small town in the Alps if you’re heading from France to Italy.
- Stress-free! If it is your first time traveling, then finding the right tickets and stations can be a bit stressful. But with the Rail planner app (iOS/Android) you simply type in where you are and where you want to go and it will show you all the possibilities in a super easy manner. Since you don’t have to buy a ticket you simply have to show up at the train station. I mean talk about stress-free 😉
- More time! I always thought that traveling by plane is quicker but during my train travel I really felt that I had more time. Just because with planes you have to get there a couple of hours earlier and they are mostly far from the city center. Whereas with trains the stations in Europe are almost always in the center and you only have to be there like 5 minutes before. I actually tried that in Milan, where 15 minutes before the train departed I decided I wanted to be on it. So I ran from a BBQ that was 10 minutes from the train station, caught a train 5 minutes before it left and I was definitely not the last one to jump on it.
Although it is comfortable, using the pass is not always wise, especially if you are doing short distances or not traveling for very long. In that case buying individual tickets may be budget friendlier. But I have to say I came across a lot of happy InterRail/Eurail travelers during my summer holiday in Europe and it was super nice to be able to change your plans just to stay and chat with someone for a bit longer.
There isn’t a train I wouldn’t take.
The first time I hear of InterRail/Eurail was through the Q&A of my all-time favorite traveler vloggers – Vagabrothers. So I will share their video also, so you can learn a bit more about traveling Europe by train.