Interrailing is an easy way to see Europe, there are a lot of places to visit in Europe, with a train ticket you can travel unlimited by train in Europe for a certain time. Interrailing is very popular among young people. Every year many people interrail because you can travel relatively cheaply.
Are you thinking of going interrailing? Here are some do’s and don’ts for traveling around Europe by train.
1. Plan your trip Ahead
When you are thinking of going interrailing, it is important to make a plan. There are to many great cities in Europe to visit, you will struggle during interrailing when you’re not planning your trip ahead.
While you’re planning your interrail trip it is necessary to get some things straight before you start. First of all what is your priority, for example do you want to see as much cities as possible, do you want to lay at the beach or maybe you will try the nightlife in different cities.
Make a list of your must see cities. When you know your total trip length you can easily see how long you can stay in each city.
Make clear for yourself where you want to stay for night. Do you prefer a hotel or are your happy with a hostel. When you’ve all the information you need you can plan your journey and you will be prepared before you leave.
2. Make train reservations
When you’ve bought an interrail pass, packed your bag and planned the trip you are ready to leave. When you are in the possession of your travel pass you can take trains, but it doesn’t mean you will always have a seat. In some trains have to make reservations to have a seat. I will recommend to make reservations some train rides can take hours and its possible that you have to stand or sit on the floor, what will make your ride less comfortable. On some trains you are required to reserve a seat and some trains won’t require a reservation but it’s recommended.
3. Download the Interrail App
The interrail app is a real recommendation, it will help you on your journey it gives a lot of needed information on your trip even when you are offline.
The travel planner in the interrail app gives you the easiest ways to travel to your next destination it will show you different connections to get there and shows you when you need to reserve a seat. The Europe trip planner is very extensive and useful.
If you’ve found the train-connection you would like to take you can save it in the section my trips, so you can easily find it.
The app gives you a lot of extra information in addition to the travel planner. You can easily see w
hat benefits you get with your interrailpass in certain countries.In some countries you get discounts on other modes of transport and activities.
4. Don’t pack your bag too heavy
If you are going to interrail you will spend a lot of time on the train, on the platform or walking through the city looking for your hostel. You will have to carry everything you pack with you. Packing light is more difficult than you think. You really only need the basics, think of your passport, phone, wallet, clothes, money, toiletries, extra shoes and maybe swimsuits. I recommend bringing a maximum of a week (maybe two) of clothes, you can wash them on the way. It saves you a lot of weight that you do not have to carry.
5. See the highlights
During the interrailing you will visit many cities in a short time. So make a list for yourself with what you want to see in which city. The highlights are popular for a reason, they are remarkable, unique or representative of the country. That’s why you want to see them. Even if it is just to cross off your list. Of course it is very nice to visit the famous things such as Big Ben in London, Prague Castle or the Colosseum in Rome, but in addition to visiting the highlights, it is also very nice to discover the cities, strolling through small unknown streets and go exploring for yourself.
It’s a lot of fun to walk around and see new things, even the lesser known places. In the small side streets of large squares you will often find nice shops and restaurants where you can eat for better prices than in the large well-known squares.
6. Take pictures and videos
Your journey is an experience in the moment, you make memories, make new friends and get to know many new cultures and countries. The best thing is if you can look back at all this later. That is why it is best to take a lot of photos and videos. What I did is shoot a lot of videos of all the locations and places I went back then. After the trip I made an after-movie of the trip, I am still very happy that i made the video. In a video of about 9 minutes I can see the journey back and recall the memories. This is highly recommended. It is not only fun for you to view, but also for family or friends who have not been along, this gives a nice impression of the trip.
Night trains are very useful during interrailing, you can sleep in them and when you wake up you are at your next location. This saves a lot of time that you can now spend extra in the cities.
The normal places in night trains are not a luxury, you sit with several in a cabin, they are very comfortable. If you prefer privacy and space, you can also choose to pay a little more and go for a private place. Unfortunately, night trains are not available for all connections, so it is smart to plan well ahead.
When traveling on a night train, you should pay close attention to your stuff, there are several stories on the internet about stuff being stolen in night trains. For example, by putting a lock on your backpack you can protect your belongings well.
8. Get up early
Try to get up early during interrailing as much as possible, traveling takes a lot of time and to get the most out of your trip it is wise to get up early. Occasionally it can be difficult, especially if you went out the night before. What I did was get up early and plan what you want to do that day. When making a plan for the day, don’t forget to set aside some time to get around the city on your own to discover the culture for yourself.
When you lie in your bed for a long time in the morning, a lot of time is lost, during interrailing you are often only a few days in a city, sometimes even just one day, so it is a waste of the time you have in a certain city when you are lying in bed.
When planning your trip I would recommend adding Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe is very beautiful with cities such as Budapest, Prague and so on. A nice side effect of traveling in Eastern Europe is that these countries are cheap compared to other parts of Europe. Some Eastern European countries use a different currency, to make it easy, there are several apps with which you can easily convert the prices.
For example, you can do a full day in Krakow with a budget of 25 euros. Of course that depends on what you want to do, but you can easily get through the day. If you plan your interrail trip from west to east Europe. During your trip you will see the value of your money grow. That is very funny to see.
10. Visit Sziget
If you are going to visit Budapest during your trip then you should not skip Sziget Festival. Sziget is one of the largest festivals in the world and the world’s best artists perform there. Food and drinks on the festival grounds are very cheap.
The festival is on an island that has been completely transformed, the festival is a whole experience with many different stages and activities that you can do. In recent years, the festival has approximately 500,000 visitors per year.
(Photo: Rockstar Photographers)
Finally, I would like to inform you that interrailing is one of the most fun ways to see many cities in a short time, you can easily make new friends, you see a lot of new things. You go to places where you might not go so quickly otherwise, I went to Brno Czech Republic because it was on the route, if I didn’t went interrailing I wouldn’t have visited Brno. You also learn a lot about the cultural differences in Europe and the prosperity of different countries, that makes interrailing amazing.
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