Top Interrail Tips

With an Interrail trip or any travel adventure for that matter, there's always a lot to remember. So to make it a little easier for you, here are the top things that you should have in mind when going on an Interrail adventure.

Be realistic about your budget

Interrail Budget

There is a saying that goes something like "when you seek adventure, take half the clothes and twice the money" and we sure do agree. Speaking from experience it is guaranteed that you will end up spending more than you intend to. It's good to think twice about spending your cash on certain things, such as souvenirs or that unique piece of something that you think you will always remember your trip by.

But be sure to be a little more flexible when it comes to your budget for accommodation and food. The thought of using a train station as a free place to spend the night might seem adventures, but believe it or not it's actually not a very clever idea. To make the most of your Interrail adventure is important, make sure that you are well rested and fed, because those are ultimately the foundations for feeling happy and relaxed. Which in turn means you will be able to make the most of your Interrail adventure.


When to go?

There is something for everyone year-round in Europe! It really is down to your personal tastes and preferences. For most of us Interrailing is all about the warm Summer holidays. This is undoubtedly when most of us do our leisure travelling and, as such, summer can get a little crowded in those popular honeypot destinations and busy on the trains too. We recommend you reserve your seats well in advance especially in Summer. Winter can get very is cold in deepest Europe and daylight hours are short, yet if you're a fan of skiing or Christmas markets the ambiance is as electric as the nights are long, so you will be spoilt for choice. The shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn can sometimes be the best time to travel with changing scenes and colours ideal for photography, pleasant (but changeable!) days and less people around those popular places giving you more space to enjoy

Book your accommodation before you go


Interrail accommodation

We're not denying it, some Interrailers just love to go with the flow. However, as mentioned, sleeping in a train station is probably not the best idea for everyone, so making sure you have somewhere to sleep before you get to your chosen location is quite important. That is why we recommend booking your accommodation a little while before you arrive in your chosen city/cities. Doing so will save you plenty of time, it will most probably work out cheaper for you too and you won't have to stress about finding somewhere to spend the night either. So you won't have wasted any time and can get your Interrail adventure off to a great start. In our opinion, well planned journeys pay off and this tip should work in your favour big time!


Where to go?

Europe has it all! Follow your instincts to make it a great holiday, be it cities and museums, mountains and valleys or coastal beaches...

If it's your first Interrail trip you may want to visit the classic Capital cities of Europe like Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Prague, Rome, Budapest...

If you're a culture lover perhaps make a detour off the main routes every so often to visit regional areas of your interest to try some local delicacies and practise some of the local language.

Adventurous? Go one stop further... try heading off the beaten track, your Pass takes you up to the wilderness of Scandinavia, across to the lush forrests of the Balkans and along the golden beaches of the Med. You Pass will take you further than you think.


Pick your travel buddy wisely

If you're not travelling on your own then it's really important that the person or people you decide to go on your Interrail adventure with are friends that you get on very well with.

Wonder why? Well, you will most probably be spending most, if not all, your time with your chosen travel buddy or buddies and not everyone might have the same interests as you or share your opinions. Travelling with a person or people with whom you have a shared understanding will most probably result in a more enjoyable and argument free adventure.

But if you do end up having a disagreement, then be sure to sort things out as soon as possible because addressing the issue sure is the best way to avoid any unnecessary awkwardness.


Research your train times and App

Your Interrail Pass will allow you to travel on InterCity and Regional trains, which makes up the vast majority of trains across Europe, so you can travel as you please. However, when your journey is using a High-Speed or Night train service you will be required to make a seat or berth reservation in advance. These service may not let you travel without a reservation, so it is a really important tip to research your train times in adavnce. There are special Interrail Passholder reservation rates available on most trains but they do get full up quick, so be sure to book well in advance. To get an indicative idea of compulsory reservation trains and costs please visit our Reservations page here or download the RailPlanner App.


Speak a bit of the language

Speaking the local language is always a plus when Interrailing, simply because knowing a few of the basics will get you a long way with the locals. When they see you make an effort to communicate with them in their own language they usually get quite keen to help as much as they can. In our experience sometimes they will even go out of their way to get you to where you want to go, but obviously this is not guaranteed.

So be sure to get your hands on a phrase book or language app and learn a few of the basics such as greetings, asking for directions and ordering food. In doing so you will be rewarded with more patient locals who are even more ready and willing to help you then they would be if you did not make the effort to learn their local tongue.


Research the App

We recommend familiarising yourself with the RailPlanner App which you will travel with if you choose an Interrail mPass. It will be your virtual travelling companion. Once you purchase your Interrail Pass you can upload your mPass to it and away you go! It holds lots of extra information for your journey and you can make seat reservations through there too. You can download it here


Speak to the hotel staff before you go and explore

Hotel staff

The usual habit at the start of any holiday is to drop your stuff off at the hotel and hit the streets straight away with the aim of exploring the city. But we think a good start to your trip is to speak to the staff at your hotel first. Whilst checking-in you can ask them things that you are really keen to know about the area.

More often than not you will be able to get some great suggestions from them which you would not have thought of or read about in any guide book. So invest a little time and make friends with the hotel staff, it will certainly be time well spent.


With these basic tips we hope you'll have an enjoyable holiday!

Want more suggestions? Have a look our travel do's and don'ts now


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