Why should you choose a European Interrail Trip in 2018?
When choosing travel destinations and different forms of transport, it’s often forgotten that we have the European Interrail right on our doorstep here in the UK.
Interrailing is the unique and exciting way of travelling around Europe by train. All you need is one train pass and it allows you access to new destinations all over Europe. With over 40,000 destinations in 30 countries to choose from, you can design a unique trip for you.
What is so great about Interrailing?
The advantages include:
Freedom – The pass gives you access to 40,000 destinations while working the same way in each and every country.
Flexibility – You choose where you go, how long you want to go for and with no strict itinerary it lets you stay longer in the places you love.
Value – Initially it may not seem like a cheap option, but when you consider you can travel extensively with flexibility to make spontaneous decisions, without the difficulty of separate bookings, you can really see the value of the pass.
Journeys – The trains yes are a means of travel from A to B, but not only that they provide you with great experiences, opportunities to meet people and a fantastic way to see the scenery.
How to book?
Then only real decision you need to make is what sort of pass do you need and this depends on the locations you are interested in and the timescale of your trip! Head to the interrail page www.interrail.eu to look at the options and plan your perfect trip!
Last February we experienced first-hand how great interrailing is and it’s the perfect trip for first time travellers or for those who want to travel within Europe.
Our 4 week Interrailing experience took us to locations such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Sofia. Many people only consider Interrailing in the summer months but it was a great time of year to go! Equally why not try a summer interrail journey that can take you along the Italian and Croatian Coasts..
Here are a few of our favourite Interrailing tips..
Preparation is key!
- Plan your itinerary with safety in mind – research the train stations you plan to use and find out if they are known for pickpockets, train delays or other problems.
- Buy something to secure your luggage. Use a cable-lock to secure your backpack to your seat or the luggage rack which makes them more difficult to steal. Buy a money belt or pouch and use it to hold cash, tickets, passports and credit cards.
On your trip!
- Arrive at the train station early and pay close attention to announcements. It’s not uncommon for a last-minute platform change, which will probably have you running to the other end of the station. If the announcement is in another language keep an eye on what the other travelers are doing!
- If possible, avoid changing trains late at night, particularly if long layovers are involved.
- If you must spend several hours in a train station, find a place to sit that is well lit and near other travelers. The same goes for while on the train, always sit where there are other people around.
- While on the train or in the station do not leave your luggage unattended.
- Board your train as early as possible so that as you stand a better chance of being able to keep your luggage with you. Always check your carriage is going to your destination; not all cars will remain with your train for the entire journey. If there is no indication on the carriage doors or tv screens ask a conductor.
- Lock your bags and keep them locked. Take them with you when you use the restroom. If this is not possible and you are traveling alone, bring all valuable items with you. Never leave cameras, money, electronics or travel documents unguarded. Not overpacking and carrying excess luggage can ease this. Join our Full Day Travel Safety Course that covers top ways to avoid overpacking.
- It is possible and popular to look for night train journeys while interrailing which can save you a hotel cost and you can get some sleep while moving between locations. If you are travelling with companions take it in turn to sleep. Sometimes you may have no choice so if you if you are sleeping in a compartment with travelers you do not know, be sure to sleep on top of your wallet/purse/money belt and secure your valuables so that you will notice if someone tries to take it from you.
- If possible, keep your compartment locked while you sleep.
- Make sure your travel documents are well organised so that you don’t have to empty your bag finding them. You can get your tickets checked several times on a journey when new staff come on shift and when you cross borders. Often at borders armed border police will enter your carriage. It can be a bit daunting!! They’ll ask to see your passport, and they may check through the contents of your rucksack thoroughly, so don’t be carrying anything you shouldn’t. This can be particularly intimidating on a very late dark February evening when on an extremely empty train in Serbia – so be prepared!
- Be cautious of over friendly passengers.
- Be prepared for long journeys: Make sure you have plenty to entertain yourself with!
- Always assume water on your train is not drinking water and get a big bottle of water before you get on. It will also save you money by buying your refreshments and food off the train.
- Check with your rail operator if you are taking alcohol on board as some have no-alcohol rules.
- Do not accept food and drink from strangers.
Here are a few pictures from our trip!
We would love to hear any other Interrail or train safety tips you have. Just leave a comment below on the blog post. Safe Travels!!