There is nothing quite like an open country and an unlimited pass, where you are free to travel wherever you want to. Here are 5 reasons why you need to use the interrail pass to travel around Europe.
Now I have mentioned this a few time already, but for the sake of any new readers, I will tell you again. A few years ago we (Richard and I) travelled around Europe where we stopped off at Paris, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Amsterdam. It was just us, our backpacks and our interrail pass. We had the freedom to go wherever you wanted. And I must say there is nothing quite like an open road (ok well open rail tracks) and the complete freedom to go wherever you desire.
It was an amazing experience, so of course we off doing it again next year. Yup, once again it just going to be backpacks, interrail pass and maybe this time we use a compass. However slight change of direction as we are doing northern Europe this time. And we are doing in the winter.
As you can imagine I’m so excited and I cannot wait. It going to be amazing! However, since my last trip, I had quite a few people thinking I was mad for travelling throughout Europe exclusively on the train. I also had people confused on what exactly is the interrail pass.
Let me just start off and say the train service in Europe is 100 times better than the UK (*cough* especially southern *cough*). We both found the trains to be superb. Richard get motion sickness very easily and being in somewhere that rocks side to side makes him ills, so the only transport that doesn’t turn him green is the trains. We had none of that problem using the trains throughout the last time in Europe. I will also get on more reasons why it better to use trains in a second.
Interrail for those who don’t know what it is, is basically free (well not exactly free, you do need to pay for it) ticket that let you travel where you want. It essentially a train ticket that let you use the rail service throughout Europe. You don’t need to keep paying for a ticket, the interrail pass is your ticket throughout that time. You can essentially hop onto a train and decide where you need to go without much forward planning. Well having said that, there are a few resections – but not enough to spoil your journey. I believe Spain, France and Italy does get you to book your train before boarding. But overall it no biggie and you still have the freedom to travel throughout Europe.
Anyway if this has wetted your appetite and now make you want to book an interrail pass. Then here 5 reasons why you need to use the Interrail pass to travel around Europe.
You get to see more of Europe then you would have done by plane or coach.
Even though we only stopped off in Amsterdam for 24 hours, we got to see most of the Netherland by train. We also got to see more of Germany, France and Switzerland this way. If we liked the look of a scenery, we stopped at the nearest train station and had a look round the area. I feel with a coach, you are often in a group of people and you have to go by their timetable, so you end up missing out. And all plane does it just get you A to B without letting you seeing anything.
It a relaxing way to see Europe.
Well, it is. Throughout our time using the rail, we never had to stand up as there were no seats available. We could sit down and take in the sight just by looking out. It gave us a chance to take photos and to rest our feet.
The freedom to explore the hidden part of Europe.
We took a train from Geneva Switzerland to a little-hidden village in the Swedish alp, Biggs. Surrounding us was nothing but mountains and lakes. We never saw this village on the map and it was, for us a new discovery that felt hidden away from the rest of Europe.
Day or Night Travels
The interrail pass does also let your travels by train during the day and at night. Yup, the interrail pass does cover the cost of using the night train. Amazing! But do be aware you do need to book, obviously. We took the night train from Germany Munich all the way to Amsterdam. Highly recommended in doing so.
It gets you away from all the tourist trap.
Often when we you go away somewhere, you are often in a group where you surrounded by people from your own country. And you don’t see any more of the countries then what is shown to you by a tour guide. That in itself is fine and I’m not judging it. But you are really not seeing that much of a country. Only a limited view. Interrail break away from all the tour guide narrow view and let you mingle with people from that country. I found when on a train in France, a woman sat next to me. I acknowledge her by saying Bonjour* and we sat there peacefully. Overall what I’m saying, interrail let you get over your Xenophobia (fear of foreign people) and break away from the holiday norm.
(*Bonjour, I must say is as far as my French can go.)
I hope this has been helpful to you. Just to clear something up quickly:
Interrail Are for EU Citizens.
Eurail: Are for none EU citizens – you can still book a pass but it will be known as an Eurail.
Judging by how political climate is going, I do hope the interrail pass is here to stay and doesn’t change. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have on the interrail pass.