How to InterRail around Europe on a budget?
Here is RailTourGuides information and tips on how to save money while IRing around Europe.
If you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday sipping Pina Coladas on a nice beach, then maybe IRing will not be for you! It is actually much more fun and enjoyable than that. To travel by train from country to country and city centre to city centre, meeting new people and seeing new cultures is a great experience. The InterRail pass offers a very affordable solution for you to experience mainland Europe in all its glory!
You can have an amazing low cost holiday exploring Europe using an InterRail pass. Choosing the right places to go at the right time can be the key to saving yourself money while on your European rail adventure. This can gives you access to many discounts with accommodation, eating, shopping, local transport and sightseeing An InterRail pass gives you tons of discounts with accommodation, eating, sightseeing, shopping and transport, and a if you do your research prior to your travels this can save you pounds!
High Speed and Overnight Trains
As much as possible you need to avoid paying train supplements and reservations on High Speed train services. It is advisable to “Swerve” these charges by selecting slower, sometimes more scenic alternative routes. This in short means you will be traveling on domestic services, meeting local people and observing their daily life, from your train seat next to them. These trains offer a cost effective way to travel, mainly free (with your IR pass) Another bonus for you to consider is, if you take a night train in Europe, you do have to pay a supplement for your couchette or sleeper cabin (boo), but you at least you will save on your hostel or hotel cost (Get in!)
Local transport within Big Cities, for example Berlin
Suburban transport – Big cities within Europe often have a few railway stations, so you can use your IR pass to go from one part of the city to another. In Berlin for example your pass is also valid on the S-Bahn (but not on the U-Bahn). So you could travel from Berlin Hbf to Berlin Zoo for example at no extra cost.
Choose your destinations wisely
Pre travel research is the key. Lazing on a beach in Italy is going to be a lot more expensive than lazing on a beach in Croatia or Montenegro. There are lots of new ‘up and coming’ places to see, and are therefore cheaper, like Lichtenstein and some parts of Poland. In simple terms Northern Europe is much more expensive than Eastern Europe.
Where possible try to “Swerve” the busy months like June, July and August, taking your adventure in September or October will save you money and you will still be able to catch some rays somewhere in Europe! Did you know that many hostels and hotels reduce their nightly rate by up to 70% after the summer holidays.
Using your Travel days wisely – If you are traveling on a Flexi pass and have limited travel days then sometimes it works out much cheaper to buy a train ticket to go a short distance than to have to use a travel day. It makes more sense to only use travel days for the longer distance trains or for multiple journeys. That way you’re getting the best value for your money!
Things that you should know about the InterRail Pass
When IRing you can take your first train anytime after 00.00 hours on the first day that your Pass is valid. You must then finish your last trip by midnight (24.00 hours) on the last day of validity.
Are seat reservation fees included in your pass? No is the simple answer.
Seat reservations and some supplements are required and compulsory for high-speed, international and night trains. Seats on such trains can be in high demand, especially to popular destinations such as Italy, France and Spain, and during the July and August high seasons. Sometimes it is cheaper to purchase an advance point to point ticket, instead of paying for an InterRail Pass supplement.
You must be very careful when completing the date on your pass. If you make a mistake you cannot correct it, as this could be interpreted as fraud, so please complete this prior to hitting the bars of the city you are visiting. If you make a mistake you will have to enter the correct date in the next travel day box and consequently lose a travel day.
The 7 pm rule – A travel day normally lasts from midnight to midnight. If your train departs before 19.00h, you need to use two travel days (fill in the day of departure in one set of boxes and the day of arrival in the next).
However, there’s a cheeky trick called the ‘7pm rule’. If your train departs after 19:00 then it’s considered the next day’s travel. This means you can get a train after 19:00, arrive early in the morning at your destination, have the whole morning and afternoon there, catch your next train to another city, arrive in the evening, and it’s all classed as just one day’s travel! Boom! Now that’s savings…
So that’s how you go InterRailing on a budget. Not only is a possible to InterRail on a budget but it’s really fun too, so buy your ticket, take these hints and tips and go and experience it.