Times were when InterRailing was just for students on their summer holidays or keen to have one last blow out holiday before entering the world of work.
These days, while InterRailing is still a fantastic budget way for young people to see Europe by train, it’s also ideal for all ages. Anyone can buy a ticket, and with flexible durations, you don’t need to take a month off to go InterRailing.
That’s why here at Green Abode we’ve got the run-down on the ‘Three Ages of InterRail’, with some top tips for a fantastic European rail adventure whatever your age.
The InterRailing student
If you’re a student on your gap year, or just fancy a mammoth summer holiday, then a full-month InterRailing sojourn has you written all over it. Adventurous, flexible, low-cost, sociable and, above all, cracking fun, InterRailing is a rite of passage that everyone should make.
Top tips for student InterRailers:
- don’t over-cook your itinerary – make sure you’ve time to get to know some of your destinations rather than simply rushing from one capital city to the next
- take time out by the beach – an endless succession of cities is tiring, so factor in a couple of days’ R&R by the beach. Try the south of France, Italian Riviera or even the Greek Islands
- don’t worry about swanky hotels, save your money and use hostels – most are very clean, well-run, and the best place to meet like minded travellers
- book those hostels in advance – you might be lucky and be able to wing it, but if you’re travelling during the summer, finding accommodation can be tricky. Simply making a reservation a couple of days in advance while you’re on the road is often all it takes
- don’t do a museum crawl of Europe – while the continent’s great museums and galleries are undoubtedly among their greatest treasures, do you really be want to stuck indoors with the crowds all the time when you could be out there exploring?
Compare Interrail Pass prices and discount code deals from Interrail, Voyages SNCF and My Interrail.
Get the latest offers on Youth, Adult, Senior and Family Interrail Passes including:
- Interrail Global Pass
- Interrail Italy
- Interrail Spain
- Interrail Benelux
- Interrail France
- Interrail Germany
Take a look at Green Abode’s Grand Tour of the Capital Cities itinerary for some ideas of where to head for. This itinerary has been designed with the first time or limited European traveller in mind.
If it’s your first time travelling around Europe by train, for more help check out our InterRail advice guide.
The 30-something InterRailer
Eco-conscious, Euro-savvy and time short – the 30-something InterRailer is also likely to have been InterRailing back in their student days. This time, however, they’d like a few more home comforts, and probably can’t wrangle a whole month of time out. Money’s not such a big issue these days, but in these straightened times who wouldn’t appreciate the money-saving aspect of the flexible InterRail pass? Top tips for 30-something InterRailers:
- plan your itinerary in advance – time is tight, and you don’t want to be mucking about with timetables to searching for accommodation every day
- mix in the big cities with some out-of-the-way gems – you may revel in the urban buzz, but it’s also great to mix in some hidden gems, like the hillside towns of Umbria in Italy or Croatia’s Istrian peninsula
- avoid July and August – if you’re still after good weather, then try June or September, it’ll be easier to find accommodation and the locals will have more time for you
- avoid accommodation near train stations – they may be convenient, but that means their owners are often resting on their laurels. Search slightly further afield for the best boutique hotel options
If you’re a 30-something InterRailer then why not avoid the obvious and head across to Eastern Europe, for some of the continent’s most exciting, and best-value destinations. Check out Green Abode’s InterRail Eastern Europe itinerary for inspiration.
The InterRailing Empty Nester
If the kids have just left home or you’ve recently retired, you might find yourself with more time on your hands and an urge to get out there and do some exploring. While you may have been on the Eurostar you might not have travelled by train in Europe before, but you’re likely to have seen a fair few of the continent’s most popular destinations already. Consider an adventurous month out, exploring some of Europe’s more unusual and beautiful corners. Top tips for Empty Nester InterRailers:
- go off-season – it’s cheaper, less crowded, and easier to find accommodation without booking ahead
- book sleeper trains in advance to be sure of a decent night’s sleep on overnight services
- if culture’s your thing, then many big cities have city-wide museum passes, or combined public transport and culture cards, like the I Amsterdam card
- make an itinerary, but build in flexibility – the great thing about InterRailing is chopping and changing your plans at will. Just can’t get enough of Ljubljana? Then stay another night and don’t be afraid to adjust your schedule
If you’re an Empty Nester InterRailer, then you might want to take the route less travelled with Green Abode’s InterRail Balkans adventure itinerary or maybe think about the scenic and cultural InterRail Northern Europe route.
How to book an InterRail pass
To find out more about InterRail ticket options, check out The Train Hacker’s InterRail Passes guide.