If you want to experience an explosion of city life and culture in a condensed amount of time, interrailing is for you. Not only is it a great option for those who have a fear of flying, but it is ideal for individuals who want to travel as a group on a budget.
Understandably, interrailing around Europe has its pros and cons and your enjoyment will most likely depend on the type of person you are. To get a taste of what life might be while cruising the vast European rail network then read on…
Imagine trying to book multiple city breaks into a specific timeframe. The logistical side of interrailing can take some careful planning as you will need to be aware of visas and secure accommodation and transport. Although the lengthy planning can be a slight downside, it does mean that you will be able to get the most out of your experience.
However, if you are planning to be away for a stretch of time, there is no reason why you cannot just plan as you go along. Secure transport and hostels for the first two or three weeks and then let the journey take its own course. Having a game plan for shorter times away is essential but if your time is more relaxed, you won’t need to plan as much.
Interrailing can see a little expensive at first, when you start paying for accommodation and transport for the duration of your trip. It is also worth remembering that some European countries do not use the Euro so planning for the conversion of money should be included in your budget.
However, negatives aside, interrailing is incredibly cheap when you consider the numerous holidays you will experience, all wrapped into one package. When you consider the number of places you will get to explore, this amounts to much less than separate excursions on a regular holiday. Furthermore, you can choose from different types of interrail tickets to suit your budget and travel needs.
There is often no real issue when it comes to interrailing in a very small group, or with just one companion. There is also no reason as to why you cannot travel alone. However, travellers can often feel safer with a companion and it is best to travel with easy going individuals who are happy with the plans put in place.
Clashes of personality or overly dominant people are a recipe for disaster when it comes to interrailing. Groups should be kept small to avoid too much chaos. Trying to rally groups of over five or six together can be a nightmare and countless travel connections have been missed in consequence! Also, travelling with people you trust is extremely important when visiting foreign countries.
Some interrailers sleep on the long trains they get from city to city, but this is not sustainable in the long run. The majority of travellers sleep in hostels, sharing rooms with anything between 4 and 40 other individuals. You should be prepared that these may not be the most glamourous of establishments but doing your research beforehand will make sure they are safe and clean.
If you are travelling as part of a group, sometimes it can be possible to rent an entire hostel dorm to yourself. Furthermore, you can often utilise Airbnb to secure ridiculously cheap apartments if you do need a little luxury one night.
One of the biggest benefits of interrailing is the ability to see so many incredible sights in a relatively short amount of time. Ample planning will ensure that you get to see most what you want but, unlike a holiday to a dedicated destination, there is rarely time to totally immerse yourself in a location and explore it thoroughly. Sometimes you’ll be sorely sad to leave a place, feeling as though you haven’t seen everything. Other times, you may find a destination is not as great as you had imagined, and will be looking forward to hopping on the train to the next adventure.
When putting your itinerary together, make sure your route doesn’t go back on itself or include lengthy stretches on trains. You don’t want to spend more time travelling than exploring so choose destinations that are close together.