10 Reasons to Consider Interrailing
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will realise that a lot of my travel throughout Europe is done by train. It’s not quite as fast as jumping on a plane and for some destinations it’s virtually impossible, but I happen to believe that if it’s Europe you’re headed for, you should definitely consider an InterRail adventure!
Why Should You Consider InterRailing..
1. Scenery and Views
Travelling by train really allows you to take in the scenery as you go. Europe has so much to offer, from the numerous mountain ranges, Swiss and Italian lakes, the vast Spanish plains, stunning Mediterranean coastline and the spectacular river valleys such as the 65 kilometre stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley in western Germany, with its’ ancient castles, historic towns and the regimented rows of the vineyards clinging to hillsides. Compare the experience to flying and you will quickly realize that you are missing some of the most beautiful views there are!
2. Value for money
InterRail-ing is suitable for any budget and is popular with all ages and all sorts of people, be they students, families or older couples and all categories of tickets offer great value for money. There are a variety of different pass options ranging from one country passes to global passes as well as passes for a certain number of travel days within a set time period. One country passes start from as little as €42 depending on where you want to travel and more information can be found here. Global passes also offer value for money starting at €192 and you can find out more here. The various options really do allow for any type of travel plan and individual needs and desires, allowing you to effectively tailor your ticket to your own itinerary and budget.
3. Discover What’s On Your Doorstep
When it comes to holidays, everyone has their own idea of perfection; sunbathing on a sandy beach, exploring ancient ruins, hiking through woods, forests or atop mountains. Perhaps a city break (or two, or three?) with a well-balanced mix of history, shopping and of course a meal or two with fine food and the occasional glass of the local wine. Well my friends, Europe really does have it all.
In comparison to flying, travelling by train offers you greater freedom and plenty of space to ‘relax’ – more leg room, those extra few centimetres between seats and also the opportunity to get up, walk around and stretch your legs whenever you please. Some train companies even offer the opportunity to plug in and take advantage of on-board entertainment in the form of music or films (for the younger and more active traveller there are even trains offering discos, to help while away the hours!). Almost all of the long-distance trains have a restaurant car for snacks, refreshments etc and one or two even provide for a proper sit down meal.
The beauty of train travel is the flexibility it gives you – once you have your rail pass you can decide where you want to go and when. If you are an early bird you can jump on the first train of the day, or should you prefer a few extra hours in bed, take a later train. It is completely up to you. You get on the train of your choice, fill in the departure time, the date and the train details, wave goodbye and you are on your way. If you want to be guaranteed a seat, remember to purchase a seat reservation before travelling (often for a minimum cost).
6. Reduce your Carbon Footprint
How about this for an example: travelling by train from London to Paris (by Eurostar) reduces your carbon footprint by 91%! If that’s not an incentive then what is?
7. Work Whilst You Travel
Almost all European trains are now kitted out with WiFi and power sockets, meaning that you can get work done whilst you travel. Most of the time the WiFi connection is free but occasionally there is a small surcharge.
8. Meet New People
Each time I’ve InterRailed, I have met a whole host of different people and had some great conversations. From fellow ‘youngsters’ discovering Europe for the first time, ‘locals’ commuting home for the weekend or other families, it is always interesting to meet the people who make up the InterRail community, and who share tips and travel stories with one another.
9. Night Time Travel
Throughout Europe a number of night trains run, offering you the chance to maximise holiday time and save money on hotels! As I mentioned before, a number of trains are even kitted out with on-board ‘discos’ to while away the hours. However, do be aware that fellow travellers have reported a number of incidents where belongings have been stolen whilst the traveller has been dozing. For this reason, it seems advisable to avoid solo night travel and stick to travelling in pairs, or groups, so that everyone can take turns to watch valuables.
10. Get the Most out of the High-speed European Network
Whilst your InterRail pass allows for regional transport, it also allows you to make the most of the high speed european network. Most European countries have their own high speed trains, be that the TGV (France), ICE (Germany), AVE (Spain) or the Le Frecce (Italy) and it is astonishing how fast these trains travel – some hitting speeds as high as 300 km (190 miles) per hour!
So, if you’re a keen traveller (or even if you aren’t) and you fancy doing something new on your next holiday, my advice to you is to ditch the plane and take the train! You’ll be amazed at what you will discover..!
Have you ever been InterRailing? Would you consider swapping plane travel for train travel?
Do let me know in the comments below!