Take the train: A cheap & eco-friendly way to see Europe

A guide to InterRailing in Europe

Visiting Europe is now cheaper than ever and completely achievable on a shoestring. You can see more top destinations by flying into a country and then inter-railing around. Inter-railing is also eco friendly! Taking the train is a great way to travel slowly, see the countryside, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint by limiting your flights around Europe. Rail travel can be a great way to travel slowly around Europe without missing a thing.

Europe’s your oyster

An InterRail is open to any EU resident so if you’ve lived in a European Union country for 6 months or more you’re eligible. There are two types of passes each with different class options with varying price:

The One Country Pass (as the name suggests) is only valid in one country. You can chose from 30 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, FYR Macedonia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey. You can choose from 3, 4, 6 or 8 days travel.

The Global Pass is available in all of the countries named above. You can choose a limited amount of days with continuous travel or a certain number of days travelling over a longer period – say 10 days travelling over a 22 day period.

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Tips on getting the most out of your pass

Keep it cheap

You can’t use the Global Pass in your own country of residence so grab a cheap flight from the UK and begin your train journey from inside Europe. As it’s cheaper in Eastern Europe (Poland to Croatia and then east of that) you’re best to start there. As they don’t have the Euro your money will go further.  Jet2 fly to many European countries for as little as £50 so take advantage of the summer bargains on offer. Check around and you might even find some last minute deals. Travel light so you don’t have to deal with paying extra for large bags.

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Be prepared

If you’re using the Global Pass remember that not every country uses the Euro. That’s an advantage of flying out to a non-Euro county first. You can exchange money in the UK, live like a king in an Eastern European country and begin your inter-rail journey with a set amount of Euros. Never carry all your money in one place! Split it two or three times if necessary.

Remember the weather might be hot and cold in one day so wear layers you can add or remove. Check the time where you’re headed so you don’t miss connecting trains or meetings with friends. Save a few bucks from each place as you might decide to go back and at least you’ll have a few bills to get you started.

Make your money stretch further

A lot of places are up and coming and therefore cheaper, Poland and Lichtenstein for example. If it’s a beach you’re after, head to Spain, Italy and Croatia. Travel in the off season. The train is a great place to make new friends- get together a group and you’ll be all set to head out on a tour, market, or cooking class.

So it is possible to see Europe on a budget! Not only is it possible it’s really fun and different – just plan, book and enjoy!

*This is a sponsored post. InterRail is only for EU residents. If you are a resident of another country you must get a Eurail Pass instead.

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