7 Reasons Why You Need To Go Interrailing/ Eurailing ASAP | Europe Travel Guide
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I used to have a huge introduction on my home page, where I waffled on and on about how I fell in love with travel after going interrailing in 2016. Well it's true, and now I'm here to write a blog post all about why I think you should do it too. (And yes, UK citizens can still take part even after Brexit, woohoo)
Firstly, a bit of context: before this trip I'd been on 2 international holidays in my adult life (I'd been elsewhere as a kid but can't actually remember those) and both of them had been your typical family, resort-style holidays to Spain and Turkey. I'd never really had the desire to travel before, which is hard to believe when looking at me now. I'd had a pretty crappy time in 2015, and one of my oldest friends was planning an interrail trip with his sister. I got invited along and decided why not? I had a full time pay check and I needed a good cheering up.
Granted, when we there, I did very minimal amounts of the organising. For fairness, we each had some picks of places we most wanted to go and a rough route in mind, but my friends handled most of the train and hostel bookings. I'm determined to do another Interrail trip soon just purely because I LOVE organising now- it would be my dream. In the 2 weeks I was there we visited 8 countries back to back.
Anyway, I loved the experience so much that I haven't looked back. Since that trip, I've worked multiple jobs simultaneously so that I can travel, I've travelled solo so that I can explore as often as possible, and the most obvious one: I've even started a travel blog! I truly believe that the travel bug would not have bitten me anywhere near as hard if I'd gone on your average holiday, it quite literally changed my life (lol the dramatics).
So yes, I think everyone should do it if they can, and lemme tell you why:
It's A Great Way To See Lots Of Places At Once
Most of us in the UK tend to stick to the same few European cities for our holidays. Flights are cheap, we know someone who loved it, and they're well known areas for a reason right? The majority of us can't afford to risk booking an entire trip to a place when we don't even know if we're going to like it. That's the beauty of interrailing. If you go somewhere and aren't as keen or feel like you don't need that long there, you can leave, and if you love somewhere, you can stay longer or make a mental note to come back in the future. When I went, I absolutely loved Budapest and Bratislava, two places I never would have gone to on a regular holiday. I feel like the couple of days we had in Bratislava were enough for now and I have no urgent desire to go back for a while, where as I've been back to Budapest again already as there is SO much to do there.
It's A Backpacking Experience Without Travelling Too Far
So many people dream of doing a 'backpacker' style holiday while they're young, but very few ever actually do it. Everyone seems to think you need to fly out to Asia or South America with a few grand in pocket to be able to do it, and while that does sound amazing, interrailing allows you to do it a lot closer to home. You still get the freedom, the hostel stays and the parties, just without the culture shock or the huge distance between you and your loved ones.
The 'global' (multi-country) passes start from £132, which is far cheaper than paying for separate train journeys. Once you get started you'll find that Europe, especially Eastern Europe, can be super budget friendly if you do your research. In places like Prague, Budapest and Bratislava you can get top rated hostels for as little as £7 per night, beers for less than £1 and a lot of activities are totally free. I spent less than £300 per week during the trip, which included all accommodation, food and activities, and you can even travel on night trains to save money on hostels.
It's A Great Way To Socialise
Just like in Asia, there's a pretty circular route that you can take around Europe to see most countries, and that's the route that a lot of other travellers will be taking as well. You'll often see the same people in multiple cities, on transport and in hostels, and you may even become friends with them. As with anywhere, hostels in Europe are also super social, so you'll probably end up meeting people on hostel-led trips, or in common rooms, kitchens and dorms. A lot of the people you meet will most likely be doing some sort of Interrail/ Eurail trip too, so you already have something in common, and you can trade tips and recommendations for any places you're heading.
There's No Need To Plan
If you hate planning and fine details when booking trips, or if you just fancy travelling a little more free, these kinds of trips are perfect for you. Your global interrail ticket will include hundreds of train routes to multiple cities each day, so you can literally just travel whenever and wherever you fancy without really thinking too hard about it.
You'll Discover The Unexpected
One of the most beautiful places that we visited on our interrail trip was a place called Villach in the Austrian Alps. We had no initial plan to visit there, but we needed to change trains between Venice and Zagreb, and Villach was the best place for it. We had a bit of a wait between trains so Googled what was near by, and ended up spending 8 hours hiking through the Alps to Lake Ossiach and having a picnic in the flower fields. We never would have discovered this hidden gem if we hadn't been interrailing, and what a loss that would have been!
Last but not least, the most obvious reason: it's really bloody fun. No matter how long you go for or which countries you visit, I can promise you you'll have the time of your life. Go solo or rally up a group of friends to go with, just make sure you get out there!
So yes, if I haven't made it clear enough already: you should go interrailing. Have you ever thought about doing something like this? Let me know where you would visit!
Also, if there's any specific countries you want to visit, don't forget to check out their one country passes. You can find them on their website here.
Speak soon, Meg x