Planning an Interrail trip with your family can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It’s a fantastic way to explore Europe’s cities and countryside, while creating unforgettable memories with your loved ones. However, organizing such a trip can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the Interrail experience. In this guide, we’ll take you through a step-by-step process of planning an Interrail trip with kids, including the different types of Interrail tickets available and how to use them.
What is Interrail?
Interrail is a train pass that allows you to travel on most trains in Europe. With an Interrail pass, you have unlimited travel across a range of countries for a fixed period, giving you the flexibility to explore Europe at your own pace. Interrail is available to citizens of any country, as long as they can provide proof of residency in Europe.
What is Eurail?
Eurail is similar to Interrail, but it’s only available to non-European residents. If you’re from Europe, you’ll need to purchase an Interrail pass. The two passes offer similar benefits and access to the same network of trains.
Step 1: Determine your travel dates and itinerary
The first step in planning an Interrail trip with kids is to decide when and where you want to travel. Consider the interests and preferences of each family member, as well as the amount of time you have available. Once you have a general idea of your itinerary, you can start researching the best train routes and destinations.
Step 2: Choose the right Interrail pass
The next step is to choose the right Interrail pass for your family. There are different types of passes available, depending on your travel needs:
- Interrail Global Pass: This pass allows you to travel across 33 countries in Europe for a fixed period. You can choose between different validity options, such as 3, 5, or 7 days within a month or 15 days within 2 months.
- Interrail One Country Pass: This pass allows you to travel within one specific country, such as Italy or Spain, for a fixed period. You can choose between different validity options, such as 3, 4, 6, or 8 days within a month.
- Interrail Premium Pass: This pass includes extra benefits, such as free entry to museums and attractions, discounts on ferries and buses, and free Wi-Fi on some trains.
Step 3: Decide on analog or digital ticket
Once you’ve chosen the right Interrail pass for your family, you’ll need to decide whether to use an analog or digital ticket. The traditional Interrail pass is a paper ticket that you can order online and receive by post. You’ll need to activate the pass before your first train journey and carry it with you at all times.
Alternatively, you can use the Interrail app, which allows you to store your pass digitally on your smartphone. You’ll need to activate the pass through the app before your first train journey and show the digital pass to the train conductor when requested.
Step 4: Make seat reservations
In some countries, such as France and Spain, seat reservations are mandatory for high-speed trains and overnight trains. Even if seat reservations aren’t mandatory, it’s a good idea to reserve seats on popular routes during peak travel season. Seat reservations typically cost a few euros per person, per journey, and can be made online or at train stations.
Step 5: Plan your accommodations and activities
When planning an Interrail trip with kids, it’s essential to plan your accommodations and activities in advance. Research family-friendly hotels or apartments in each destination, and book them well in advance to ensure availability. Check out family-friendly activities and attractions in each city, and make a rough itinerary to avoid wasting
time and to make the most out of your trip. Don’t forget to factor in some downtime and relaxation time for your family, as traveling can be tiring.
Step 6: Pack appropriately
Packing for an Interrail trip with kids can be a bit challenging, as you’ll need to balance packing light with bringing all the essentials your family needs. Consider packing versatile clothing items that can be layered, comfortable shoes for walking, and a backpack to carry your essentials. Don’t forget to bring any medications, travel documents, and electronics such as chargers and adapters.
Step 7: Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is an essential aspect of any Interrail trip with kids. It’s important to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings. Shop around for travel insurance policies that suit your family’s needs and budget.
Step 8: Follow COVID-19 guidelines
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial to follow local guidelines and regulations in each country you visit. This may include wearing masks, social distancing, and following quarantine requirements. Stay up-to-date on any travel restrictions or changes to local regulations to avoid any surprises during your trip.
Interrail is a fantastic way to explore Europe with your family, creating memories that will last a lifetime. By following these steps, you can plan an Interrail trip with kids that’s fun, exciting, and stress-free. Remember to research your itinerary, choose the right Interrail pass, make seat reservations, plan your accommodations and activities, pack appropriately, get travel insurance, and follow COVID-19 guidelines. Bon voyage!
Helpful links to rabbit hole into Interrailing: