If you’re here with us right now, you’re looking for information on Interrail passes. We did the same. And, it is true that it is not easy to find all the information in one place. Especially considering the cost, it is difficult to be reassured. There are many videos and online forums on “What is Interrail?”, “Is interrail good?”, “How does Interrail Global Pass work?” If you read and have seen them, you are already an expert on this issue and I could not tell you much more.
Most of the times, These youtube videos or online forums show and talk about the shorter passes. On our side, we used the longest and most impressive of all, the global 3-month pass: unlimited travel in 30 European countries.
Here is our assessment, and I tell you right now, it is mixed…
The first question is of course the price. The Interrail website site announces the Global Pass 3 months for 2 adults in second class at 1804 euros. In the end, you will pay 1842 euros, with insurance and shipping price. Also plan to create or buy a cover pocket because the passes will not last 3 months the way they send them to you. I will take a weight off you right away: the second class is very good. We traveled in winter so we didn’t face crowded trains. The first class might help avoid this crowds in summer.
We wondered, if it was more economical to take the train tickets individually. To elaborate, what if we would have bought tickets without Interrail Global Pass? Would that be cheaper than Interrail? We then made an estimate, which of course would not be as accurate as, for most tickets, it is only possible to consult them one month before the travel date. This estimate therefore came to around 1700 euros.
Finally, Our conclusion was to say, for 150 euros more, we take the Interrail Pass, instead of buying tickets each time for each trip.
Why? For its ease of use and for the fact that the majority of the transport budget is insured. However, We hadn’t forgotten that some reservations were chargeable but we didn’t expect that much.
When we were planning our trip, we wanted to make the most of the pass. The Interrail Global Pass offers access to 30 countries! We selected 11. 11 countries in 100 days. It is therefore obvious that some train journeys are a little longer. But that was without taking into account that ultimately, some countries only offer a few regional trains, depending on the destinations and the travel time allowed. In the end, we spent 660 euros on 30 trains used on top for the reservations. (**The prices indicated are always for 2 adults).
Here is the final cost for 2 Global passes for 3 months adults in Second Class: 2502 euros. This does not include local transport on site such as bus, metro tram, taxi or even car rental, nor airplanes between some destinations.
Is it easy to use Interrail Global Pass?
Our second question turned to know if it was really easy to use. As I said above, most of the videos, tutorial or blog of travelers, speak of shorter passes and therefore, easier to understand how to use it. We remained with a lot of doubts until our first uses. Passes are individualized and nominative. It is a classic ticket, attached to a sheet which will be your journal. These are actually all the lines where you will mark your trips. It indicates the date, the departure time of the train, the departure point and the arrival point, as well as the mode of transport, train, bus, or boat. Indeed, quite easy to fill up. I confirm here that it is highly recommended and even mandatory to fill them before getting on the train. If like us you take a global pass without limitation of the number of trips, forget this tip of traveling at night to save a trip. It doesn’t matter in our case. On the other hand, we will clarify here a point which we lacked: it is necessary to register all the trips.
Let me explain. You are going from Munich to Amsterdam with a change to Frankfurt. You will then have 2 lines to fill: Munich – Frankfurt and Frankfurt – Amsterdam, each with their departure times! As much to tell you right away that we were forced to ask for an extra piece of paper for lack of lines! But it’s pretty easy, just print the document from the Interrail site.
Then, to choose your train, the Rail Planner application is rather well designed and allows you to organize yourself as well as possible. Finally, only for trains that do not require a reservation. Although for reservations, the Interrail application is no longer very effective. In Italy for example, it was very difficult for us to make reservations on our phones due to a bug that we could never explain. In Germany, we went directly to the dedicated Interrail counter at each station to book the following trips. We did not encounter any particular difficulties because we speak fluent English. I say that because we have witnessed awkward scenes when communication is complicated. But even when we go to these counters, some international trips posed some reservation concerns. In the end, we did not encounter any undue and big problems, but I think we were lucky.
Conclusion: reservations are not easy to make alone. You will need a certain capacity for communication and anticipation (especially during periods of holidays, celebrations or festivals of all kinds, therefore practically all the time).
THE UNPLEASANT SURPRISES WITH INTERRAIL
Finally, I would tell you about this unpleasant surprise because we had not read the details. It is written black on white, however. So I put it here for you to avoid our disappointment. Ferries have special conditions. We therefore paid our tickets at full price on the 3 ferries in the cyclades (Athens – Paros – Naxos – Santorini). Because indeed, the Blue Star company (the only one) only makes a 30% reduction on your tickets with Interrail.
On the condition that you have already traveled with them previously on a route Italy – Greece! Long journey and much more expensive than the plane, this one would not have been profitable compared to the poor 30% reduction. So we paid 130 euros for 3 ferries for 2 adults.
FINALLY, IS INTERRAIL GLOBAL PASS GOOD ENOUGH?
In conclusion, we did not save financially on the transport part of our trip with INTERRAIL Global Pass. On the contrary, we lost around 800 euros. We did not really facilitate our trips because almost half of our trips required a reservation, so the same principle as having to buy a ticket: online or go to the station. The advantage was to spend a large part of the transport budget a month before departure. And as you will say a lot, the experience is quite pleasant. I therefore do not recommend INTERRAIL GLOBAL PASS for a trip as long and dense as ours. on the smallest Passes, it can be more interesting but unless you lower the price for a real value for money and for a more attractive side. We regret the purchase….