Want to go interrailing during university, but don’t have the money? We have the solution. Nerve Online’s Travel Tuesdays returns this week with tips on how to interail on a tight budget.
Going interrailing is such an exhilarating experience. It’s an easy way to escape the norm during summer and discover as much of the world’s fascinating cities as you can, all in one trip. It’s truly a dream for those with the travel bug: you get to fall in love with one place, and then hop on the train the next day to find another- and do it over again and again. Not only this, but it’s relatively cheap too. So, if you’re interested in going interrailing during university, and want to do it on a budget then check out these tips:
1. Watch out for seat charges.
As a student on a budget, the low pricing of interrailing tickets draws you in. Some places offer an under 25’s ticket, priced at £240 for a trip of 11 countries. Seems too good to be true, right? Well it’s not. However, be aware of secret train-seat reservation costs. You could be faced with a €30 surplus on top of your initial ticket. Yet, on the other hand, the freedom in hopping on and hop off any train, at any time, is very convenient and worth the price.
2. 100 % take the train.
Try something different and get out of your comfort zone. Give yourself something to remember! Away from the typical tourists routes hide the most beautiful places on earth, and taking the train is a cheap convenient link between them. Head over to the hidden beaches of Croatia, or the mountains of Austria. Some of the most exquisite places are surprisingly the cheapest to travel in.
3. Student card
Please don’t forget to bring your student card (How that gem comes in handy). This was one of my most infamous mistakes while interrailing. And in fact, most of the touristic attractions offer a cheaper entrance fee with a valid student ID.
4. Night travel
You’ll never guess how much sleeping on trains saves your pocket. If you’re travelling on a budget, and you don’t want to fork out on hotels in every place you visit, then book night trains. Not only do they save money, but you’re not wasting your hours in the day on a train when you could be out exploring.
5. Make use of your technology
Language barriers can be the most frustrating thing- especially when lost. Try and download a language free translating app on your phone for your trip. Even knowing the basic greetings in different languages helps. Plus, the locals in the smaller town will find this respectful that you have made the effort to thank them in their native language.
If you don’t ask you don’t get, right? Don’t be afraid to ask. The worst thing anyone can say is no. Even if you meet in the middle, it’s better than paying the full price. Always look around and don’t buy the first thing you see. Usually in smaller towns, they sell almost the same things throughout, so haggle away. It’s all part of the experience too.
7. Educate yourself
Speak to your hostel’s owners or staff as much as you can. Most are not only being paid to give you advice on the cheapest and safest ways to travel around, but do it for the love of their cities. I wouldn’t of known about half of the hidden treasures in the countries that I visited if I hadn’t asked for advice. Also, speak to groups of people in your hostels. Travelling in big groups is much cheaper way of getting around (and more fun).
8. Maybe one flight?
Although taking flights seems like cheating, you can find cheap flights. You’ll need to do it when your trains don’t reach certain places, or if you’re trying to reach an offshore island. Booking a next day flight can give you some wicked deals too, and getting back home is a lot quicker.
When in two minds about interrailing just remember: We travel because we need to; because, distance and difference are the secret tonic to creativity that we need. When we get home, home is still the same. People are still the same. But something in our minds we’ve have changed, and that change that interrailing gives you is everything.
Edited by Natalie Whitmore