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Interrail advice on new system and general tips

Travel Forums Europe Interrail advice on new system and general tips

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1. Posted by RIG (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

Hello, Im planning on travelling to Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia this May and June. Just realised the interrail system has changed and now I'm unsure of what i should do??? Any advice from seasoned interrailers? Do you think it would be cheaper to simply buy train tickets as we need them? Anyone know if the new interrail country passes allow you to travel between countries?

Id love to know of any nice cities or places to go and see in any of the above countries. I've got 1 month to travel and I'd like to make the best use of my time. I've heard the Tatra mountains are very good and Budapest other than that I'm quite undecided as to where to visit. Cheers to all for any advice on anything Europe or interrail related :)

2. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 9y

I haven't quite worked out the best way to use the new system yet, but I have to say that I preferred the old system. I loved the freedom of being able to use it all of the time, for as long or short journeys as you want over the course of the month. Having to plan your trip around a given set of travel days just takes some of the fun away from it for me. Not that it's a big deal, but I certainly prefer the older system.

3. Posted by RIG (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

I've not interrailed before but in principle I agree, the new system makes me feel like I have to plan lots which is exactly what I don't want to do! Any tips on where to visit? Things to do? Places to stay etc????

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

Anyone know if the new interrail country passes allow you to travel between countries?

Some of them do, yes.

Bascially, the new system has integrated Eurodomino (i.e. single country passes) with the old style of Interrail from teh good old days, before the zonal syatem came in.

You can now buy single country tickets valifd for differing flexi-times, or Global passes (NO zones at all, anymore)

Thus, you can buy flexible global tickets for:

  • 5days travel within 10days
  • 10days travel within 22days

or

Global passes valid for 22 or 30 consecutive days. The later, is basically the all zone month ticket from the old system

I loved the freedom of being able to use it all of the time, for as long or short journeys as you want over the course of the month. Having to plan your trip around a given set of travel days just takes some of the fun away from it for me.

This is still possible, for 22 or 30 days, but just for the whole of Europe, not specific zones (which makes it better in many respects, worse in others)

Any advice from seasoned interrailers? Do you think it would be cheaper to simply buy train tickets as we need them?

That depends on your itinerray. You mention May and June, but there is a differnce if you are travelling for 2whole months, or just parts of both. If you are mostly going to be going somewhere, then staying for a few days, then to somewhere else, in Eastern Euope, it is often cheaper to buy point to point. Especially if you are slightly clever with your choice of trains and routes (ticketing can be more than 50% cheaper if you buy a ticket to the border, and another onwards - even staying on the same train - than buying a through ticket), and avoid premuim services.

Give me a rough idea of where you are going, and i'll see what I can do.

5. Posted by dukla (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Hi RIG!

I am planning a very similar trip to yours also starting at the end of this month (may) and have also been caught out by the changes to the interrail tickets introduced last month. Since then i have been wondering about single country passes and point2point tickets and which would be cheaper.
I have been told that single country passes can be run together for travel across a border but that a day from each pass will be counted. I'm sure this must work out quite expensive.
We are travelling Prague- Cesky Krumlov- Prague- Wroklaw- Krakow (+Zakopane day trip)- Bratislava (+Vienna day trip) - Budapest (over 22 days). A few of the individual fares are quite easy to get hold of and seem very reasonably priced& a good alternative to an interrail pass.
Does anyone else know where it is possible to get hold of individual prices from?
Thank you in advance for any help, Jenny

6. Posted by ladybug66 (Budding Member 42 posts) 9y

Hey Guys,

You seems to be planning a trip exactly like what i did last year RIG. Had an amazing time and i would recommend going to Cesky Krumlov in the South of the Czech Republic if you can. The place is incredible!

Anyway, back then the zone system was in operation and we found it great.

I am planning another inter rail trip this summer and am a bit freaked out by the new system. I don't like the idea of having to plan anything in advance and also it seems more expensive too. The global pass is expensive when in the past you got a one zone ticket for a couple of hundred euro and that's all you needed.

The only thing i would say about buying tickets along the way is that there are nearly always huge queues in the train stations and in eastern europe the ticket staff in the stations are incredibly slow (and i know i'm generalising). We even met people who had missed their trains because they were queuing so long for tickets. So if you're planning on buying tickets as you go along that'd be my only warning.

Let me know if you want any info on any of the places you're going.

7. Posted by dukla (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Thank you ladybug66!
I hadn't really thought about the queueing time! Do you know if it is possible to buy tickets a day or so in advance from the train station? Neither of us travelling speak any of the local languages so i was hoping that a written piece of paper with our destination& which day/ train would go quite far!!
Thanks, Jenny

8. Posted by ladybug66 (Budding Member 42 posts) 9y

Glad to be of some help!

We did meet people along the way that used the destination on a piece of paper idea, personally I found it a hell of a lot easier to just get on the train without any of that hassle through having an inter rail ticket.

if you're willing to try and make yourself understood in about 8 different languages then go for it. I just didn't have the patience for that. It was hard enough just making it to the train stations and the platforms in the first place. maybe i'm just lazy!!

It can be hard work but it is well worth it in the end!!

9. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

Do you know if it is possible to buy tickets a day or so in advance from the train station?

Most places, yes.

Neither of us travelling speak any of the local languages so i was hoping that a written piece of paper with our destination& which day/ train would go quite far!!

Thats no problem. All of the places you planning on are reasonably touristy, and your unlikely to have a huge problem. A few short tempered or irritable staff, yes, but you'll be understood.

The queueing can be an issue though in allot of places, especially at the wrong time. Most places have "western approved" ticket agencies as well who speak at least some English, are used to foreigners and can help you out a day or two before (normally without large queues), though you will pay a few euro extra in commission each time.

Does anyone else know where it is possible to get hold of individual prices from?

Sadly in Eastern Europe, it's quite hard. Each countries national site should have (though not always in English) prices for journeys on there, though often not for international journeys.

Railkey has most prices, BUT beware that these are the prices charged when buying in the US so generally include a hefty extra fee. However, they are relaible as a kind of "absolute maximum" price guide. In most cases, expect the tickets to be between 10% and 40% (sometimes as much as 75%!) cheaper when bought on the ground at normal ticket offices.

10. Posted by dukla (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Excellent, thanks both of you!
I know, i was quite happy just to turn up with an interrail zone D pass, but they just don't have an appropriate pass with the new ticket system... shame! Think we will do our best with being organised and buying point 2 point tickets!
Am so excited about this trip =D
Jenny

[ Edit: Edited on May 2, 2007, at 9:31 AM by dukla ]