Inter Rail for All Ages
Budget airlines have cast a shadow over InterRail in recent years, but now that the carbon footprint of air travel is a consideration and environmental awareness is increasing all over, it’s an interesting time for InterRail to offer a completely new range of passes on sale from April 1 this year, and it looks like InterRail is positioned for a powerful return to prominence. The new ticket range offers loads of options and good value, but importantly for anyone over 26 years old InterRail is no longer just for backpacker youth either. There are passes for those of us over 26 and our kids, in both first and second class.Gone is the annoying zone system introduced in the 1990s, and once again all InterRail global passes now give unlimited train travel across the whole of Europe, from Portugal in the West to Poland in the East, Helsinki in the North to Istanbul in the South. There are two options for those not expecting to travel all the time, either five days unlimited travel in any 10-day period or 10 days unlimited travel in any 22-day period (what days you travel is up to you at the time). There are also two continuous options for those expecting to zip here and there most of the time and they are either 22 days or one month.
The 10 days in 22 days pass allows you to go there and back by train for £175 (under 26) or £263 (over 26). It gives plenty of time for stopovers in Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest or even Transylvania, and of course you can go out on one route and come back on another.
Travel on comfortable (some of the time !) daytime trains or make good use of the overnight sleepers to save on hotel bills and cover big distances. You can get into the thrill and pace of the long train journey – something I enjoy so much more than air travel. It’s not all about getting there as quick as possible, it’s about the journey, the scenery, the people you can meet and the freedom you can feel. And it is that freedom that InterRail gives you that you don't get with the strict itinerary of pre-booked non-changeable air fares. If the mood takes you, you can stay longer; if you are not keen to stay, you can move on to somewhere new. With InterRail and the European train network, you can really go where the fancy takes you.
· For more information on InterRail passes, see raileurope.co.uk, interrailnet.com or seat61.com/Railpass.htm.