After two videos in the subject of Interrail, I gathered all the questions related to the subject and compiled everything in a Q&A format. The video deals with booking hostel and trains and also what is the best time to do so.
– InterRAIL Q&A –
1. How to book hostels? What websites should I use and when is the best time to book?
I used hostels to stay in every country I visited. Personally I prefer them to other options because it’s a nice compromise between cheap and comfort. But has I said, it’s just one of the options! You should be open to try different things, like camping sites (or camping in trains stations, not recommended), or Airbnb.
The way of book hostels it’s pretty straight forward, you create an account on hostels.com or hostelbookers.com, select the city you intend visiting and choose your hostel. Now, you should look for certain things in an hostel:
- First rank hostels for rating (from high to low) and find one with good reviews (careful! check how many reviews the hostel have, it’s not that impressive having 100% rating if they only have one review)
- Use the View Map option to see the locations of the hostels in relation to the center of the city and the train station. Maybe you don’t need to spend money in public transport!
- If you can, try to stick to hostel chains. In Berlin we tried the Plus Hostel and because of the good service we booked the Plus Hostel in Prague (Pool and everything!)
It’s not necessary to book everything in advance. You never know if something unexpected might happen, specially while InterRailing! You can plan and do a quick search for the main chains and hostels available in each city but only book them two days before your arrival. I used this method and never had any problem. It’s the best way to stay flexible, we never intended to go to Stockholm in Sweden but in Copenhagen we change plans and continued north.
2. How to book trains? Do I need to pay any fees?
A very good question to ask! I found a great website with information about the train schedules and fees. Visit Rail.cc (you need to create an account to check possible InterRail fees).
- Go to countries and select to country and city you wish to start from.
- Search a train connection or night train if you want to travel during the night.
- Select the connection you wish to take (the green meter indicates if the connection has low or zero fees)
- Click the “Interrail” tab to see if you have to pay any fees.
Use this website only to check the connections schedules and fees! When you arrive a new city, go to the train station international office and confirm everything! Sometimes timetables change and you don’t have any guarantee that the website will update in time. So play safe and inform yourself and pay any reservation fees right after you arrived the city.
During my interrail I never had any problem with trains (only trying to sleep in night trains…. lets not talk about it xD)
3. How many Euros did you spend? It’s all about the money!
Including everything, Interrail Global pass 22 days, plane tickets Portugal – Paris and Venice – Portugal, food, hostels and fun – more or less 1700 €. We traveled during 25 days and visited 12 cities (11 countries). You might think it’s to much but yeah… you have to pay to have fun. It’s money well spent, trust me.
4. What was in your backpack?
Let’s clarify one thing first. I’m a guy. Now that you have that information we can continue… My bag was a regular 60 liters camping bag. I packed clothing for 12 days (meaning that I would wash everything in some hostel). Clothes, an external hard drive, bag for dirty clothes, documents, chargers, GoPro, toothbrush and paste…. I like to travel light and remember, you will have to carry it for a while. Remember that detail when your mom starts filling your bag with random stuff!
If you have more questions, feel free to leave a comment. I will had the question to this Q&A to make it more complete.