Common Questions

Search frequently asked questions.

Contest Information

During the application period on the European Youth Portal, groups of max. 5 people could apply. For these groups, a group leader had to be appointed. The group leader had to fill in the application form and participated in the quiz and tie-breaker question. They then received a code when submitting the application to be communicated to the group members to allow them to register. With the code provided by the group leader, the remaining group members can register online, and fill in their personal data. All members of the group needed to be 18 years old as well.

If you have been awarded as a group leader, but your group members are not awarded, this means that your group members did not complete their application via the European Youth Platform.

On the European Youth Portal, the landing page mentioned the following instructions:

You can apply as an individual or as a group of maximum 5 people. For groups, a group leader should be appointed. The group leader fills in the application form and participates in the quiz and tie-breaker question. S/He will receive a code when submitting the application, which s/he should then communicate to the group members to allow their registration. Based on the code provided by the group leader, the remaining group members can then register online, and fill in their personal data. All members of the group need to be 18 years old as well.

In the Contest Rules, the following instructions are mentioned:

In case of a group application, a group leader must be appointed on the group’s behalf. The group leader will fill in the application form and respond to the quiz and the subsidiary question. S/he will receive a code in the confirmation email when submitting the application. S/he should then communicate this code to the group members in order to allow their registration. Based on the code provided by the group leader, the remaining group members will then have to register online, and fill in their personal data.

A group application will be assessed as one single application. Please note that only those group members who have filled in the application form using the code provided by the group leader will be taken into consideration for the selection. Group members shall not register individually. The group leader will also be the single point of contact with the European Commission and the external contractor designated that will arrange the booking of the travel passes.

In the confirmation email, sent by the European Youth Portal, the following was mentioned: 

Note! In case you applied as a group leader, you will have to give this code to your group members (maximum 4). They need this code in order to fill in their own application form. Only the group members who fill in the online application form before the deadline will have a chance to win the travel passes.

Between 28 June 2018 and 6 July 2018, all applicants receive a notification from the European Youth Portal via email stating whether:

  • they have been selected for travelling (‘selected participants’)
  • they have not been selected and have been put on a reserve list

Did you not receive an email? The list of the codes of the selected participants and the reserve list is published on the European Youth Portal. Find your application code (received when submitting the application on the European Youth Portal) to verify whether you have been selected or not.

If you applied as a group, this means that your whole group has been awarded the travel pass and the group leader will be contacted by the DiscoverEU Travel Team, via an invitation email.

The group leader will need to send the instructions to complete the booking process to each of the group members.

As each group member will need to verify their identity, each individual needs to go through the process of completing the final steps in order to confirm their booking.

The DiscoverEU Travel Team will get in touch with you via email to organise the booking of your trip. In order to complete your booking, you will need to follow the link in the invitation email to complete the final steps to receive your travel ticket.

You will be contacted in the order of the preferred travel time indicated in your application form. Therefore, don’t worry if you did not yet receive your invitation to complete your booking. All participants who are on the awarded list will be contacted in July.

The contest runs from July 9th 12.00 (CEST) to November 1st (CEST) 2018.

To take part in the contest, you must:

  • upload a photo or video on your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
  • use the #DiscoverEU and #Competition hashtags
  • turn on the location of your content
  • make sure your video has a maximum duration of 15 seconds

Your photos and videos will be moderated before they are displayed on an interactive map. This may take up to 24 hours during the week; weekend entries will be moderated on Mondays.

If your videos and photos meet the aforementioned criteria, you’ll be in the running to become one of the DiscoverEU winners.

Selecting a winner

The contest is only open to the selected participants under the #DiscoverEU June application round.

The public can ‘like’ their favourite photos and videos. The 20 most ‘liked’ photos/videos will go to the next round. Then, a professional jury of photography and social media experts will select the 3 winning photos/videos. The most visually appealing, original and relevant ones will win.

Each month, meaning July, August, September and October, three lucky winners will be chosen!

The monthly winners will receive a personal message from European Youth on Instagram and/or Twitter. If they don’t reply within 7 working days, the prize will go to someone else. Then, the winners will be publicly announced by name on the European Youth social media platform(s)

Prize

The winners will receive a 100€ worth voucher for an online travel shop!

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Travel Options - the Basics

You can read more about both the ‘Fix’ and ‘Flex’ travel options on their respective FAQ pages.

In most cases, the flexible Interrail Pass is the most beneficial. It’s an Interrail Pass which allows you to travel to multiple destinations on up to 7 days within a 1-month period.

Point-to-point travel is a lot more limited in flexibility and number of available destinations due to budget limitations. You should keep in mind that destinations far away from your point of departure are most likely not within budget. Therefore, point-to-point travel is ideal for trips to a nearby destination (such as a neighbouring country).

Point-to-point tickets will not allow you to travel back and forth to your country, it is not meant for short city trips.

The flexible Interrail Pass will allow you to travel on your first travel day to leave your country of residence (outbound) and on your last travel day to return (inbound).

Yes. When you receive your invitation email and proceed to verify your identity, you will have the opportunity to select your departure date. This date can be different from the travel period you submitted during your application to the European Youth Platform.

Be aware that once you have completed your online booking form, it will no longer be possible to change your departure date.

We are receiving a lot of requests to change departure dates after submittal of the booking form; unfortunately we are not able to accommodate these. Make sure you are certain about the travel dates you submit during the online booking process!

No. We are receiving a lot of requests to change departure dates; unfortunately we are not able to accommodate these.

Make sure you are certain about the travel dates you submitted during the online booking process!

Also a reminder to not make any (non-refundable) accommodation bookings prior to receiving your confirmation:

  • For Flex: Your track & trace email from Interrail
  • For Fix: Your confirmation email sent via the Travel Team from hello@start-discover.eu

Did you book the flexible Interail Pass? Then you are in luck: your actual date of departure can be later than the departure date you submitted in the booking form. You can start travelling at any point during your overall validity. However, the starting date of your overall validity period cannot be changed.

If you have been selected as a group, but your plans have changed and you would like to travel individually, this is not an issue.

Each awarded participant has their own Travel Code. Simply complete the booking form individually with your personal code; no further action is required.

The Travel Code was sent to you via your group leader. All individual travellers and group leaders have been contacted in the first week of July.

Didn’t receive the information from your group leader? Contact hello@start-discover.eu to receive your Travel Code.

When choosing the flexible travel option, the Interrail Pass, you are free to travel in groups, as well as change groups and direction at any point during your trip.

Each participant will need to register separately. Already know who you want to travel with? Make sure to put the same start date when completing your booking form!

The booking form automatically updates each day at midnight, and allows booking earliest 14 days prior to the date of departure. Therefore, to be safe, we recommend group members to all register at approximately the same time. Changing the departure date after booking is not possible.

All travellers need to have a valid travel document (passport or national ID card) with them while travelling. We recommend that you wait with confirming your booking until you have received your new travel document. Should you need to travel within 20 days from receiving your new passport/ID, contact hello@start-discover.eu so the DiscoverEU Travel Team can help you get on track with your booking.

If your passport or ID expires after you have verified your identity, travel with your new passport/ID.
Make sure you have the passport with you that has the same passport number as is printed on your Interrail Pass, even if it has expired, in addition to your current passport. This will help you when you are being checked by train conductors.

 

If you have the Interrail Pass, it’s valid for two journeys in your country of residence (provided it is an Interrail member country): one outbound journey and one inbound journey. You can use the outbound journey on your first travel day to leave your country of residence, and the inbound journey on your last travel day to return. Making use of this is entirely optional.

Please note that both trips do need to take place on a day that’s been marked as a travel day in your Travel Calendar. In addition, you can only use your Interrail Pass in your country of residence on your first and last travel day. If you travel back to your country of residence on a travel day, this means you cannot travel with your Interrail Pass after it.

Read more about travel in your own country here

Yes, this is possible when choosing the flexible travel option – the Interrail Pass.

As a general rule: never.

The DiscoverEU initiative is a rail-based initiative. Flights are generally discouraged, and only applied in very specific cases.

Exceptions are made for those living in the outermost regions, Cyprus or Malta; as well as those who live in very remote locations where it would take over 18 hours of ground transport to get to the nearest bordering country.

Requests for flights due to the first destination being over 18 hours of ground travel from the departure country will be declined. Your itinerary should be based on rail, and it should be realistic. For inspiration, and to check the time you would spend on rail, a quick check on Rome2Rio can always be helpful. You can also use the Interrail Rail Planner App to check train times and connections throughout Europe. It even works offline!

 

The possibility of changing your destination depends on the type of ticket you have:

  • Flex Travel, the Interrail Pass, allows you to change your destination as any time.
  • Fix Travel, Point-to-Point tickets, does not allow you to change your destination. All travel tickets booked are non-refundable and non-modifiable, so it is important to make sure you can catch your trains. Any issues resulting from missed trains, transportation delays, or cancellations will not be assisted by the DiscoverEU Travel Team.
    Do check your EU Passenger Rights for cases of delays and cancellations.

The DiscoverEU initiative is aimed at getting young EU citizens to explore the EU Member States. Travel in your own (native) country is not encouraged or funded, but you can use the Interrail Pass to travel away from and back to your homecountry at the start and end of your trip.

However, once you’ve left your home country, you are free to visit as many cities and towns in other EU Member States as you want.

Tip: When leaving on a trip of 30 days with an Interrail Pass, and you’re looking to explore several cities and towns in one country, it might be worth considering to sometimes purchase local train tickets. These are often cheap, and you can save one of your travel days for a longer (international) route.

Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) are not part of the countries participating in the Interrail Pass. However, the DiscoverEU initiative does encourage you to visit the Baltic States.

Two options:

  • Fix, Point-to-Point travel in which you specify which cities you want to travel to. Simply include the Baltic State cities you’d like to see in your request. 
  • Flex, to travel with Interrail in combination with a Baltic State country, reach out via email to hello@start-discover.eu. In the email, let us know you would like the ‘Flex’ option, but in combination with visiting a the Baltics. Please make sure to contact us about 20 days prior to your departure date.

Yes, you can travel to as many cities and towns within one country as you like, as long as it is not your home country.

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Point-to-Point Travel

With Fix (point-to-point) travel tickets, you have to select fixed travel dates which cannot be modified onceyour booking form has been submitted. Point-to-point tickets will be booked in economy class. There are no reservation costs related to point-to-point, but there is the budget limit (approx. 255 EUR).

In reality, depending on your chosen destination(s), this will allow you one return ticket (one stopover/one destination). We understand that this can be frustrating when you want to visit several countries. If you decide to visit one country, which is a country neighbouring your own, the fixed travel option is a good solution.

You can apply for several destinations and stopovers, but there is a high risk that we will not be able to accommodate your request. We will provide you with the confirmation of the feasibility of your itinerary request within 5 working days. In case it is not feasible, it is recommend to look into the Flex Interrail Pass option.

To avoid being disappointed, we recommend that you check your trip on the website Rome to Rio, which can give you a good idea on:

  • Whether your itinerary is feasible by rail
  • How many stops and train you would require to take
  • How much time you can expect to travel via trains
  • Rough estimate of prices

 

 

When the DiscoverEU Travel Team informs you that your travel itinerary is not feasible, this means it is not feasible within the set contest rules and the budget allowance. It is important that you are aware that infeasible or unrealistic itineraries can slow down your request and therefore delay your departure date. 

It could be that:

  1. The allowed budget (approx. 255 Euros) is not enough to fund your requested itinerary,
  2. The itinerary is not bookable via the online booking systems we have access to,
  3. The itinerary is simply not available/feasible by train.

Please also keep in mind that a lot of requests require several trains and over 24 hours of travel to reach the first destination. The DiscoverEU Travel Team discourages these types of travel itineraries. Reason being that, should you miss a train connection, the travel team will not be able to assist you to rebook a train or find an alternative solution.

In case of complex itineraries which include taking many trains, we strongly suggest that you review your plans and make some additional stopovers, or choose an Interrail Pass.

It is important that you are aware that in case your itinerary is not feasible, you will receive an email proposing at least one of these alternatives:

  1. The option to choose ‘Flex’ travel, which will provide you with an Interrail Pass,
  2. The request to review your travel itinerary to simplify and/or shorten it, so it can be booked within the available budget.

The confirmation of an Interrail Pass requires a minimum of 14 days prior to your departure date.

Related link: EU Passenger Rights in case of cancellation and delays

Unfortunately, the estimated delivery is the fastest we can ship your reservations. If you depart for your trip before we can have your reservations delivered, you can also choose to ship them to an address you’ll be staying at in Europe, such as a hotel or hostel. If you do, make sure the name of the hotel or hostel is included in the shipping address, and that the staff are aware that a package is coming, as it must be signed for.

The shipment is always sent via express registered mail (like DHL or FedEx).

All travellers need to have a valid travel document (passport or national ID card) with them while travelling. We recommend that you wait with confirming your booking until you have received your new travel document. Should you need to travel within 20 days from receiving your new passport/ID, contact hello@start-discover.eu so the DiscoverEU Travel Team can help you get on track with your booking.

If your passport or ID expires after you have verified your identity, travel with your new passport/ID.
Make sure you have the passport with you that has the same passport number as is printed on your Interrail Pass, even if it has expired, in addition to your current passport. This will help you when you are being checked by train conductors.

 

The possibility of changing your destination depends on the type of ticket you have:

  • Flex Travel, the Interrail Pass, allows you to change your destination as any time.
  • Fix Travel, Point-to-Point tickets, does not allow you to change your destination. All travel tickets booked are non-refundable and non-modifiable, so it is important to make sure you can catch your trains. Any issues resulting from missed trains, transportation delays, or cancellations will not be assisted by the DiscoverEU Travel Team.
    Do check your EU Passenger Rights for cases of delays and cancellations.

Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) are not part of the countries participating in the Interrail Pass. However, the DiscoverEU initiative does encourage you to visit the Baltic States.

Two options:

  • Fix, Point-to-Point travel in which you specify which cities you want to travel to. Simply include the Baltic State cities you’d like to see in your request. 
  • Flex, to travel with Interrail in combination with a Baltic State country, reach out via email to hello@start-discover.eu. In the email, let us know you would like the ‘Flex’ option, but in combination with visiting a the Baltics. Please make sure to contact us about 20 days prior to your departure date.

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DiscoverEU Interrail Travel Pass

With a Flexible DiscoverEU Travel Pass, you will receive the Interrail Global Pass to your doorstep. This means, all conditions of an Interrail Global Pass will apply. You will be able to travel over a period of 30 days, and travel physically on 7 travel days (meaning you can spend 7 days on trains).

The Interrail Global Pass is the travel pass that lets you ride on trains in 30 different European countries. You can travel unlimited at your own pace, and you can travel on trains operated by the national railway companies.

With the Interrail Travel Pass, the dates on which you travel remain flexible. However, do note that the Travel Pass will have a “Start Date”. From this Start Date on, your Travel Pass will be valid for one month. You can change your departure date, but keep in mind that you might lose some days of the validity of your pass.  It’s not possible to change the start date of your pass.

You can use your Interrail ticket as a normal ticket, so you simply board the train. Many High-Speed trains (like the TGV or AVE trains) and Overnight Sleeper trains can be used, but you will have to pay additional ‘pass holder supplements’ for seat / sleeper berth reservations on them. Find out more about how to find out whether to you should make a reservation.

National/Local Travel Remark: The DiscoverEU Contest, like the Interrail Pass, is designed to offer you the best of rail travel abroad, therefore you cannot use the Interrail Pass to travel within your own country. An Interrail Global Pass is valid for travel in your country of residence on your first and last travel day. This means you can start and end your Interrail adventure at a railway station that’s local to you.

 

 

The Interrail Pass offers a great amount of freedom and choice to explore Europe however you want. You can simply hop on and off trains as you please (but do bear in mind the need for additional reservation supplements on certain high-speed and overnight trains), and if you decide to stay in one place longer than you anticipated then that is no problem. Do make sure you record all of your Interrail journeys in the “Journey details” section of your Travel Diary, which you can find on the ticket cover of your Pass.

Please note that you just must fill in the details of each journey before you board the train, bus or ferry you travel on.

Other pass benefits include discounts on certain ferries, entitlement to Pass-holder fares on the Eurostar services, discounts in some European hotels and hostels, museums, festivals and other local transportation.

The Interrail Global Pass is valid in the following 30 European countries:

Austria (including Liechtenstein), Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France (including Monaco), Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (Northern and the Republic of Ireland), Italy, Luxembourg, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

Interrail passes include access to a number of free and discounted European ferry routes and boats. Here you can find an overview of the major ferry lines that have a partnership with Interrail.

It is often possible to purchase the special fare tickets for ferries in advance. It is recommended to do so when planning to travel during high season. To purchase these tickets, you will have to contact the ferry company you will be travelling with directly. In some cases, you can buy the ticket with the discount already included. In other cases, you will have to buy the full fare ticket and the ferry company will refund the discount.

The 7 p.m. rule on ferries

In case you are travelling with a night ferry, you always only need to use one travel day, no matter when it departs or arrives. You are free to mark either the date of departure or the date of arrival in your Travel Calendar. You can read more about the 7pm rule here.

For discounted ferry services you don’t have to use a travel day at all. Simply show your Interrail Pass and you will receive the discount.

Your order confirmation

Interrail sends a first confirmation email after your order has been processed. The subject of this email is “Confirmation of your DiscoverEU order“. This includes an order number and an explanation on reservations and how to make them. The order number is not your Track & Trace code.

Your shipment confirmation

Interrail then sends a second shipping confirmation email once your shipment has been processed. The subject of this email is “Your DiscoverEU order is on the way!“. This email includes the Track & Trace code.

How can I track my shipment?

You can go to www.dhl.com and track your package with the Track & Trace code. The DHL Tracking page can provide up-to-date information on your shipment location.

What if I missed my DHL delivery?

If you were absent when the courier tried to deliver your parcel, you will find a ‘missed delivery’ card in your mailbox, either from DHL Parcel or from the local DHL partner. Please visit the DHL website of your delivery country to get detailed information on what happens when you missed your delivery.

I have tracked a shipment and it says to contact DHL. Why is this?

This usually occurs if the information we have is insufficient to track the shipment for you. The address may be incorrect and we require clarification, or some additional information may be needed. The matter can be quickly resolved by contacting your local DHL Customer Service.

The tracking results are showing that my shipment is going to a different town or city than it was initially addressed to. Why is this?

The Pickup and Delivery destinations shown on the DHL Express tracking results are based on the location of the service station handling that pickup and delivery. Please be assured that your shipment is being delivered to the destination provided by you when you completed the waybill for your shipment(s).

The tracking results I received sometimes state “Sign up for notifications for this shipment.” What does that mean?

For shipments that have not yet been delivered, you can sign up for email or SMS/Text message notifications to receive delivery status updates. This saves you time – you don’t have to go online again to track your shipment.

My shipment is showing “Custom status updated” from the destination, even though the shipment just left the country. What does this mean?

This status provides an indication of the clearance processing from the destination. Click ’further details’ (+) to open and see additional information available. This checkpoint allows you to see very early if there is additional information required by customs for clearance.

Your Interrail Passes will be sent to you with a registered mail service that guarantees on-time delivery and provides additional security to ensure your package arrives safely at its destination.

It is important that you input the correct delivery address while completing your booking form, and you’ll need somebody to be on location on the day of delivery to sign for receipt of the package.

You will receive a Track & Trace email with a code that will allow you to check the status of your delivery online.

Unfortunately, the estimated delivery is the fastest we can ship your reservations. If you depart for your trip before we can have your reservations delivered, you can also choose to ship them to an address you’ll be staying at in Europe, such as a hotel or hostel. If you do, make sure the name of the hotel or hostel is included in the shipping address, and that the staff are aware that a package is coming, as it must be signed for.

The shipment is always sent via express registered mail (like DHL or FedEx).

You can use the Rail Planner App to determine if a particular train or route requires a reservation or not. The Rail Planner App is a free download for iPhone and Android. On your mobile, go to the App Store (for iPhone) or Google Play (for Android) and search for Rail Planner App.

Simply use the Trip Planner function to look up the journey you plan to take. If a reservation is required, you will see an [R] reservation symbol and the comment “Reservation compulsory”.

You can use the Interrail Rail Planner App to find out if a particular train or route requires a reservation. The Rail Planner App is a free download for iPhone and Android. On your mobile, go to the App Store (for iPhone) or Google Play (for Android) and search for Rail Planner App.

In the Rail Planner App, simply use the Trip Planner function to look up the journey you plan to take. If a reservation is required, you will see an [R] symbol and a “Reservation compulsory” notation. You can then click on the journey to see the suggested trains, where each train that requires a reservation will have the [R] symbol and “Reservation compulsory” note. The Trip Planner feature can also be used without an internet connection.

You can also access the list of reservation costs here.

The Interrail.eu Reservations Service allows payment with Mastercard, Visa, Amex, and PayPal. If you make reservations via the Rail Planner App, you can pay with Mastercard or iDeal. Reservations at stations can be paid in cash, and often with debit cards as well, though this varies per country.

When opting for the flexible travel option – the Interrail Pass – you can travel on trains operated by participating European national railway companies as well as a select number of ferry and public transport companies. The DiscoverEU initiative is aimed at exploring the Member States of the European Union. Therefore, even when travelling with an Interrail Pass, we ask you to focus mainly on visiting the EU Member States.

The Interrail Global Pass is valid in all participating (view list of participating companies) Interrail European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom.

In addition, railways run through Monaco and Liechtenstein, operated by the national railways of France and Austria respectively. In addition, Interrail Global Passes include ferry crossings from Patras and Igoumenitsa (Greece) to Venice, Ancona and Bari (Italy), which are operated by Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries (fuel surcharges, port taxes, high season supplements as well as cabin accommodation are not included in your Pass).

The Interrail passes are not valid on railways in Albania, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

There are no railways in Andorra, Cyprus, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Malta or San Marino.

If you order an DiscoverEU Interrail Global Pass, it will be valid for 7 days within 1 month. This means you can choose any 7 days to travel on within a period of 1 month.

The travel days do not have to be consecutive. You can decide when to use them during your trip. A Pass like this is ideal if you don’t plan on travelling every single day.

A travel day lasts 24 hours from midnight to midnight. On each travel day you have access to the train networks where your Interrail Pass is valid.

It’s very useful to know about the 7 p.m. rule, as it can save you precious travel days. The rule means that you only need to use 1 travel day, the day of arrival, when travelling on a direct overnight train that departs after 7 p.m. (19:00) and arrives at its final stop after 4 a.m. (04:00), provided this is the only train you travel with on the day of departure.

On average, it will only take 1 travel day to go from one European city to the next. For instance, you can use 1 travel day to get from Berlin to Paris and another travel day to go from Paris to Madrid. You can start and end your journey in any of the participating European countries. Your city of departure and return do not need to be the same.

Your Interrail Global Pass will be valid for 2 journeys in your country of residence. You can use one journey for outbound travel and the other for inbound travel.

For inspiration on itineraries, why not have a look at our itinerary ideas or on the Interrail Trip Ideas portal? Note that many itineraries are based on different departure and arrival destinations. If you depart or end in a different city than your hometown, costs of additional flights or trains will be at your own expense.

The 7 p.m. rule is an important part of Interrailing. It can help you save travel days to make sure you can fit as much as travel as possible in your 7 days.

Be aware that you can use this rule in combination with travelling in your country of residence, so long as the days on which you are travelling both fall within the overall validity of your Interrail Pass.

Trains

Normally, in case of an overnight trip, your Interrail Pass should be valid on both the day of departure as well as the day of arrival, meaning you’d have to use two of your travel days. However, if your overnight train leaves after 19:00 and arrives at its destination after 04:00, you only have to enter one travel day, the day of arrival in your Travel Calendar, provided that you haven’t previously travelled on the date of departure. Both days do have to fall within the overall validity of the Pass.

There’s two trains that fall just outside the cut-off for the 7pm rule, but luckily the good people at the railways have allowed them to still be eligible. They are:

The 6:58 p.m. ÖBB Nightjet train from Rome to Munich/Vienna
The 6:53 p.m. Night Train from Budapest to Split

Ferries

When you are travelling by night ferry, you only have to use one travel day, regardless of when your ferry leaves or arrives. It’s entirely up to you whether you enter the date of departure or date of arrival in your Travel Calendar; both are allowed. Travelling with discounted ferries does not require a travel day. You will get the discount when you simply show your Pass.

No, reservations are not included in your Interrail Pass. With your Interrail Pass, you can easily travel without reservations on many local and regional trains. However, train reservations are required for most high-speed trains, international trains, some InterCity’s, and all overnight trains. It’s often possible to avoid reservations by taking a slower, alternative route by taking regional trains instead.

The Rail Planner App allows you to plan your journey without having to travel on any trains that require reservations. When entering your trip in the Trip Planner, click the ‘Options’ button and switch on ‘Trains without compulsory reservation’.

High Speed Trains

If you’re travelling within Western Europe, you will usually need to reserve a seat to use with your Interrail Pass. In Spain, Italy and France in particular, reservations are compulsory. It’s well worth booking these in advance, since they can sell out in the busy summer months.

Very popular trains that are often sold out are the Thalys trains (Paris to Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany), as well as the TGV train which connects France with Italy.

  • When to book?: As soon as possible
  • Important: If a reservation is compulsory, and you board the train without a valid reservation with your Interrail Pass, you could be fined or asked to get off at the next station. 

InterCity Trains

InterCity trains are the trains between Europe’s major towns and cities. For most of these trains, reservations are not compulsory. Make sure to carefully do your research as there are a few exceptions. You can board most InterCity trains at no additional cost.

However, do consider that you might not have a seat during very busy periods. If a train seat is important to you, it is worth to purchase a reservation before your board the train.

  • When to book? The day before or on the day itself 
  • What are some of the busier lines? Vienna to Salzburg, Amsterdam to Berlin and Berlin to Prague.

Regional Trains

Regional trains usually do not allow for reservations. These trains tend to be less busy, and reservations are not necessary.

Night Trains

Night trains always require a reservation, even if you only want to have a seat in a carriage. The extra fee can be anything from 10 – 100+ euros, depending on the level of comfort you’re looking for.

You’ll pay less for a seat, or you can opt for more pricey options such as a couchette or a sleeper compartment.

It is very possible to travel without having to make train reservations. You can choose to take local and regional trains that do not require reservations, though they will take longer to arrive at their destination than high-speed or overnight trains. If this is no problem you can avoid reservations.

The Rail Planner App allows you to plan your journey without having to travel on any trains that require reservations. When entering your trip in the Trip Planner, click the ‘Options’ button and switch on ‘Trains without compulsory reservation’.

You can find more tips on how to best avoid reservations here

Reservations fees differ per country, as they are set by railway companies and will vary based on type of train, class, and type of accommodation. Below is an indication of what to expect. You can also find all the exact fees per country via the links. Note that these lists are not exhaustive and are subject to change

Domestic trains

  • Travel within 1 country
  • Reservations sometimes required
  • Price range: €0 – €25
  • Average price: €6

International trains

  • Travel in multiple countries
  • Reservations often required
  • Price range: €3 – €132
  • Average price: €15

Night trains

  • Travel while sleeping
  • Reservations mandatory
  • Price range: €7-155
  • Average price: €20

The French Thalys and international TGV trains have a limited number of seats available for Interrail Pass holders. We recommend you to make reservations for the high season (May – August) and weekends as early as possible.

If a train is fully booked, use the Interrail timetable or Rail Planner App to find another train, or check out our suggested alternative routes in France.

E-ticket reservations are available through the Interrail.eu Reservations Self-Service for trains in Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the Benelux. Reservations for Spanish trains will also be sent to you as e-tickets.

E-reservations are also available in Rail Planner App for trains in Italy and France, as well as Eurostar and Thalys trains.

All other reservation tickets are only available as paper documents, which we send to you by registered mail. It is not possible to print the tickets yourself or to have them sent to you via email.

When choosing the flexible travel option, the Interrail Pass, you are free to travel in groups, as well as change groups and direction at any point during your trip.

Each participant will need to register separately. Already know who you want to travel with? Make sure to put the same start date when completing your booking form!

The booking form automatically updates each day at midnight, and allows booking earliest 14 days prior to the date of departure. Therefore, to be safe, we recommend group members to all register at approximately the same time. Changing the departure date after booking is not possible.

All travellers need to have a valid travel document (passport or national ID card) with them while travelling. We recommend that you wait with confirming your booking until you have received your new travel document. Should you need to travel within 20 days from receiving your new passport/ID, contact hello@start-discover.eu so the DiscoverEU Travel Team can help you get on track with your booking.

If your passport or ID expires after you have verified your identity, travel with your new passport/ID.
Make sure you have the passport with you that has the same passport number as is printed on your Interrail Pass, even if it has expired, in addition to your current passport. This will help you when you are being checked by train conductors.

 

If you have the Interrail Pass, it’s valid for two journeys in your country of residence (provided it is an Interrail member country): one outbound journey and one inbound journey. You can use the outbound journey on your first travel day to leave your country of residence, and the inbound journey on your last travel day to return. Making use of this is entirely optional.

Please note that both trips do need to take place on a day that’s been marked as a travel day in your Travel Calendar. In addition, you can only use your Interrail Pass in your country of residence on your first and last travel day. If you travel back to your country of residence on a travel day, this means you cannot travel with your Interrail Pass after it.

Read more about travel in your own country here

The possibility of changing your destination depends on the type of ticket you have:

  • Flex Travel, the Interrail Pass, allows you to change your destination as any time.
  • Fix Travel, Point-to-Point tickets, does not allow you to change your destination. All travel tickets booked are non-refundable and non-modifiable, so it is important to make sure you can catch your trains. Any issues resulting from missed trains, transportation delays, or cancellations will not be assisted by the DiscoverEU Travel Team.
    Do check your EU Passenger Rights for cases of delays and cancellations.

Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) are not part of the countries participating in the Interrail Pass. However, the DiscoverEU initiative does encourage you to visit the Baltic States.

Two options:

  • Fix, Point-to-Point travel in which you specify which cities you want to travel to. Simply include the Baltic State cities you’d like to see in your request. 
  • Flex, to travel with Interrail in combination with a Baltic State country, reach out via email to hello@start-discover.eu. In the email, let us know you would like the ‘Flex’ option, but in combination with visiting a the Baltics. Please make sure to contact us about 20 days prior to your departure date.

We are unable to translate all information in the different EU Member State languages. However, the Interrail Pass Guide is available and can be downloaded in the following languages:

You can use your travel days wisely! We advise to use your travel days mainly for longer or multiple-train journeys. If you only want to travel a short distance, you could also buy a separate ticket or take a cheap bus to avoid having to use a travel day.

Your Interrail trips do not need to go from point A-B, and B-C. You could for example hitchhike (be safe!) or buy cheap train/bus tickets in between your longer journeys.

You can also take advantage of the 7 p.m. rule: if you board a direct night train after 7 p.m that arrives at its final stop after 4 a.m., only the following day needs to be counted as a travel day.

Please check first if you received an email with the subject ‘Don’t miss out’. Note that this email might be in your spam folder.

Found it? Follow the steps in the email.

Didn’t find the email?

  1. Go to reservations.interrail.eu
  2. Fill in the required details in the ‘My Info’ section; this will serve as your profile
  3. You can then add travellers to your profile. You can add everyone you are travelling with and want to make reservations for under one profile
  4. When creating a traveller profile, make sure to enter ‘DiscoverEU Travelpass’ as issuer
  5. You can find your Pass Cover number in the top-right of the ‘journey details’-section in your Pass Cover. The number always starts with ‘I’.
  6. Once you have filled out the info for all travellers, you can start making reservations!

We encourage sustainable travel, but understand that for some travellers it can be a challenge to get to their dream destination via rail. If you want to use your Interrail Pass to visit countries located far away from your home/departure country, the quickest and cheapest way to get from and to your homeland will be to book a budget flight. You can use search engines such as Google Flights, Hipmunk, KayakSkyscanner or Momondo to do this.

 

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Identity Verification

We need to make sure you’re really you if you want to confirm your travel booking.  Our online verification form confirms your identity, so we can prevent fraud and ensure all travellers comply with the contest rules.

For more details on what information we collect and how we securely store and protect these records, please refer to our Privacy Policy ID verification general guidelines.

ID verifications must be completed through the identification software. We are not able to accept emailed copies of ID for verification purposes.

The ID will be automatically verified. Upon a successfully completed verification, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to complete your travel booking form.

If you do not receive our verification confirmation within 5 minutes after completing the verification scan, please look into your SPAM or ‘Clutter’ mailbox.

We’ll send the email from “verification@start-discover.eu,” so you can quickly search for it. If it isn’t in your inbox, check your folders. If a spam filter or email rule moved the email, it might be in the Spam, Junk, Trash, Deleted Items, or Archive folder.

You will be asked to scan a valid ID (passport, national identity card) using your device’s camera or webcam. Please note that the national identity card needs to be plastic cards to be recognized. This is a new method designed to reduce fraud; it is easy to use and – most importantly – fulfills all security standards.

The company behind this ID verification is called Jumio. Jumio specializes in card recognition and has developed a secure mechanism to accept credit card payments and verify IDs online. Jumio is fulfilling all security requirements and holds a patent pending on this process.

This process can take between 10 seconds and 4,5 minutes depending on the quality of lighting, camera resolution and ID type selected.

This process can take between 10 seconds and 4,5 minutes depending on the quality of lighting, camera resolution and ID type selected.

If you do not have a working webcam connected, you can upload an image file of your ID instead.

Click ‘Start ID verification’, then select ‘Upload a file of your ID’.

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Emergency information

You can call 112 from fixed and mobile phones to contact any emergency service: an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police.

A specially trained operator will answer any 112 calls. The operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer the call to the most appropriate emergency service depending on the national organisation of emergency services.

Operators in many countries can answer the calls not only in their national language but also in English or French. If the caller does not know where he is, the operator will identify where the person making the call is physically located and will pass it to the emergency authorities so that these can help immediately.

112 is also used in some countries outside the EU – such as Switzerland – and is available worldwide on GSM mobile networks.

112 operators respond only to real emergencies, such as the need for an ambulance, police or fire brigade. They do not provide traffic and weather reports, general information or answers to queries.

Hoax calls to 112 are a waste of time and money of the emergency operators and can also be dangerous and a criminal offence in most countries.

If you need to see a doctor or get hospital treatment during a trip to another EU country, having your European Health Insurance Card with you will make administration and reimbursement for public health care much easier.

Remember that health care and social security systems vary from one EU country to another. In some countries, you might have to pay the doctor or the hospital directly for treatment, even though you may not normally do that in your home country. You can find information about the healthcare system in the country you visit from a national healthcare institution, a National Contact Point, through the EHIC smartphone application, or by selecting a country from the list below:

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Passenger's Rights

If your train is cancelled or delayed

You always have the right to adequate information about what is happening while you are waiting.

If you are told you will arrive at your final destination with a delay of at least 1 hour, you are entitled to:

  • Cancel your travel plans and request an immediate refund of the cost of your ticket (sometimes in full, sometimes only for the part of the journey not made)
    You may also be entitled to a return journey to your initial departure point, if the delay stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip, or
  • Be transported to your final destination at the earliest opportunity (or a later date of your choosing). This includes alternative transport when the train is blocked and the service is suspended.
  • Meals and refreshments (proportionate to the waiting time)
  • Accommodation – if you have to stay overnight.

If the shipping service is cancelled or delayed

You always have the right to adequate and timely information about what is happening while you are waiting.

If the service is cancelled or departure is delayed for more than 90 minutes, you will be offered a choice:

  • Either you can get a refund for your ticket and, where necessary, a free return journey back to your initial departure point – for instance if the delay prevents you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip
  • or, you can be transported, under similar conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity and at no extra cost.

If your trip’s departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes, in most cases you are also entitled to:

  • meals and refreshments – proportionate to the waiting time
  • accommodation – if you have to stay overnight

If your bus is cancelled or delayed

You always have the right to adequate and timely information about what is happening while you are waiting.

If the long-distance service (more than 250km) you are booked in for is cancelled, or departure is delayed for more than 2 hours, you will be offered a choice:

  • Either you can get a refund for your ticket and where necessary free journey back to the service’s initial departure point – for instance, if the delay or cancellation prevents you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip
  • Or you can be transported, under similar conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity, and at no extra cost.

If your long-distance journey (more than 250km) was scheduled to last more than 3 hours and departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes or cancelled, you are also entitled to:

  • meals and refreshments – proportionate to the waiting time
  • accommodation – if you have to stay overnight (carriers are not obliged to cover accommodation if the delay was caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters.)

 

Train scenario

If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the railway company, which must reply within 1 month.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in your country.

Ship scenario

If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the carrier within 2 months of the date on which the event happened. The carrier must react within 1 month and give you a final reply 2 months after receiving the complaint.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body.

Bus scenario

If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the Bus company within 3 months of the date on which the event happened. The carrier must react within 1 month and give you a final reply 3 months after receiving the complaint.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body.

Train scenario

If your registered luggage is lost or damaged during your trip, you have a right to compensation, unless it was inadequately packed, unfit for transport or had a special nature.

Compensation amounts:

  • Up to EUR 1 300 per piece of registered luggage – if you can prove the value of its contents.

EUR 330 per piece if you can’t prove the value.

Ship scenario

You can submit a claim for compensation for any loss or damage during an accident at sea to a court in the country:

  • where the carrier has its main place of business or permanent residence, or
  • where your place of departure or destination is, or
  • where you permanently live – if the carrier has a place of business there and is subject to that country’s jurisdiction, or
  • where the travel contract was concluded – if the carrier has a place of business there and is subject to that country’s jurisdiction.

If your luggage is lost or damaged, you must inform the carrier in writing. You should ideally do this either by the time you leave the ship or by the time the luggage is eventually delivered. At the very latest, you must inform the carrier within 15 days of disembarkation or delivery, otherwise, you will lose your right to compensation.

In general, you must bring your claim to the courts within 2 years of the incident – although the starting point for this period can differ, depending on the nature of the loss or damage.

Bus scenario

In case of an accident:

You also have a right to compensation from the bus company if your luggage or other belongings are lost or damaged in a bus accident on a long-distance journey.

Plane scenario

If you want to file a claim for lost or damaged luggage, you should do it in writing to the airline within 7 days, or within 21 days of receiving your luggage if it was delayed. There is no standard EU-wide form.

  • If your checked-in luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, the airline is liable and you’re entitled to compensation up to an amount of approximately EUR 1 220.
    However, if the damage was caused by an inherent defect in the baggage itself, you’re not entitled to any compensation.
  • If your hand luggage is damaged the airline is liable if it was responsible for the damage.

Travel insurance

If you’re travelling with expensive items, you may, for a fee, request a higher compensation limit (in excess of EUR 1 220). To do this, you should make an advance declaration to the airline at the latest when you check in. However, to ensure you have sufficient coverage, it’s advisable to take out private travel insurance.

If your train is blocked on the track, the railway company must arrange (alternative) transport from your train to the railway station, to an alternative departure point or to the final destination, if physically possible.

YES – provided your bicycle is easy to handle and does not adversely affect the specific rail service. It also depends on whether the train itself allows for the transport of bicycles (size, space etc.) and a fee may be charged. Consequently, you should always check with the rail company before travelling.

YES – There is no financial limit where the railway company is responsible for damage to mobility equipment.

Ship scenario

If your trip’s arrival at the destination is delayed by more than 1 hour, you are entitled to compensation. Depending on the length of the delay, the compensation is either 25% or 50% of the ticket price.

You will not receive compensation if the delay was caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters.

Bus Scenario

If your trip’s arrival at the destination is delayed by more than 2 hours, you are entitled to compensation.

If you are not offered either the refund of your ticket, the free journey back to the service’s initial departure point or to be transported to your final destination at the time, you can later complain and claim a refund for the ticket plus compensation worth 50% of the ticket price.

In case of an accident :

If you are injured in a bus accident during a long-distance journey (more than 250 km), you are entitled to compensation. In case of death, compensation can be claimed by your dependents.

Where necessary, the carrier will also provide immediate assistance: first aid, food, clothes, transport and accommodation.

 

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European Youth Card

This is packed with discounts on culture, accommodation, travel, shopping and more.

Everyone under the age of 30 (or 26, depending on the country or region) can become a cardholder – you don’t have to be a student or a resident of a European country. You can find a quick overview of countries and their age limits here.

The card costs between 5€ and 19€, depending on where you purchase it, but you will always be able to use it wherever you see the European Youth Card logo. The card is usually valid for one year.

Check out the site to find out which possibilities the European Youth Card has to offer.

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