inter-railing 1st class
sloppyjoe · 14/01/2021 00:46
Has any done this? Is it worth the extra £££?
DD (15, nearly 16) wants to go inter-railing. She is autistic though and although she copes pretty well, she wants to go with me.
I'm very nearly 51 and don't fancy slumming it anymore! I love travelling though and am happy to do the trip whenever it is appropriate to do so. We originally said this summer after her GCSE's, but it may be next summer now, we'll have to see how things go…
It's hard to tell from the web site what exactly you get for the extra £££.
Just wondered if anyone has done this?
TantieTowie · 14/01/2021 15:52
We went inter railing with the kids (then 7 and 11) a few years ago and we went 2nd class. It was fine. First class might be better if you were going on overnight trains and don't want to share, but it might not be as necessary to cover the miles while you sleep with an older teenager (might well be preferable to travel by day). Second class on a TGV is pretty nice anyway.
I also interrailed age 19 and the for me slumming it bit was more about not having any money and staying in youth hostels that didn't open till 4pm. Clearly, you can stay wherever you like regardless of how you travel - we mostly rented apartments this last time.
BTW, we found it much, much easier to book the supplements/seats for each leg of your trip, including Eurostar, via the Interrail contact centre, which costs extra. It's impossible to even work out where you do it on many of the national websites, and even more so for night trains and I could never get the Eurostar website to work with Interrail. But if you are going to Italy, Spain or Germany, then it seemed easier to book direct since the local websites incorporate interrail. The UK was almost the only country where we just turned up and got on the train since you have to book many fast European trains in advance. (If you wanted slow day time trains, then you could just show up...)
HollowTalk · 14/01/2021 15:57
I used to go interrailing - the idea of going first class is great! I've just had a quick look at the tickets - when I went we could travel at any time - could literally stay on the train for days if we wanted to - but now it seems there's a limited number of days you can travel. Are you told which days you have to travel on, or is there just a limit?
HollowTalk · 14/01/2021 15:59
Sorry, just seen you can choose your dates! Thought that must be the case.
rookiemere · 16/01/2021 08:41
Oh wow just wanted to say thanks as I had no idea you could interrail as an adult or you could go first class. Definitely one for DH and I to add to the bucket list
tribpot · 16/01/2021 09:03
It will be a fun trip for you. My teen and I have travelled around Europe by train a couple of summers in a row (alas not last year of course) using Seat 61 as a guide. Like you, I wanted it to be as comfy as possible, so we went in first class.
In general I would say standard class is extremely acceptable, first is generally pleasant but not exceptional. In Norway standard is essentially the same as first, just literally in first you get a free cup of coffee and a newspaper.
If you want to have a look around before you decide, there are a number of YouTubers who do videos of their travels by train - Paul Lucas is more of a plane buff but recently did a trip from Milan to Sicily by train, have a look through his videos for earlier examples.
Dylan's Travel Reports have a lot of train videos and Simply Railway does what it says on the tin. Usually these YouTubers will try and move around on the train and get footage from different classes of carriage, the buffet car etc.
As an aside, for anyone wondering about wheelchair travel, I have done this with my DH in Netherlands and Belgium and it is highly doable, even if it must be a more unusual sight as I did get some questions from other passengers about 'how does this work? Do they bring him a ramp?' etc.
sloppyjoe · 17/01/2021 17:06
tribpot thanks for those links. i'll have a look at them.
I should have thought about looking on you tube. I did this when we took DD on a long haul flight years ago. Someone had literally filmed being on the same flight we were doing! No idea why, but very useful to an autism parent!!
spababe · 17/01/2021 17:12
We did London to Milan first class with 2 primary school age children a few years ago. My DH works for the railway and got reduced price tickets. The kids loved the adventure and they were used to travelling by train anyway. The seats were bigger and the views were great and on some trains we got included meals - Paris to Geneva on the TGV for example. Geneva to Brig through the Swiss Alps was just stunning and we now hope to do more rail travel in Europe when we can.
Avondklok · 19/01/2021 11:32
Seat61.com is a fabulous site for planning. In 2019 we did Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Vienna, the Tirol and Munich. I didn't buy an interail ticket as when I priced it up it was cheaper booking the individual tickets. I did book them a lot in advance though. We flew to Prague. I got bargains for first class on the German and Austrian trains and it was definitely more spacious. Good WiFi. Food was not included but there was table service so no need to go to the buffet car. Prices were reasonable. Train companies often have sample menus on their websites. All the trains were fine though, and punctual. I am hoping to do Northern Italy this year via Munich and possibly Basel or Zurich. There's a sleeper direct from Munich to Verona/Venice but dd is not keen on the idea. It would be nice to do the journey through the alps in daylight.
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