Destination Europe

Interrailing During A Pandemic: What You Need to Know

Posted on
October 2, 2020

Interrail is one of the best ways to see more of Europe. With an interrail travel pass, you can visit 40,000 destinations in 33 countries, creating the European adventure that you want, and the chance to have a truly flexible break. It’s a cost-effective and safe way to travel that gives you the perfect opportunity to see all of those European cities that are on your bucket list, without being tied to dates and travel plans. Interrailing is popular with students on gap years, as well as other groups looking to see Europe for the first time or to discover some fabulous new locations. 

But, this year, things are a little different. Our lives have been turned upside down, travel plans have been cancelled, and even simple things like visiting relatives have been difficult, or even impossible. There are travel restrictions in place all over the world, and this has affected many of us. 

Unfortunately, interrailing, while not impossible, has become something that requires more planning and preparation. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s no longer an option, either now, or at some point in the future. Here’s everything that you need to know. 

Travel Insurance is a Must…

Travel insurance is always a good idea, and it’s even more crucial at the moment. But, finding the right European travel insurance during a pandemic can be challenging. However, there are companies like Staysure offering travel insurance that include cover against COVID-19, as well as other issues. They also offer a simple quote, and a quick application process to have you ready to go ASAP. 

…As Are Face Masks

Face coverings are equally important. You’ll need to wear a face-covering onboard trains, as well as in stations and crowded areas outdoors. Most of the countries that you visit will also insist on face masks in public places, and especially indoors, so make sure you’ve got a good supply. 

Social Distancing Restrictions Are in Place

Social distancing guidelines are also in place all over the world, and interrail trains are no different. You’ll be asked to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from anyone outside of your household or support bubble. 

Differing Risks and Restrictions Around Europe

You can check up on interrail restrictions online, but it’s also important that you pay attention to travel restrictions, distancing measures, and other guidance before heading to a new destination. Rules, guidelines and even laws are different in every country and are changing frequently. Make sure you always know what to expect.

Some Routes May be Cancelled

As the pandemic first swept across Europe, most train services were cancelled. Now, travel is at least partially possible in most countries, but not every journey will be available. In Spain, for example, while borders are open, domestic travel is extremely limited. 

Most night trains are currently running, but you may only be able to book whole compartments, instead of just beds. 

Other Risks Might Be Reduced

Interrail has initiated extra cleaning; customers and staff are being encouraged to wash their hands, and wear masks. While COVID-19 is unfortunately still a risk, your chances of catching a cold are reduced. 

Flexibly is Crucial

Flexibility is extremely important. This isn’t the time to go interrailing with a firm itinerary. Trains could get cancelled at very short notice, and countries could close their borders with little warning. Stay flexible, go where you can, and be ready to change your plans without much warning. 

The key takeaway is that interrailing, like all travel at the moment, is subject to change. Make sure you check route restrictions and cancellations before booking your pass and keep up to date with any local restrictions at your destinations before you travel. Be prepared, pack your face mask, and you’ll be fine. 


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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog