Have you ever dreamed of traveling Europe by train to save money and maximize your time? Your honeymoon is the ideal time to do so! Avoid mistakes and learn best practices with our 15 train travel tips for couples.
This post was written by Josh Band, the voice behind A Backpacker’s World. He loves writing about backpacking and loves to explore on a budget. This post also contains affiliate links.
Read our train travel tips before heading on Eurail or Interrail.
We have 15 of the best train travel tips for those considering a Eurail or Interrail Pass. Which one do you need and what do you need to know before you travel by train? Stay to find out.
Going on an Interrailing trip or using Eurail is one of the best ways to travel around Europe. As a result, it becomes more and more popular each year, particularly for honeymooners who want to see a lot in a little amount of time.
Whether your trip is two weeks or an entire year, there are some things you’re going to want to know. To help you make the most of your money, keep yourself as safe as possible, meet as many people as possible, be as comfortable as you can, and generally, just keep the trip going smoothly, you will want to follow these train travel tips.
Without further ado, let’s crack on.
Do I need a Eurail or Interrail Pass?
The best way to answer whether or not you need a Eurail or Interrail Pass is to clarify based on where you’re from. If you live in Europe, you will need an Interrail Pass. Whereas if you live outside of Europe, a Eurail Pass is the best way to go. Easy peasy!
Eurail and Interrailing Train Travel Tips for Couples
1. Make reservations to travel Europe by train.
One of the most common mistakes newlyweds make when interrailing is forgetting about reservations. When you buy an Interrail, Eurail, or Eurostar pass, you don’t need to buy a ticket for any train you take. However, for some lines, you do need to book a reservation.
Reservations are most common in France, Italy, and Spain but can happen in any country. In terms of price, the cost can range from a few euros up to €30+. If you’re on a shoestring budget, plan your trains more carefully.
Often, you can avoid taking trains that require reservations, but it might add an hour to the journey. Depending on the price, it’s sometimes worth it, especially for your European honeymoon in Spain or wherever you want to explore.
2. Pack light on your train travel honeymoon.
If anyone who has ever been Interrailing could give train travel tips or a piece of advice, it would be to pack light. Traveling from city to city, from country to country, it can get exhausting.
And the last thing you want to do is carry a 20kg suitcase up 200 steps to reach your hotel in Lisbon, for example. Having a light backpack is the best way to go. Consequently, it’s much easier to travel with. And if your backpack is small enough, it can even be classed as hand luggage on planes, helping save you even more money.
One of the best train travel tips is to pack light so you don’t have to carry a lot of luggage around.
3. Stay in hostels to offset costs after your wedding.
An interrailing trip shouldn’t be lonely, even if you’re traveling with your new spouse. Europe is the birthplace of hostels, and you can find hostels pretty much anywhere and everywhere on the continent.
Hostels are great for a number of reasons. Comparing hostels to hotels, there’s a clear winner for Interrailing: hostels. One of the most significant advantages is that they’re much cheaper, allowing you to keep your budget going longer.
But the best part about others traveling by train is that you can make new friends really quickly. Everyone in a hostel is in the same boat and wants to meet new like-minded people, even on their honeymoon.
You can make friends for life by traveling, and a hostel provides the perfect location and atmosphere for meeting new people. And, yes, it’s perfectly acceptable for couples and singles to stay at hostels.
4. Take night trains to travel Europe.
If you really want to save money on accommodations, one of the best train travel tips is to take a night train. A night train is precisely what the name suggests: a train at night time.
Many of the “sleeper trains” will have more comfortable seats than a standard train, and many will have beds (at a price, of course). Taking a night train means merging travel and accommodation, saving you one night’s worth of accommodation money. So smart!
Also, if your train journey begins one day and finishes the next (for example, you take a train at 11 p.m. on a Monday and arrive at 6 a.m. on Tuesday), it only counts as one travel day from your Interrail or Eurail pass.
5. Use your Interrail or Eurail pass on Eurostar.
Most people’s interrailing journey only involves mainland Europe, yet London is on the bucket list of millions and millions of travelers. Well, you can actually use your Eurail or Interrail pass on the Eurostar. It’s one of the most unknown facts about Interrailing and Eurailing.
The pass is valid for the trains between London and Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Lille, and Disneyland Paris, making it super easy and convenient to get between mainland Europe and the UK. Note that you need a reservation, and they often book out months in advance, so plan ahead.
Bonus Tip: In your Interrail pass, you have a first journey from your home city and a last trip to your home city, which does not count as travel days. If you live in the UK, these journeys can be on the Eurostar, meaning you don’t have to pay for a flight to mainland Europe to start your journey.
6. Download entertainment, such as podcasts and shows.
Taking train journeys all the time can get boring. The first train trip is always exciting, and you can watch out the window and take in the views. However, after the first couple, they get boring, especially longer-distance ones.
Before taking a long trip, travelers usually cancel their subscriptions, assuming they won’t be used. But it’s actually a good idea to keep Netflix and/or Spotify downloaded. Those long train rides go much quicker if you have a movie to keep you occupied or an episode of your favorite podcast.
Download your favorite movies and podcasts to keep the train journey interesting on your honeymoon.
7. Forget about overplanning your European honeymoon.
Another of the best train travel tips is to not overplan. Many honeymooners intend to schedule their Interrailing trip in advance, which is normal. It’s exciting, and couples want to plan a route. But that’s all you should do: Plan a rough route of where you want to go in Europe.
Don’t book reservations months in advance (except the Eurostar). Additionally, it’s the same with accommodations. So, allow yourself some flexibility. Imagine you make a group of friends in Milan who you really get on well with, and they’re all going to Florence next.
But you and your new spouse can’t go with them because you have a hotel room booked in Venice. It’s happened to everyone, and it sucks. Save yourself from this and allow yourself some freedom. You also might fall in love with a city and want to spend a few extra days.
Conversely, you might hate somewhere and want to leave a night early. Therefore, allow yourself to make these decisions. Planning everything down to a tee makes it impossible.
8. Keep a battery pack close and charged.
When on Interrail or Eurail, your phone is your everything. It’s your map with directions to your accommodations and your personal camera for taking pictures of all the sights.
It is also your translator for communicating with locals and your way to pay for your meal. A phone also serves as your way to stay in touch with those who need to know you’re safe.
That’s a long list of tasks for one device, which means the charge can drain quickly. Always have a (charged) battery pack that you can use to keep your phone alive.
Many trains will have USB slots or sockets to charge your phone, but not always. Also, if you’re just out and about for the day, you’ll need to have a charging pack.
9. Buy a neck pillow to sleep easily on the train.
Remember those long train journeys that can get boring quickly? You’ll spend a lot of time reading, watching movies, and looking out the window. Plus, if you book a night train, you’ll hopefully get some shut-eye.
A neck pillow makes the ride a little bit better and can help ensure you get a good night sleep. Whether you want to deep sleep or just get comfortable and relax, the small addition of a neck pillow makes things much more manageable.
It’s best to buy one before your trip. Unfortunately, all the airports and train stations sell them at an inflated price. You’ll probably want one eventually. So, you should save money and get one before your trip.
10. Opt for a slow train travel experience on your honeymoon.
One of the most crucial interrailing tips is not to travel too fast. You see people all the time who have 30 days to tour Europe and want to visit 15 countries. It’s just not a good idea.
You’ll spend more time on a train than you will actually be out and about and getting a feel for the destinations. No one wants only to spend one day in Rome, right? (Tip: Backpacking to see Rome on a budget is a great way to go!)
You’ll also burn out really quickly. Yes, travel burnout is real. Therefore, be realistic with your itinerary, and give each place enough time for you to experience it properly. You can always come back and visit other honeymoon destinations in Europe and see the places you missed.
One of the best train travel tips is not to pack your Eurail or Interrail itinerary too heavily.
11. Minimize your Eurail or Interrail itinerary.
But on the other hand, don’t try and see absolutely everything there is to see. Don’t feel like you can’t leave Rome without seeing every fountain. Release the pressure to stay in Amsterdam until you visit every canal. And you’d have to live in Germany to see every castle.
Traveling Europe by train is all about compromise and finding the right balance between not staying for long enough and staying for too long. For that 30-day trip, you don’t want only to visit two cities, so you need to schedule your time.
In 30 days, choosing around 8-9 places is realistic and allows you just the right amount of time in each place. Plus, you won’t feel like you have to rest when you return from your honeymoon.
12. Expect train delays and be flexible.
As impressive as an interrailing adventure will be, it wouldn’t be a list of the best train travel tips without saying to expect delays. There are lots of cheap cities in Germany to visit, which makes it a trendy country to see.
However, the Deutsche Bahn is absolutely awful. They cancel trains for no reason, and their delays are like nowhere else in Europe. But you should expect general delays throughout your trip.
Even though it’s a romantic trip to Europe, things won’t go perfectly. A train meant to get you in at 6 pm and allow for an evening seeing the destination might get you in at 8 pm. Then you have to head straight for the hotel.
If you’re prepared for delays, it’s not as disappointing when they inevitably happen.
13. Load a map app on your phone to keep updated.
Having Google Maps downloaded is a general travel tip everyone should know, and it’s advantageous if you use Interrail or Eurail. Taking train journeys in other countries can be difficult if you don’t speak the language.
You hear all these announcements, and you wonder what they’re saying. The truth is, 90% of the time, you’ll never know. For the other 10%, you might be able to work it out.
]It’s really easy to miss your stop when using European trains. However, by having Google Maps, you can see where your train is and how far you are away from your stop.
It means you’ll never miss your destination. Additionally, Google Maps is very useful for general navigation while Interrailing.
14. Save money by using Revolut.
A top train travel tip to save money is to use Revolut. Not every country in Europe uses Euros as their currency. As a result, this is particularly useful if you’re traveling to countries with different currencies.
You can pay using Revolut in any currency, and there are no fees for paying in a different currency. And the exchange rates are much better than any banks offer.
Save money on every transaction by having a Revolut card. It might be small amounts at a time, but small amounts quickly add up.
Traveling by train in Europe is a great way to save money, even on accommodations if you take a night train.
Why Train Travel Is Better
Last but by no means least, you should consider if a Eurail or Interrail ticket is even worth it. Depending on where you’re traveling, it sometimes works out cheaper to buy each train journey as a normal ticket.
In this case, you’re simply paying for the convenience of the Interrail or Eurail pass. You might even consider using Flixbus instead. Buses take a little bit longer but cost a fraction of the price.
If you compare prices, you can find a Flixbus to take you from City A to City B that takes 4 hours but costs €8 or a train that takes 2.5 hours but has a €15 reservation (and your Eurail or Interrail pass). There’s an obvious winner when it comes to budget.
FAQ About Train Travel Tips in Europe
Below are some questions related to tips for train travel, along with the answers to each respective question.
How much money do you need per day for Interrailing or Eurailing?
What you’ll need per day for traveling Europe by train varies widely depending on your travel style, preferences, and the countries you visit. Eastern Europe is much cheaper than Western Europe, for example.
Speaking generally, €60 per day is a good budget for train travel, including accommodation but not including the pass or reservations.
What do I need to do before Interrailing or Eurailing?
You must buy your Eurail or Interrail pass and plan your first few journeys. Make sure to check if reservations are required. It’s best not to plan your whole trip day by day, as this allows for some flexibility on the go.
How long should you spend Interrailing or Eurailing?
Most people interrail for two to four weeks, but it’s common to find people Interrailing for much longer. Anything less than one week, and it’s not really worth going by train. It’s best to just stick to one or two destinations.
How fast does train travel?
It may sound scary, but many go almost 200 mph (320 km/hr) without stopping. One of the best train travel tips is to take one! It’s a way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
What are advantages and disadvantages of traveling by train?
The cons of interrailing are that Europe is expensive compared to Asia, Africa, and South America. It also gets exhausting taking so many train journeys in such a short period of time.
There are also many different languages, currencies, and cultures within a small area, making it difficult to adapt to one over your trip.
Both Interrail and Eurail travel incredibly fast, meaning you can get from one place to another quickly.
Use our train travel tips when honeymooning in Europe!
And there you have it, a complete list of the best train travel tips. Using Eurail or Interrail is an unforgettable experience and is one of the best things you can do on your European honeymoon.
Make sure to use these tips to help your trip go swimmingly. Whether it’s as small as having Netflix or much bigger, like using Eurostar, following these tips will undoubtedly lead to a better experience.
Enjoy your time traveling Europe by train. It will be incredible! 🙂