Words by Nadine Zoszler
For over 40 years Interrail has been connecting countries and travellers across Europe, giving young explorers the opportunity and freedom to discover new cultures, history and the sights of Europe at an affordable rate.
Created in 1972 as a unique train travel pass designed specifically for youth, the Interrail Pass is now used by more than 220,000 European travellers of all ages to access unlimited travel in 30 different countries in Europe annually. Unsurprisingly the summer season is seen as the ideal time of year for many young travellers to experience all that Europe has to offer first-hand.
“We see a real peak of young travellers during the summer break, as for many, the Interrail experience is a rite of passage. Summer is that unique period each year where everyone is looking for a feeling of freedom, so this year we’ll be building on that notion by participating in some of the top music festivals in Europe with the Interrail summer Festival Tour, including the ever-popular Rock in Vienna in Austria and Rock for People in the Czech Republic,” says Silvia Görlach, Eurail Group Sales & Marketing Manager.
French national, Anne-Sophie Vaxelaire (aged 22), spent last summer exploring all corners of Europe using an Interrail Pass.
“There is so much to be found and to experience in Europe, there is so much vibrancy and variety. It was awesome and the experience was more than I expected! It was everything I had anticipated and far more, I simply could not imagine how good it would have been before I had actually done it.”
For Anne-Sophie travelling with Interrail was about more than just crossing borders in Europe, but expanding her personal boundaries.
“I felt like I’d found a sense of independence and had a unique opportunity to discover myself in new situations and develop myself.”
Anne-Sophie’s experience is a trend witnessed in many young Interrailers. “We know from our pass holders that Interrail offers something completely different to most alternative travel options. The whole experience creates a new sense of freedom and independence for young people – particularly important when you’re travelling for the first time without the security of a parent”, says Silvia.
Similarly Peter Ye (aged 21), originally from the United States, and now living and studying in the Netherlands, emphasised how his Interrail journey turned out to be more than just an all-access train pass: “It was better than expected because all the random things and people I met on the trip. To feel the freedom was the best!”
Unlike other modes of transport, rail travel gives a taste of authentic local culture. Whether it is a local, high speed, express, or scenic route, travelling by train is the perfect way to meet people from diverse cultural backgrounds and make new travel friends from all corners of the globe.
“Prior to the trip I had no idea that traveling by train can be an excellent way to meet new people. I made new lifelong friends, which has encouraged me to travel more and be a bit braver in life,” adds Peter.
Silvia notes “We specifically offer special rates for youth 25 years and younger to make it possible for more young people to share in a life changing, memorable Interrail experience. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet likeminded people, get involved in alternative cultures, and learn about the rich history of Europe, all the while creating memories and impressions that will stay with you for a lifetime.”
Visit www.interrail.eu now for inspiration, to plan your route, and select your Interrail Pass.
Interrail is a premium partner of YO!Fest 2015