We spent two wonderful weeks with our Eurail/Interrail tickets travelling through Italy and France.
We started our journey with a flight from Bristol in the UK to Venice, Italy (check out the drama infused journey in my blog post Storytime: 10 hours in Venice, Italy).
We had no idea how to use the tickets and found the whole experience a little confusing in the beginning.
We both had the continuous pass which meant we had unlimited train travel daily. The problem was we kept getting on trains that needed reservations. In the beginning we went to the train station the day before and booked on to the train we wanted but EVERY time we had to pay a reservation fee.
Plan your route
We didn’t have a concrete plan. We just knew that we wanted to end the trip in Paris.
I searched on google maps for our then, current location and then found the train tracks on the map. I would follow the train tracks to see what towns, cities had a train station. Then I would find a place I liked, check Airbnb to see if they had cheap accommodation and that is pretty much how we travelled from Napoli to Paris with our rail passes.
Choose a scenic seat
This is pretty self explanatory. Try and choose the right side of the train that you know will have the best view. Like Genoa to Nice, make sure you sit on the left side to get the beach coastal views!
Fill out the travel diary
This is very important. Attached to your ticket will be a travel diary. You must fill out every journey you plan to make before you travel. If not, you may be penalized by train staff.
Pack your own food and drink
Some train journeys will be long and you will need to be prepared. Pack lots of water and food and snacks to keep you going!
Download the App
The best advice I can share with you is to download the FREE Eurail Rail Planner app. This app works offline and gives you all the information you need regarding train times and stations.
It also tells you which routes you need to make a reservation for and which routes are free. We used this app to help us travel from Genoa, Italy to Paris, France without reservations.
Great Places Accessible by Train
Just a short train ride south of Napoli. This beautiful coastal Italian town was a lucky find!
A beautiful french medieval town, surrounded by beautiful countryside and sunflower fields!
We stayed at this Airbnb and we LOVED it. If you do stop by, then make sure to book in with Aurore and family!
There are hundreds of amazing destinations on and off the beaten path that still have a train station. There is no better way to explore Europe than by train.
So what are you waiting for?