The InterRail pass is a train tickets that allows travellers unlimited journeys in 33 European countries for up to a month and, like many other travel tickets, this year the sales have exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
Over the past decade, the number of InterRail passes sold has kept increasing, except in 2020 and 2021, both marked by the pandemic.Eurail spokesperson for DPA news
A Eurail spokesperson told Germany’s DPA news agency that, in the first three months of 2022, the demand for the pass was higher than during the same period in 2019. They further explained that 2020 and 2021 were the only years since the launch of the rail pass when sales stagnated, which they attributed mostly to the strict travel restrictions imposed by countries during the pandemic.
The InterRail pass allows unlimited travel through 33 European countries, the 27 EU member states, along with 6 more associated to the Erasmus+ programme: Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey. Customers can choose their preferred option, which allows for a certain number of days of free rail travel within a specific time period, for example 7 days of free travel within a month.
Although the idea of the pass was initially aimed at young people who want to discover the continent, the company said the InterRail ticket has also become popular among families and the elderly. And while the InterRail is only available to EU citizens, Eurail also offers a more general pass for non-EU residents.
With member states easing or completely removing travel restrictions, the European Commission is once again offering free passes to 18-year-old EU residents. The programme DiscoverEU was launched in 2018 by the European Union to encourage young people to travel the continent, discover and learn about other member states’ cultures.
This year, the commission is giving away 70,000 free passes, with the first round of applications opened from 7 April to 21 April. A second round, for people who turn 18 later in the year, will be held in October. This year, along with their InterRail pass, young people will also receive a DiscoverEU discount card with discounts on cultural visits, learning activities, sports, local transportation, accommodation, food etc.