More and more international students are coming to study an Erasmus in Barcelona, those who decide to get to know the European continent with just one train ticket. The Interail is a single ticket that allows you to travel by train throughout Europe.
Imagine that you have finished the course at the university and plan a summer holiday with the classmates from your student flat in Barcelona throughout Europe. The next step is to buy a train ticket, which is also cheap and valid for all trains in Europe, so that you don't have to be buying one for each country you decide to visit, which would take hours and hours of planning and would also be much more expensive.
That's Interrail, buying a single ticket that allows you to use the trains of the old continent and easily plan your own adventure in your own way!
But like everything else, the Interrail also has its limitations, and there are issues you need to know in advance.
The first thing you have to do is decide which countries you are going to visit and where they are geographically located, because there are two modalities in the ticket: the "One Country Pass" modality allows you to travel through 1 specific country to discover it in depth and the option, if you have a lot of "Global Pass" time that gives you the right to use trains from any country in Europe, be it 2 countries, 3 or the 30 that are part of the agreement. In both cases there is one exception: you cannot use an Interrail ticket in your own country of residence.
The second thing you should keep in mind when planning your trip on Interail from Barcelona is when you are going to travel and for how many days. It is important to differentiate between "period of validity" and "days of travel". The validity period (which in most cases will be 1 month), is as simple as it seems: if a ticket is valid from July 1 to July 30, then it means that you can only use your ticket within those days. Now, that doesn't mean you can use it every day. That's where the theme of "travel days" comes in.
Travel days, for example: 15 days in 1 month, are the number of days we can use our ticket within a given validity period, that is, you could choose 15 days to travel from July 1 to July 30, but no more. They can be skipped days or continuous days, but never more than 15 (in this example). In the Global Pass mode, there is the possibility of traveling 15 days, 22 days, 1 month, 2 months or 3 months continuously, so that the days of travel and the period of validity would be the same and you would not have to worry about how many days you have left to spend.
Before issuing your ticket, please note that Interrail is not a travel agency. They only sell you the single train ticket, but they don't manage hostels and they don't manage excursions, guided visits, tickets to monuments, etc....all these details you will have to organize on your own.
Another important question, if you are not a student with a passport from any of the countries participating in Interail, or from Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Cyprus, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Lithuania, Moldova, Monaco, Russia, San Marino or Ukraine, you cannot buy a ticket if you do not justify a minimum residence of six months in any of the countries that are part of the offer.
But if you don't meet these requirements, don't worry, you can buy the EuRailPass, a ticket very similar to the Interrail but designed for non-European international students.
Have a nice trip!