This article will present all the different functionalities of the Planner, so you can plan and customize your trip to your liking! While it might look simple at first, there are a lot of useful features and tricks included in this tool.
The Planner periodically downloads the expected train schedules of most train companies in Europe, meaning you can even look up routes while offline. However, this also means that the train times are not updated in real-time. This is good to keep in mind when planning your journey, so that you can check with the website of the operating train company for any last-minute changes to the schedule.
When opening the Planner, you get to see the screenshot above. In section 1 you can fill out the route you want to travel on, and in section 2 you can fill out the preferred date and time of your departure. However, don't forget to check out the ‘Options’ button in section 3, as this includes lots of useful filters and other features to customize your journey suggestions (see below).
The most popular filters to consider applying are as follows:
- Adding a stop (via): Click on Add and enter your desired stop. This can be used to create a specific route, for instance if you want to pick up a friend or if seat reservations are not available on the most direct route. You can do this either manually, or picking one from the list of nearby stations detected by GPS.
- No seat reservations required: This will filter out any trains with seat reservation requirements, so you don't have to pay any extra money for the train you’re travelling on.
- Interrail/ Eurail Pass network only: A few trains in Europe are not included in the Pass. If you turn this filter on, these trains will be filtered out of your route recommendations.
- Number of train changes: If you don’t like changing trains, you can limit the amount of changes in your itinerary. Do keep in mind that this can increase your total travel time.
- Transfer time: Prefer a bit more time between train changes to avoid connection stress? Then apply this filter to your trip, and adjust to your liking.
Once you've selected your filters, hit the ‘update’ button and return to the planner. Then, fill out your preferred route, date and time, and hit ‘search'.
The results screen will provide a list of recommended itineraries. These itineraries are based on the quickest travel time, and might not include all available options on the route you choose. You can use the filters mentioned above to further customize your route suggestions. For additional tips on planning your trip, please check out this article.
Note: some countries are not included in the Planner, for which you can find more information here.
Once you made a search enquiry, you can find the following information in the Planner:
- Departure time --> Arrival time. If you see ‘+1 day’ next to your arrival time, it means your arrival time falls into the day after departure. To check whether this requires one or two travel days, please read this article.
- Travel duration (clock icon) and number of train changes (🔀 symbol).
- Any special features about the route suggestion: This includes information about seat reservations (required or recommended, plus price indication), and a notice if a (part of) the itinerary falls outside of the Interrail network.
Click on the route of your choice, you will see the breakdown of the itinerary as follows:
In this overview, you can see the trains you'll be taking, the stations you'll be changing at, and the amount of change time incorporated in your itinerary. If you click on the little arrow right of the departure station, you can also see all intermediate station the train calls at. This can be useful to check your train's punctuality while travelling!
Last but not least, you can book your seat reservations (if applicable) using the link at the bottom of the page. If seat reservations are needed, click on Book seat reservations.This will take you to Interrail's website, where you can purchase the required seats. All the reservations made via Interrail's website will appear in section Your bookings (More > Seat reservations > Your bookings).
If you approve of the itinerary suggestion, you add it to your trip by clicking on Save journey. All the trains that you save in the planner will be displayed in My Trip section. More information on this section of the app can be found here. If you'd prefer to know a summarized version on how to create your QR-code, you can check out this article.