You might be new to train travel, or new to travelling on your own in general! Therefore, we have compiled some useful tips to get you started:
- Plan ahead, and don't wait till the last minute! It is smart to plan your trip sometime in advance. This way you will have the greatest choice of accommodation and trains, and you will not risk trains being fully booked. Especially in summer, trains with seat reservation requirements will sell out of seats weeks, or even months in advance. Thus, don't wait too long, and start planning once you know when you can go on your DiscoverEU adventure!
- Allow for enough change time between your connecting trains. We recommend incorporating enough change time between connecting trains, especially when connecting to a train with a seat reservation requirement. Trains are generally quite punctual and reliable, but of course some disruptions can occur along the way. If this happens, you don't want to have a very small amount of time to make your connecting train. You can use the filters in the Planner of the DiscoverEU App to build a minimum change time into your itinerary.
- The data in the DiscoverEU Travel App is not live travel information. The departure and arrival times in the Planner are the scheduled times of service, which are updated approximately every 2-3 weeks. In case trains are delayed or cancelled on the day of travel itself, this will not show up in the app. For the most up-to-date information, check the departure boards on the train stations, or the website of the national railway company in the country you are travelling. You can find an overview of all national railway companies on this page of the Interrail website. In case your initial itinerary is disrupted, you can check this article for tips on how to re-plan your trip.
- The results of the Planner might not be the only options for your route. When you make a search enquiry, the Planner in the DiscoverEU Travel App prioritizes the fastest possible connections. However, this might not always be the most convenient option for you. Perhaps you want to avoid trains with seat reservations, or you want to make a stop somewhere along the way. In this case, you can use the filters in the Planner to change the itinerary suggestions you are given, or you can break your overall day's journey down into smaller sections (e.g. Paris – Lille and Lille – Brussels, instead of Paris – Brussels).
- Enable service notifications on the DiscoverEU Travel App. This way, you'll be informed in case any major disruptions or strikes are announced on the network. We will send out a push notification, so you know what to expect and can re-plan your initial itinerary if necessary.
- Use the knowledge on the Help Center, and connect with the DiscoverEU Community! We've assembled lots of information for you on the Help Center, which can help you in many scenario's during your trip. You can also contact fellow DiscoverEU travellers through the Community platform. Some of them might have useful tips, or exciting destinations for you to visit!