We are a family of four, two children aged 8 and 11 and two adults. We wanted to take an Interrail trip, excited about traveling by train and trusting that it would be pleasant and fun. How wrong we were! Our experience has been horrible. We have taken 8 trains and we have had delays in 5! the shortest 45 minutes, the longest 160! Because of this we have lost the link with the following trains, so we lost the seat reservations we had in first class. Result: on one occasion we had to travel in the train bar, on another we had to spend the night (9 hours!) in a seat despite having reserved beds. I insist: with two small children. If you don't trust our words, take a look at Interrail's compensation policy: they do not compensate any delay of less than 60 minutes. Because? obvious: because there are so many, they would lose money. And the biggest delays equally at ridiculous prices. But that is not all! Changes in train schedules without prior notice, mistreatment by train and station staff, impossibility of reserving seats, lack of information, absolutely overloaded trains, closed offices...
The most humiliating of all: when we asked for compensation for so many problems, the compensation that Interrail offered us was ridiculous, miserable.
DO NOT do an interrail, especially if you are families with children. They ruined our vacations, it was constant mistreatment.
If, despite that, you decide to do so, keep the following in mind: do not trust the links proposed by the Interrail train search engine because, due to the numerous delays, you risk losing links with other trains. Do not take links with other trains of less than 2 hours.
If you want to take a train at night, and sleep in beds, first get to that city, sleep there, and take it the following night. Do not trust to arrive and connect to take the train at night because if you miss it, because of the delays, even if they find you a train for the next day you will NOT have a bed.
Finally, do not trust the schedules or the numbers of the trains. They change them at the last minute and nobody notifies you. And in Europe from 5-6pm all station offices are closed. Nobody helps you.
One last thing: train and station staff are usually rude. The consequence of poor service is suffered by them, which makes them end up being very aggressive and rude. There is even corruption (we saw an employee get paid in cash inside the train for leaving beds that were free for some passengers). There are exceptions, of course, but kindness and empathy are hard to find despite the poor service.