My friend and I don't know which pass to get

  • 7 November 2022
  • 6 replies


My friend and I are both planning on buying a eurail pass soon but we don’t know how we should go about buying them. I am French and he is Japanese but with a residency card from the U.K. since he is currently studying abroad there. I was wondering if he could still get an interrail eurail pass just like me since his visa in the U.K. will still be valid until late next year or if he should buy a eurail pass. Also, will there be any problem if we don’t buy the same pass, i.e. if he buys a eurail and I buy an Interrail: will we still be able to reserve seatings in the same train and next to each other etc. ?

Thank you for you help,

Safe travels :)



Best answer by cdwatkins19 7 November 2022, 16:26

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6 replies

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As a rule of thumb if you have a European passport it’s Interrail everything else is Eurail. You can have an Interrail if you can prove residency in a European country but you’ll need all the documents to prove it when travelling. Reservations are completely separate from your ticket so you reserve 2 seats and sit together 

Userlevel 7
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With an Interrail pass with UK as country of residence your friend can only use a maximum of 2 travel days in the UK. Just as you only can use a maximum of 2 travel days in France. With a Eurail pass there are no outbound/inbound travel days. 

If you have a non European passport it is easiest to buy a Eurail pass.

Userlevel 7
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Here is some useful information from the experienced travellers in the Community regarding both planning, reservations and activation of pass and travel days. 


The rail planner is normally not up to date, as it only is updated once a month, so to be sure of the time table you better check the timetable and availability on the websites of the national railways. The bigger national railways, like DB (Germany) SBB (Switzerland) and ÖBB (Austria) cover several countries. 


The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is to use other ways to make reservations than the Interrail/Eurail website.  You can look at the guide in the link:

If you, after having looked at the guide, have questions about how to make specific reservation, please give your travel details (departure date, time and route) preferably in a new topic, and you will get advice.

Please note that Interrail/Eurail charges an extra fee of 2 EUR per person and train in addition to the fee for the seat reservation.

 Activation of pass

During the activation process, when you choose the start day of the validity of the pass, the first day of the validity period is automatically made a travel day, even if you don't enter a journey, the advice is therefore not to activate the pass before the first travel day as you only can deactivate the pass before 00.00 on the day the validity starts. If your travel plans change in the last moment you will loose travel days if you have activated the pass in advance.

It can be wise to make a test and activate the pass with a start date well in the future and then deactivate the pass immediately, just to see that everything works.

 Activation of travel day

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is also never to activate a travel day, that is connect a journey to your pass and create the ticket (QR code), until just before boarding the train, otherwise you might loose a travel day if your travel plans change in a late stage  You can't delete a travel day in the past. A travel day can only be deleted until 23.59 CET the day before the travel day.

Userlevel 7
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Note specific for the FRench: Note that a trip on €*-if you go out of GB eco-friendly: it will always ALSO count this is as trip in homeland FRance-as it does pass FR. So if you start with going to la Belgique des friteries et chocolats: gone is 1 travelday for you in this hexagone with the SNCF.

We have seen quite a lot of very annoyed FRenchmen about this horreur des horreurs here.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Your Friend is best using Eurail. Otherwise you're gonna exclude both the UK and France out of your trips. Cause interrail excludes unlimited travel in your home country (except for two in or outbound journey days). 

Reservations can done via a whole plethora of ways. One person can reserve for the both of you. No worries needed about that. Note that reservations are not really necessary in much of Central Europe, if you travel off season. 

Good evening everyone,

Thank you all for your replies. They were all really helpful!
If you guys have any tips regarding what to bring on an adventure around Europe or useful links for things to do in Italy, feel free to leave them in the comments too.
On this note, I’m off to plan my trip around Europe with my friend :D