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What is a travel day? No, but seriously what is it "exactly"?

  • 22 September 2022
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I'm not satisfied with the explanation of "travel day" in the interrail website and even in other YouTube tutorials. So I wanna really understand the logic of it with details.

I always imagined like this: Let’s say I have a 7 days pass and I went from Estonia to Germany, and let’s say it lasted 10 hours in the train. I’m imagining like 6 days 14 hours left for me to travel.

But as much as I research, I’m encountering some things which are confusing me more, even in the interrail’s website itself says like this: “For instance, you can use 1 travel day to get from London to Paris and another travel day to go from Paris to Amsterdam.” But going from London to Paris, and Paris to Amsterdam, all can be done in one day.  Even we can go more destinations if we want.

From London to Paris, it says 2hrs 16mins.

From Paris to Amsterdam, it says 3 hrs 31 mins.

So in total, it’s just 5 hrs 47 mins. How it can cost 2 travel days then?

Somebody please tell me this thing with all details, for I’m perfectionist and I wanna know everything about this. Unless I can’t get the logic, I will not satisfy and also I will not be able to start to plan my journey according to it. 

Also the interrail itself should be more sharp and explanatory in their descriptions, I’m sure they lost a lot of customers like this with this kinda insufficient explanations.

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Best answer by AnnaB 22 September 2022, 23:39

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a travel day starts at midnight 00:00 CET (= central European time) to midnight 23:59 CET. If you get on a train before 23:59 it counts as one travel day also if you get at destination the other day, in such a case you are not allowed to change trains or you have to use a new travel day. 

a travel day starts at midnight 00:00 CET (= central European time) to midnight 23:59 CET. If you get on a train before 23:59 it counts as one travel day also if you get at destination the other day, in such a case you are not allowed to change trains or you have to use a new travel day. 



Yeah the first sentence also has written in the website. As for the rest of it, are you saying: From 00:00 to 23:59, I can use all the trains like for example, as I mentioned above, from London to Amsterdam, it’s just 5 hrs 47 mins in total. But let me create a scenario like this: 

I started my journey from London, at 01:00. And arrived to Paris at 03:15 and went out and wandered around, went to some after party etc, ate breakfast etc. Then at 13:00 I went to Amsterdam and arrived there at 16:30. And again I went out, I wandered around the streets, smoked in cafes, ate something, and at 19:30 I started from Amsterdam to Brussels and I arrived there at 22:00.

So because I did all of these things in one day, will it cost only one travel day?


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Second scenario,

I went from Lisbon at 08:00 to Porto and arrived Porto at 10:30 but I didn’t change my location. I stayed there. So this was very little journey compared to above one. This will also cost one travel day?



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Third scenario,

from 22:00 to 01:00, I went from Amsterdam to Paris, because I changed the day, will it cost 2 travel days? And because I arrived there at 01:00, I have already used one travel day with using between 22-00 during travel, and now I have 23 hours left to use my second travel day.

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Did I get all these things right?

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I think you are overcomplicating it a bit - there’s nothing more to it than the description that @Angelo gave. They don’t care if you go one stop on a local train or take 10 intercity trains.

Example 1 - lots of travelling within 24 hours - yes it’s one day

Example 2 - not much travelling within 24 hours - yes, one travel day

Example 3 - journey going past midnight - no, one travel day as long as you departed before midnight and you don’t change trains after that

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It is as simple as this. Every day (00.00-23.59 CE(S)T) when you board at least one train is a travel day.

I think you are overcomplicating it a bit - there’s nothing more to it than the description that @Angelo gave. They don’t care if you go one stop on a local train or take 10 intercity trains.

Example 1 - lots of travelling within 24 hours - yes it’s one day

Example 2 - not much travelling within 24 hours - yes, one travel day

Example 3 - journey going past midnight - no, one travel day as long as you departed before midnight and you don’t change trains after that

Yeah I made it overcomplicated because the definition of the firm makes it,

They’re saying “and another travel day to go from Paris to Amsterdam.“ in addition to from London to Paris and that initially confused me and then other YouTube tutorials or even questions like they were talking about how many travel day night trains cost etc.

I started to understand better now. 

As for the third thing, I need a little bit more,

Starting from 22:00 to 01:00 - midnight past and and the day changed, ok this is one travel day like this you say. What if after I take another train then, I mean after 01:00? Would it be 2 travel days? Or they’re considering the 24 hrs started from my departure time but it would be too complicated for the company I guess. Ok my only question is what I asked previously then. 

And if it would be 2 travel days like I imagined, then it’s very logical to choose our departure times in the early phases of a starting day, right?

It is as simple as this. Every day (00.00-23.59 CE(S)T) when you board at least one train is a travel day.

 Interesting usage of words, even only this is more explanatory than what website itself wrote their page. They’re making it complicated with using a wrong analogy I guess. 

Especially writing about like “You can use 1 travel day to get from London to Paris and another travel day to go from Paris to Amsterdam.” which can be done in one travel day, even more than this can be completed in one travel day. But they used a word “another travel day” - that started every related confusion. Am I not right to think like that?

Using the app makes it clearer. You select the train you want and the app adds the journey to the ticket, and makes sure that the day is validated before you can see the ticket.

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It is as simple as this. Every day (00.00-23.59 CE(S)T) when you board at least one train is a travel day.

 Interesting usage of words, even only this is more explanatory than what website itself wrote their page. They’re making it complicated with using a wrong analogy I guess. 

Especially writing about like “You can use 1 travel day to get from London to Paris and another travel day to go from Paris to Amsterdam.” which can be done in one travel day, even more than this can be completed in one travel day. But they used a word “another travel day” - that started every related confusion. Am I not right to think like that?

They assume that nobody would go from London to Paris without spending at least a night in Paris. Otherwise you would travel directly from London to Paris.

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I think you are overcomplicating it a bit - there’s nothing more to it than the description that @Angelo gave. They don’t care if you go one stop on a local train or take 10 intercity trains.

Example 1 - lots of travelling within 24 hours - yes it’s one day

Example 2 - not much travelling within 24 hours - yes, one travel day

Example 3 - journey going past midnight - no, one travel day as long as you departed before midnight and you don’t change trains after that

Yeah I made it overcomplicated because the definition of the firm makes it,

They’re saying “and another travel day to go from Paris to Amsterdam.“ in addition to from London to Paris and that initially confused me and then other YouTube tutorials or even questions like they were talking about how many travel day night trains cost etc.

I started to understand better now. 

As for the third thing, I need a little bit more,

Starting from 22:00 to 01:00 - midnight past and and the day changed, ok this is one travel day like this you say. What if after I take another train then, I mean after 01:00? Would it be 2 travel days? Or they’re considering the 24 hrs started from my departure time but it would be too complicated for the company I guess. Ok my only question is what I asked previously then. 

And if it would be 2 travel days like I imagined, then it’s very logical to choose our departure times in the early phases of a starting day, right?

The logic of your last point is correct-  with the travel day model there is no reason to start in the early phases of the day. 

You can board a train scheduled to depart up to 2359 and, no matter how long you are on it, that still remains in the original travel day. So if you board a night train scheduled to lave at at 2359 and arrive at, say, 1159 the next day that is one travel day.

If you then want to travel onwards on the arrival day, you add the new train to your pass and a new travel day will be created, and again usable for departures up to 2359. So you could use back to back overnight trains for 2 travel days.

It may help to think of a travel day as a day in a diary - All appointments for that day go in that section of your diary. If there is no pass travel that day you don’t use a travel day. If you plan to use your pass at all then that becomes a travel day.

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