Brussels to Valencia- not many connections and unable to book

  • 12 July 2022
  • 3 replies

I bought an interrail pass to go from Brussels to Spain and Portugal and to be able to move easily without too much planning. The first destination is Valencia. Unfortunately, I see on the rail planner that there are not so many connections, and of the connections that there are, most I cannot reserve through the railplanner app and it does not clearly say how I can. 

I just discovered this forum now, and I am a bit lost in all the information here (like, I can book reservations for french trains through Deutsche Bahn?). Any help would be appreciated :-). For now the best plan was taking a bus to Paris, because I assumed there were no bookable trains left because the railplanner app does not show them. But apparently there might be trains that aren't shown in the app?

Where/on what website/… should I check for trains, and make the reservations (Brussels-France, within France, and France-Valencia)? I can go to the international SNCB offices in Brussels South station tomorrow, if that would help. 

Lots of people here seem to suggest that an interrail pass in France, Spain and Portugal might not be worth it, I can also still consider asking for a refund for my ticket.


Best answer by AnnaB 12 July 2022, 00:55

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Userlevel 7
Badge +9

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 ticket 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, 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
Badge +5

YOu have chosen-as seems obligatory for al these 1st time young users-about one of the most difficult routes that need REServ all along and these are hard to get in hi-summer-season. Just read more pages-more as half go about parts of this route.

You could have bough the pass in papaper at NMBS and they could-as far as there were spaces-at same time even have made the neeeed RES for you right there at the stations where they sell INTernatioanl

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Maar er is toch wel een oplossing, die je toestaat te doen wat beloofd is.

It is possible to use local (named TER trains in FRance) without any REServ-its not even possible. Will take longer as these superfast TGV-so you can enjoy the landscape (hmm, in FR often just grainfields) and experience old style travel. Thats via the ´classic´ route that trains took before there was TGV-BE-to paris via Lille/Amiens, from P via Dijon-Lyon-Avignon-Montpellier-to border with ES=Post Bou. There is also an poverntie agian from P till P.Bou=THE old choice for dediciated passholders. Then in ES local : named rodalies/Express Catalunya to the magnet for all: Barca and still 1/day e tired old local along coast to Vlc. You can even set app/planner to ´trains without RES.´