Traveling by train is a romantic way to explore the world, but when a monthly ticket to ride around Europe costs 510 EUR (630 USD) and there are cheap airlines offering deals left and right, you leave the glamour behind and choose what makes the most sense for your wallet.
This summer, teens around Europe won’t have to compromise whimsical for practical because the European Commission set aside 12 millions Euros for 20,000-30,000 teenagers to get a free Interrail pass for a full month of travel.
Prepare yourself to see lots of backpack-laden kids with big smiles and corny looks on their face in train stations all over the continent because a whole bunch of 18-year-olds will be riding trains, buses, and ferries to go from Dublin to Budapest via Ljubljana and Riga for the low low price of nothing.
All 18-years-old from the 28 member states will be able to apply and travel all over the continent on some of the most scenic train routes in the world. Details of the application have not been released yet, but keep your eyes peeled because when they do, the tickets will go fast.
The idea behind this initiative is obviously for young people from all backgrounds to connect with other European nations and develop a European identity, but it’s likely to bring much more than that to future participants.
Interrail is a rite of passage into the world of traveling that often results into a life-long travel addiction. If you’re still not convinced that you need to jump on this opportunity to travel Europe by train for a full month, hear this: I met my life partner and best friend of 9 years thanks to an Interrail ticket. That’s the beauty of throwing caution in the wind and traveling slowly for a while, you get to meet characters you’d never talk to in an airplane and you may even fall in love during the process.