Free Interrailing passes to be offered to Irish students from 2022

Are you 18 years or older and looking to travel next summer for free? Discover EU is offering over 60,000 passes to young people to interrail around Europe.

Discover EU is an initiative of the European Union which gives young people the opportunity to discover Europe through learning experiences. Travelling primarily by rail you will get to discover the stunning landscapes, architecture and variety of cities and towns all over Europe. If you are over 18-years-old and a citizen of the European Union then this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

In the past almost 70,000 young people have been awarded a travel pass within the four rounds since 2018. This year the scheme is back and is proposed to be bigger than before, as the application process is also open to 19 and 20 year-olds who missed out on the opportunity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If successful, you may travel between March 2022 and February 2023 for up to 30 days, all travellers will be offered flexible bookings within a new mobile travel pass, is to allow for any complications of the ongoing pandemic.

You can travel alone or in a group of up to five people, as long as all members of your group are within the age limits. Although you will travel predominantly by rail, to ensure wide access across the EU participants can also use coaches/ferries or planes.

Each EU member state is allocated a select number of travel passes based on its population. In 2018, 314 passes were allocated to Irish 18-year-olds, this year it’s said to accommodate a much larger cohort.

Interrailing is one of the most student-friendly ways to explore the world. It is much cheaper than flights or booking individual trains. On top of this you will also explore so much more and see so much more of Europe, saving money on transport fares.

Interrail routes are almost completely customisable, letting you decide where you want to go every day. While airports may be the quickest way to get from one place to another, travelling by train allows you to both see more and venture further. The more remote places are easier to get to by train. You can go from the fresh northern air in Norway to the warm humidity of Italy in less than a week.

After the long periods of lockdowns and travel bans, why not go on an adventure next year? Successful applicants will be notified in January. To apply simply visit the Discover EU website. Applications close on Tuesday 26th October 2021.

Jade McNamee

Image Credit: John McArthur on Unsplash