EU Proposes Scheme to Offer FREE Interrail Pass for Every Eighteen Year Old…
After a year of bad news for the EU, Euroventure was pleased to finally see some positive news: The European Parliament is proposing to give every 18-year-old a free interrail pass!
Last summer the European Commission announced they’d soon be launching their first trial. From June 2018, over 20 thousand Interrail Tickets winged their way to selected 18-year-olds across Europe!
**UPDATE! November 2018**
This week it has been announced that there will be a second round of applications opening for travel in 2019! A further 12,000 Interrail tickets have been made available this time around.
Applications will take place between the 29th November and 11th December 2018. This batch of applications will be open to teenagers who will be aged 18 on or by the 31st December 2018. You’ll need to be a national of an EU Member State, and can apply solo or in groups of up to 5 people. If you don’t match these requirements, unfortunately, you won’t be eligible this time, but keep checking for future batches of applications.
The lucky winners will be able to travel between 15th April and 31st October 2019, for up to 30 days and to a maximum of 4 countries.
I’ll be 18 then! How do I apply?
To apply, you’ll need to head to the European Youth Portal from the 29th November. It’s likely that they’ll be oversubscribed, so the “winners” will be chosen by a panel, and the winners notified in January 2019!
There are a few requirements to note when you apply, so make sure you get your application in tip-top condition! According to the “DiscoverEU” official website, you’ll need to demonstrate the following:
- Motivation to visit at least one European Cultural Heritage site.
You will have to respond to a quiz on EU cultural heritage, European Parliament elections and Youth
- The desire to become a DiscoverEU Ambassador.
You’ll need to report on your travel experiences on social media and make any pictures available for the DiscoverEU anniversary photo exhibition at the European Parliament.
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What’s the point of the Free Interrail Pass Scheme?
The generous scheme, which intends to “foster a sense of unity” among EU 18-year-olds, aims to provide every teenager with the iconic rail pass on their birthday. Since the 70s, Interrail’s rail passes have given travellers the opportunity to travel by train across the continent. However, with a month-long pass currently valued at around 500 euros, the cost can often be an issue for backpackers.
Supporters of the scheme say that making the pass available for free would make eco-friendly travel more accessible. Encouraging unity is also an important factor in our often divisive political climate. Top figures from EU-frontrunner Germany are said to be in favour of the proposal. Plenty of people in the know are hinting that this gives the free pass initiative a head start for expansion.
What about the cost?
While critics claim that the scheme is expensive – at over 1 billion euros – Euroventure reckons the EU’s priorities are in the right place. Philip Cabra Netherton, director, thinks the proposal is an important and positive step for young people across Europe, as well as for the travel industry:
“We were so pleased to hear about the scheme. Travel is such an important way for young people to discover other cultures, meet other people and dissolve prejudices.”
“Unfortunately, the expense often means that it’s the preserve of privileged young people. Anything that makes it more accessible for everyone is a great thing. We are passionate about helping everyone travel, and this will make it easier than ever for young people to get out and see Europe!”.
Europe and its travellers face a complicated world in 2018. We hope that with this announcement EU citizens will be glad to hear some good news from Brussels. Hopefully, Europe’s teenagers can soon look forward to an extra special present on their 18th birthday. Watch this space for more information on how to bag yourself one!
Remember, if you find yourself unwrapping a pass and don’t know what to do next, we’re always here to help! With Interrail comes a whole load of planning, so we’re more than happy to help you sort reservations and accommodation to compliment your pass. In need of further information? Check out our top tips for your first time Interrailing…
Who are Euroventure?
Euroventure are the experts on travelling Europe. We know how to create the best Europe itineraries for independent travel and small groups – no rubbish bus tours in sight! We’ll provide you with a bespoke transport and accommodation package. You’ll travel by train, and stay in hostels or hotels – allowing you to tick off those bucket lists in an authentic and sustainable way.
If you fancy planning your own Europe trip, check out our resources! We’ve got top tips on the best way to travel Europe, how to travel by train and how to select the best accommodation for your trip. For anything else, just check out our help section!