This paper applies the multiscalar ‘staging mobilities’ framework from the emergent subfield of mobilities design to analyse an enduring European rail travel phenomenon, interrail. This discussion extends and contributes to tourism mobilities research. Secondly, the paper enriches previous studies of rail travel, by exploring how interrail travel is embedded in, and (im)mobilised by socio-material environments and institutional design decisions. More precisely, it explores the affordances of three objects that shape interrail mobility: the interrail pass, the RailPlanner application and seat reservations. To reach these aims, the research design intertwines multi-sited ethnography, netnography, survey and interviews. The conclusion offers theoretical reflections pertaining to the role of mobilities designs and methodical hybrids in tourism mobilities research.