My first ever post was dedicated to my interrailing trip around Europe, my boyfriend and I visited six different cities in two weeks (Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Munich). I had the best time travelling and I am so glad I got the opportunity to visit so many beautiful places on a low budget; they are memories I will forever cherish. But today I wanted to share with you my top tips when interrailing and all the bits in between.
Plan plan plan
Obviously it is a given that travelling around more than one country is going to take up a lot of your time planning, therefore make sure you write a list of what you have to do before you go. Lists are your best friend when travelling, you want lists of your top places to visit, lists of your hostels, lists of your train times... the lists are endless!
Package or no package?
If you were like us and wasn't experienced with the whole 'travelling' thing, then maybe purchasing through a package deal might be your best option. It's quite stressful doing this on your own with little knowledge and experience, so having a company arrange the trip definitely took a weight off our shoulders and made it a fun and stress-free trip! We booked through Interrailing Packages and they gave us the rail ticket, train times, dates and booked all the hostels. This option is probably more expensive than doing it yourself, but if you're confident in organising your trip then I would say go for it!
Be sure to get yourself a Caxton Card before you head off to Europe, it's a currency card with extremely low cost rates and you can even manage it via an app to transfer money to your account. It's quick, secure and reliable.
Take a backpack which is around 35L and a little day bag, you don't want to take much at all - just your essentials. And remember a padlock to keep your bag safe while you are out exploring, I forgot one but if you do you can always buy one at the hostel. Oh and try not to lock your key in your locker like I did...I had to wait until the morning to have the janitor cut my lock off with pliers, and yet again I had to buy another padlock - face palm!
We stayed in six hostels during our travels and each one had a completely different atmosphere. Some hostels were clean, spacious whereas others were not. Some were loud and crazy and others quieter. But one thing I have to say is, once you're in be sure to start conversation with the people in your room straight away. Some people prefer their own space, which is fine but most people will love to engage with you and hear about your experiences, it's also amazing to hear about their tips and experiences. I found it fascinating because you meet so many different people from all over the world and connect with people you probably would never meet if it wasn't for your travels.
Okay. So I am so glad I brought flip flops with me because I assure you now you do not want to be going into those shower rooms with bare feet. Beware there is hair and more hair...
Usually at hostels you are entailed to an included breakfast, one tip is to sneakily grab a bread roll and other bits which tickle your taste buds and stock up for lunch. Yay for free lunch.
Write a journal
Every night I would write in a little notebook what I did that day and the funny little moments we had. At the end of my trip I made a huge scrapbook and stuck them in! Just for the mems.
Free city tours
Each city in Europe usually has a city tour and you can usually find this out through your hostel. We usually went on the Sandemans NewEurope Tours and they're free and so interesting! Be sure to tip your guide though, we don't want any evil eyes around here.
Now all you have to do is relax and enjoy the ride. The train rides are a time to catch up on rest and take in all that beautiful scenery. Take photos, rent bicycles, go on boat rides and if you go to Belgium, buy that chocolate.