Interrailing will be one of the best experiences of your life, even if none of it goes to plan. It’s a journey that should be well planned out, but you should also have some backup ideas in the pipeline, as trains can be cancelled, hostels can become unavailable, and cities can have some unexpected bad weather. It’s all part of the fun though, finding random day trips and looking for last minute accommodation is where the memories are created and what you’ll be talking about in the years to come. But for the sake of your sanity while trying to relax, here are four essential tips before heading away to Europe.
The trains you travel on while being in Europe might not be to the same standard you are used to back at home. So investing in a travel neck pillow and a thin warm blanket will make the long trips much more endurable. Your blanket will realistically need to be packed away at times, so be sure not to have a thick one taking up too much room. Your travelling pillow should be tried and tested before your long trip, buying something from an airport doesn’t tend to support your neck as well and is basically a mini pillow rather than a purpose built travel pillow.
Prepare for Booking Fees
One thing to expect with some countries and journeys is that they charge a booking fee on top of the price you’ve paid for your interrailing ticket. It’s a frustrating fact to take in, but there is some logic behind it. Because of the distance and travel time between some countries, the station needs to book you a seat before the journey, and a fee is taken to avoid you changing your mind and essentially wasting a position that someone else could have had. The majority of booking fees are low (€30 or less), but some of the bigger journey’s can go up to around €90, so fair warning before you work out your expenses.
Because of the nature of the business, the hostel can at times, not turn out to be the five-star experience you were expecting. The Hostel industry works on being as cheap as possible, and they aren’t entirely focused on your return custom. Check out multiple review websites and have a backup accommodation venues ready in case your hostel is overbooked. Again, this can occur as the hostels may have people fail to arrive, so they can be sneaky at times and double book under that assumption.
Traveller cheques aren’t exactly the primary currency while travelling nowadays, and cash can be a risky business when roaming around all day looking like a tourist. Travel cards in recent years have become a significant success for keeping all of your funds manageable and safe. You simply transfer the daily fund you want from your current account into toy travel card account (free of charge) and your travel card can then be used as a debit card for both cash withdrawals and card payments, it’s that easy! As an extra incentive, the travel cards also give you a much better rate than the majority of other options.