Interrail in Europe - Tips & Guide
Buy your interrail ticket, get yourself a Europe map and start drawing your route for the next 30 days. Interrail is the greatest of all available holiday options; you can feel the freedom in your veins. I've had interrail experience for two times and now as I'm getting older I should share my experience with young travelers. Here you can find some tips which will make your interrail experience easier:
Travel Guides : Get yourself a Europe Travel Guide. You will be waking up in a different country every day. There are great Europe Guide's by lonely planet. (You can buy from Amazon through links) In this guides you can find useful information such as; maps, tourist information, hostels and other useful tips about the countries.
Route : The quality of your interrail experience depends on your route. Decide on which cities to stay and get some information about them. Decide on how long will you stay in each city. Don't try to make a plan hour by hour because you won't stick to it but at least be sure that you will see every city you want to.
Hostels : You can get information about hostels from local tourist information spots or travel guides. Usually you will find a place to stay so you don't have to make reservation for every hostel in advance but there are some nice hostels you should make reservation before interrail. (Check out the Flying Pig hostel in Amsterdam)
Free Stays : If you don't want to spend for accommodation you have some options. If you know some safe spots with lots of interrailers in the city you can spend the night in your sleeping bag.
You can also use the benefits of your interrail ticket. Most of the trains are comfortable to stay. You can just decide to jump on a night train for a 6-7 hours of travel and spend the night at the train. If you can draw a good route you can just travel between different cities and spend the nights on the trains. (During interrail trains and trains stations will be your new home so get used to the idea:)
Travel Wallet : Your Passport,, interrail ticket and your wallet is your most important possessions during interrail. It's a good idea to purchase a travel wallet which you can hang to your neck or strap around your belt. Carry your passport, interrail ticket and wallet inside your pants so they would stay away from curious eyes. Carry small amount of money in your pocket and don't take your wallet out unless necessary.
Use Lockers : In most trains stations you will see lockers which you can use for a small amount of money. Don't try to save money from security. Put your bags into those lockers if you are going to stay outside for too long or sleep outside. I know some friends who got their bags stolen while trying to save 5 EUR from the lockers.
Bag Lockers : Buy some small bag lockers. They will be helpful when you leave your bag at hostel rooms or when traveling in the train.
Comfort Tips :
Shoes : Be sure to have very comfortable shoes. You will be walking and walking and walking all the time with a heavy bag on your back. Have a comfortable shoe or sandals.
Bag : While choosing your bag keep in mind that biggest bag isn't the best bag. Choose a size that will be enough for your. Try the bag before buying. Be sure that the bag is supporting your back. The weight should be distributed on your whole body not just shoulders. A good bag should have comfortable shoulder straps, should contact your torso and must have a good belt strap.
Towel : You know the motto of "Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy" : "If you want to survive out here, you've got to know where your towel is." This applies for interrail also. Keep a towel in your bag.
Sleeping Bag : Get a small sleeping bag which you can attach to your bag. It will be very useful while sleeping outside. You can also use the sleeping bag as pillow in trains.
Wet Wipes : A life saver for interrail. Don't expect showers every time you want.
Swiss Knife : Have a Swiss Knife in your bag. During interrail you don't know when you have to open a bottle of wine or cut bread.
Don't forget that Interrail Trip will be the best days of your life and HAVE FUN!!!