What to do before the Interrail trip
Also goes with other traveling
1. How are you going to this trip: alone or in a group. In a group you may be safer and have more fun, but you might also get into fights during the trip, even if you go with your best friends or family.
2. Time. How much you have time to travel. Two weeks or a month? Figure that out.
3. The budget, how much you have money to spend and remember to have some emergency money somewhere. Do not put all the money in the same place!
4. Are you going go-with-the-flow style or with a carefully made-up plan
- We have something in between. We know where we are going, but don’t know what we’ll end up doing there. Though we have looked what to do in all of the places, but we haven’t actually decided them.
5. Gather information
- About anything you’ll need
Phone numbers to: bank, embassies, insurance company, emercengy numbers where you’re headed, (your countrys international number),
Adresses: embassies, hotels/ hostels/ other accommodations, places of interest
Customs: culture, what not/to do, what you might need in somewhere (for example: long skirts/shirts in some churches)
- a list where you would like to go (but remember anything can happen and you might not get to see that, so don’t expect to get there 100%)
6. Payments, Insurances etc. important stuff
Interrail / Eurail pass
Visas if needed
Vaccinations/ medication for travel if needed
Flights if needed
Hostels/ Hotels / other accommodations if booked earlier
Some places where you need to book your visit earlier through the internet (for example: Disneyland Paris is cheaper if booked online)
7. Shopping for essentials
- a good backpack, enough space for you, comfy for your back
- good shoes, trainers or similar, shoes that are soft and designed for long walks
- locks for backs and other locking situations
- a simple camera (if not owned yet) and memory cards
- adapters, chargers
- emercengy kit (plasters, disinfectant, medicine etc.), sewing kit
- guide books, maps, dictionaries (might not need and might weigh a lot, so think if you really need)
- a towel designed for traveling (goes to a small space and dries faster than normal ones)
- compression sacks (sacks that make your clothes compressed into a smaller size, so that you’ll have more room in your backpack)
- change money if needed
- a diary to write everything in
- washing powder for your clothes
8. What you’ll also need
- toiletries/ sanitaries, in small containers (toothbrush and -paste, sun cream, body butter, lip-cream, shampoo, soap etc.)
- passport and other important documents (like prescriptions for some medicines etc.)
- a daypack
- penknife, flashlight might come in handy
- sunglasses, scarf for sunny weathers
- sleeping bag
- an old phone (because new smartphones attract thieves)
- chargers for any electric equipment
- some student-cards are handy even in abroad giving you discount
- cards to play with or something small to keep you awake in trains
- pens, scisors, tape, paper, safety pins
- handkerchiefs (also toilet paper if you want)
- plastic bags
- a plastic mug. You could cook something in a hostel in it and drink some juice from it.
- if you feel safe and want, a tablet (or Ipod touch…). In it you can put maps, books etc. You can also communicate with family with it, write a blog or something else. You can get into internet when Wi-fi is around. Down side is the same as for a smartphone, thieves like them so think hard before taking one with you.
9. Do not take
- lots of makeup, really no one sees you. Little makeup is okay, but really, do you need it? It also takes time.
- books, they’re heavy
- computer, a smartphone etc. You’re experiencing stuff, you will not need a smartphone during your stay, really.
- for girls, you don’t need all of your clothes and shoes. Only the comfy and practical ones. No high heels, maybe don’t take dresses as well, I don’t know.
- no hairstraightners, curlers or anything like them
- fullfillable waterbottle. When you’re abroad it’s safer if you only drink bottled drinks.
- do not take the whole insides of your wallet, only the essentials and leave others home. Also leave all the unneeded keys as well.
- shirts: t-shirts, tank top, sweather, hoodie, jacket depending on time of the year and destination
- bottom: shorts, skirt, sweat pants, jeggings, leggings etc. No jeans (in warm places at least), they’ll be uncomfortable. Pockets are good, hidden pockets even better
- shoes: good ones that you can walk the whole trip with. You can take two or couple more if you want, but think how much you’re packing in your backpack.
- underwear, swimwear, socks, scarf
- flip-flops are usefull if you come across a hostel that has dirty showers
Everything in reasonable quantities! You won’t need everything. The more you pack the more your backpack will weigh.
- watch and read other travel stories on the internet for more information, tips and inspiration: blogs, Youtube, sites
- ask family, friens, acquintances of their travels. Maybe they have something cool to inspire you on your trip
- make your bank aware that you’re going abroad, that they won’t think your card is stolen and close it
- it would be good if you’d take good walks before your trip that your legs will become used to walking and that your health would be good when you’re out there
- remember that in interrail/eurail passes not all the trains are covered with it, like night trains and private railroads
- if you’re going coach surfing, you might take something small with you to give the host, for example candy from your country or a small keychain
- meeting old international friends is a cool idea, and maybe they can help you in their home countries somehow. Remember to communicate with them in a good time before the trip.
Feel free to add things if I forgot :)