Montag, 1. September 2014

Travel Preparation: 8 Steps to Interrail

You want to go like me on an Interrail Tour throughout Europe?
But you wouldn't know where to begin?

Don't worry, I'm here to help you out:

The 8 steps to a successful Interrail Trip:

  1. Choose an Interrail pass.
  2. Plan your route.
  3. Book all important ferries, night trains, hostels/hotels in advance and maybe even additional flights, if necessary.
  4. Make a Sightseeing List for every city.
  5. Make a List of Fun.
  6. Make a List of Destiny.
  7. Pack your Bags (as lightly as possible).
  8. Let's go!
1. You can choose between the Global pass and the One Country pass; for more information: Click here.

2. How long do you want to travel? Where do you want to go and what is the best time and money saving way to get there? Planning is hard work. To make it easy for you: Click here.

3. You want to go from Italy to Greece? From France to England? From England to Ireland? From Ireland back to France? You might need a ferry to reach and leave the desired island. Booking a Ferry in advance saves a lot of time and money. But make sure they take passengers without vehicles. Click here.
Some ferries just take too long, have inflexible times or are too expensive, that's where the flying option comes in: Sometimes it's cheaper to book a Flight to a certain destination than to take the train or the ferry. And it is faster for sure. How to find the cheapest flight? Click here or  here.
Hostels can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. Check out which hostel offers you good service for your money, compare the prices and book a room in advance or at least take notes or mark it on your maps, so that you'll find it easier after a long and adventurous journey! The same goes for Hotels. (Tip: Planning in one or two nights in a hotel won't hurt - except for your wallet - so you can relax and enjoy the joys of luxury after a long trip all day on the road.) Click here, here or here.
Taking Night Trains is a great way to save money you would have invested in another night at a hostel and gives you the opportunity to wake up in a new city to start your day right after a good night's sleep. Remember to make reservations (sometimes with an additional fee) for a seat on such trains! (Extra Tip:  Couchsurfing or Airbnb help to remain in your budget plan.)

4. Make a list of all the Sights you want to see. Not only the standard ones, inform yourself! Which museums are free? What is really fun to do in every city? Click here and here. And check where they are, so you don't walk aimlessly or in zig-zags through the city because that does not only waste a lot of time, but a lot of energy as well. With good time management you have enough spare time to just enjoy the flair of the city by sitting in a cafe watching the masses passing by or maybe lying in the sun on the beach or in a lovely park. After all you want to make the most of your holidays as possible! I'm not saying that you should plan out your every step, but without the slightest idea of what you want to do you'll be standing in an unknown foreign city and missing out on all the great things it has to offer.
The following lists help to spice it up a bit:

5. List of Fun:
You can't plan Fun. Fun comes or not. But there are certain things that you should try. These things you put on a list: Eat Crême Brulée. Leave a Kiss mark on Oscar Wilde's Grave. Try Foreign Karaoke. Take pictures in a photo booth. etc. etc. Here's your chance, put them on a paper and try to fulfill as many as possible. But don't take it too seriously. After all you're on vacation, remember?

6. List of Destiny:
On your travel journey you'll reach your limit and still keep going. You'll be faced with challenges you've never known and you'll overcome them. So while you feel invincible, why not stretch your luck a little more? Ever thought about tempting your fate? Here's your chance. Do all the things you never dared to do. Go to a Casino, go skinny dipping, spit from the top of the Eiffel Tour, kiss a foreigner, sneak in a super exclusive club etc. And maybe it was meant to be...? (This list can be an extension to your Fun-List).

Pack efficiently.
Things that will definitely come in handy:
  1. Maps for every city. Don't be an aimless fool. Believe me, you'll need it.
  2. International valid student pass to profit from all its benefits and get kinds of discounts.
  3. Microfibre Towel (dries faster plus it's lighter and takes up less space in your bag)
  4. Lock (to keep your stuff safe in hostels).
  5. Plastic bags to store wet or dirty clothes. (optional: Vacuum bags to save up space by compressing your clean clothes.)

(I'll make another post about how to pack efficiently and what I packed for Interrail.)

8.  The Interrail pass isn't valid in your own country, so you better get outta there fast! 

 Let's GO!


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