Saturday, 16 September 2017

How To Plan An Interrailing Holiday

...and actually survive it!



Hello you lovely lot - long time no see! I've just got my feet back on home turf after being in sunny (kind of) Croatia, and thought I would do a few blog posts all about it - both to provide you all with a little bit of info, and to also keep those holiday blues at bay...

As a bit of a back story, my two best friends and I hopped on a plane on the 29th August 2017 and have been Interrailing/ Island Hopping around Croatia for the past 2 and a bit weeks, completely oblivious to the ever looming start of University! Altogether we took 4 trains and 2 ferrys and although I know this isn't a huge amount, I think we can safely say we are experts slightly more experienced in the whole situation. So I thought I would jot down a few tips and tricks, on how to plan an interailing trip, enjoy!

THE INTERRAIL WEBSITE


Use it. This is the method that we used to book all of our trains and it couldn't have been easier. Simply create an account, decide on a global or one country pass, choose how many trains you want to roughly take and you're off! Make sure to plan your whole trip before buying the ticket, so that you buy the minimum amount of travel days, in order to save money. I think the simplest thing would be to use this little 'Pass Calculator' that the website provides, in order to get the best deal for you. Interrail will then send you through your pass, a map and all the instructions you need to know on how to fill in your ticket. Then once you're on the trains, simply show the pass, along with your passport, to the conductor and you're good to go!

GET PASS INSURANCE

I'm pretty sure this was just a little box that we all ticked when buying our interrail passes, but it just ensures that your pass is completely covered if you lose or damage it beyond repair (rainy Europe and a paper pass does not mix well - trust me!). Yes, it may be an extra £10 on top of the original fare, but it is totally and utterly worth it!

KEEP EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE


A few years back, my lovely Grandma bought me this red wallet/organisation thing when I went on my first 'gals holiday'. At the time I didn't think much of it, but I can honestly say it is one thing that consistently comes with me on every trip I do. I mean it has literally flown round the world with me, in my pathetic attempt to stay relatively organised! It is great to keep all of your tickets, travel money, boarding cards and blah, blah blah, all in one place, so you don't 'lose' that all important insurance document just to find it buried in the depths of your rucksack between two pairs of knickers - been there, done that...

DOCUMENTS, DOCUMENTS EVERYWHERE!


Speaking of all important documents, here's a littleish list of all the bits and pieces you will need to print out/ have with you, for those "just in case" moments:

1. Passport and a photocopy
2. Interrailing Pass
3. Any Train Reservations
4. Health Insurance documents
5. Health/ NHS cards
6. Print out of hostel bookings
7. Print out of any email conversations between yourself and said hostels
8. Boarding Passes
9. Any 'Activity' tickets/ bookings
10. Drivers Licence
11. Travel money
12. Travel Money Card

I think this is everything that I took, but if anyone knows of any other essentials, please pop them in the comment section for everyone else to see!

TO HOSTELWORLD OR NOT TO HOSTELWORLD?

As amature interrailers, the girls and I booked every single hostel on HostelWorld. Now, don't get me wrong, this was absolutely the most straight forward way of doing things as it was so simple and the website is so informative. It gives you all of the prices, availability, ratings, reviews and practically everything you will ever need to know about each place. However, we found out when chatting to other travellers, that the website actually charge you more when booking the hostels as they take commission off every booking...sorry bank account... So my advice would be to use the website for all of the above benefits (of which there are many!) and then book the hostels individually by calling each place/ booking on the hostels private website. Trust me, it will save you some dollar, which you can put towards a few extra tequila shots once you get out there!

USE ONE PERSONS EMAIL ADDRESS

If you're travelling in a group, try to book hostels/activities under one person's email or contact details as it will make locating that important email so so much easier. However still forward everything to everyones emails in the group so you have multiple copies, just to cover your back!


So theres everything a few tips and tricks you need to know concerning organisation and planning, when it come to interrailing. I hope this post helps, and let me know if anyone would like any other posts similar to this, and I will drag some more advice out of the girls I went with! I will be doing other posts all about my actual trip to Croatia, with a few City Guides thrown in there, so keep an eye out for those! Have any of you guys been interrailing? What are your burning tips? Let us know down below!

Lots of love, Katie xo

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