Top 5 tips for Interrailing

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It’s become a rite of passage for young adults to travel around Europe on a shoestring and visit loads of great countries in one trip by going Interrailing. It’s tempting to throw caution to the wind and just pick up your backpack and go, but here are a few things to remember before you do:

1) Check the official exchange rates as soon as you arrive: a couple of sneaky locals might try to rip you off so make sure you know exactly what the official exchange rate is. This is also important so you don’t get lulled into a false sense of security (as I did) by thinking that because some currencies are weaker than the pound that you are spending far less than you actually are. Always work out and convert how much everything costs into pounds to avoid any nasty surprises when you check your bank account.

2) Pack lightly: this may seem obvious but I was caught unawares by how heavy my backpack was and how difficult it was to find a hostel whilst lumbering around a new country with half my body weight hanging off my shoulders. This is inevitable but try and be as economical as possible, trust me you don’t need all those beauty products or loads of outfits –  no-one really cares about what you look like in hostels and it really isn’t worth the load or risk of getting shoulder blisters!

3) Plan the route before booking anything else: it’s so tempting to book a great music festival in Budapest or an awesome looking party in Croatia and then realise, either how difficult it is to get to and from that country from your starting point, or how little time you’ve given yourself to get between the events. I made this mistake and ended up taking a much more complicated route than was necessary, and all for one day at a festival! It’s much more efficient in terms of time and money to plan a route ahead and then work out what to do when you get there, and there will be millions of things for you to do!

4) Bring shower shoes: it seems a minor thing but trust me you will thank me for this one. Even the loveliest of hostels was let down by a dodgy looking bathroom floor which is certainly not the most pleasant thing to be confronted with during your morning shower. Save yourself the stress and bring some light and easy to pack flip-flops to wear in the bathroom at all times.

5) Get out and see as much as possible: your trip will inevitably involve lots of partying, drinking and making new friends in hostels but no matter how hung-over you may feel make sure that you get outside and enjoy everything the country has to offer. Don’t waste a minute sleeping in your hostel with the curtains drawn, hangovers can be cured and you can sleep when you get home. It’s an incredible experience so ensure you make the most of it and enjoy every minute.

It really is a great experience; I would particularly recommend it for students so get a group of friends from your student accommodation together and get out there to see what Europe has to offer!

If you’re looking for information and advice about InterRail passes, click here.

Liberty Living provides student accommodation in 17 university cities across the UK, including student accommodation in Liverpool, student accommodation in London, student accommodation in Preston plus many more.

Posted on 29th October 2014 by Elinore Court.

Elinore Court lives at Liberty House in London, she is studying a masters degree in Magazine Journalism at City University.

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