Interrailing is one of the best experiences you'll ever have. Not only do you get to spend some quality time with your friends and see some majestic sites, you also get to tick country upon country off your must see list, all while soaking up the sun. So, for those of you lucky peeps about to head off on your interrailing adventures, here are some tips:
1) Choose your friends carefully.
Interrailing is one of the best things you can do as a student, but it does have its stressful moments, between running for trains, communicating with locals and being stuck in small hostel rooms, all meaning your travelling companions can really impact your holiday. If you’re going interrailing, then make sure that the group of friends you’re going with won’t ruin your experience because you really can’t escape. So think twice before inviting that friend who snores every night...
2) Forget being homesick.
Most hostels and a lot of restaurants have Wi-Fi these days so you may be tempted to keep tapped into all that's going on at home via social media. Try to avoid doing this, you're not travelling through Europe to sit on your phone in a hostel common room, so get out and make the most of the experience. You really won’t miss much at home and you can catch up on everything over a drink when you're back anyway.
3) Take loads of pictures.
I’m not saying walk around taking pictures of anything and everything like stereotypical tourists, but make sure that you capture the great moments, the ones you won't ever want to forget. You’ll need the evidence to convince your parents you didn’t just drink for five weeks straight anyway. And you'll need a collection of pictures for your #Insta throwbacks....
4) Keep a memory diary.
It doesn't have to start with “Dear Diary” but you should try to record what you do each day and all the funny moments that take place. Interrailing is a very hectic holiday where days will easily run into one another, so this diary combined with your pictures can help you remember all the great moments. Looking back through it will be a great moment in years to come too.
5) Book your trains in advance.
This is extremely practical but oh so important. When you arrive in a new train station, try to book your next train right then and there. Interrailing is meant to be slightly disorganised and crazy, but you won't regret booking trains when you’re lying on your bag beside the toilet on an 8-hour train journey, believe me....
6) Mix your activities up.
You’re a student, so of course you don’t need to be told to go out and drink and party, but if you’re going interrailing then this shouldn't be your only holiday activity. Go to Ibiza if all you want is to drink. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you shouldn't waste all of it in a haze of hangovers. So get up, have a cold shower, get some food and air while you explore each city and soak in the culture. You'll thank yourself in the long run.
7) End your interrailing in the Sun.
Whatever route you take, I would suggest that you end in some place that is sunny and close to a beach. You can have the best of both worlds and sneak in some much-needed sun. You’ll appreciate relaxing on a beach slowing getting freckled so much more after all the craziness of Interrailing.
8) Ask the locals questions.
It is part of Irish culture to chance our arm and push the limits of hospitality and thus, it is your duty to do exactly that when interrailing. Hostel staff and locals will have a better knowledge than any guide book or Google search, so ask questions about the area you're in. You may discover some hidden gems that will be the envy of your friends and provide some serious photo opportunities.
9) Be confident.
99% of people you meet when interrailing will love that you're friendly and making an effort, so celebrate that fact. Whether you can blag some free drink, get invited to an after-party, avoid any hostel fees or talk down train inspectors, use your charm to your advantage and see how far you can go.
10) And lastly, have a great time!
Interrailing is one of the best student holidays you can have and should be one of your most memorable college experiences. Hopefully, these tips can help you avoid any drama and have an amazing holiday that you will talk and reminisce about for years. Happy interrailing everybody!