As if I haven’t mentioned it enough on my instagram, I finally saved enough money to go Interrailing in the Summer! I just want to make a little disclaimer that I am not bragging in this post, I was reluctant to post it for that reason but I figure that people who are reading this want some sort of guidance as to how much this kind of trip would cost.
When I created this blog, I made a promise to share everything about my travels, so I wanted to give you all a little list of the places I’m going and the rough price of different aspects of the trip. This is for anyone who is thinking about going Interrailing but isn’t sure where to begin! I will also post an update like this after my trip reflecting on what I wish I had done better!
1. Buy your pass:
I bought my Interrail pass on a whim in December; I had money saved up and there was 15% off so I made an impulse decision. There were so many options and I wasn’t exactly sure what pass to go for. I eventually decided that because I wanted to visit several countries but also be able to take my time, the 10 days travel within 30 days international pass was the one for me. This cost roughly £240 but allows you on most trains across Europe (though not all, and some countries are excluded).
After a week, I received my pass in the mail which contained a map of the train routes, a general map of europe, a guide and a wristband.
2. Decide where you want to go:
This part took up the most time in planning – which isn’t surprising. There were so many places that I wanted visit but not enough time and I had to think of how much money I would need/ wanted to spend.
I knew that I wanted to visit Barcelona as this had been on my bucket list for years. Unfortunately, all the other cities I wanted to visit were in the East of Europe but I decided I would go one way or another.
Then, as if written in the stars, I was browsing Skyscanner one day in between classes and flights for Barcelona popped up at only £40. I didn’t hesitate and booked it straight away. I had my first destination but it meant my trip began a little early – the 13th of July.As my pass wasn’t valid until the 18th of July, I decided Barcelona would be a mini holiday before Interrailing and that I would fly to Prague to begin the real Interrailing (destination number 2).
From Prague, I had originally wanted to travel to Budapest and do a big loop round to Vienna; but I came across a festival in Budapest on the 8-15th of August so I made some changes and bought a 3 day pass for Sziget festival! This still allowed me to visit the same countries just in the opposite order and so I would travel to Vienna from Prague before heading on to Salzburg (3 & 4).
There was one place on the map that hadn’t really occurred to me to visit until a few friends went last Summer and recommended it to me: Lake Bled, Slovenia. I decided I would visit this on a day trip before heading into Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia for two nights (5)
From here, I wanted to visit Croatia. As a big Game of Thrones fan, this country has been high up on my list for a long time – plus I’ve heard great things about the night life in Split. So I decided to spend 5 nights in Split and 5 nights in Zagreb. This was so that I could travel to Dubrovnik and visit the Game of Thrones sites – I found a great website for this so if anyone wants it, I can post it on my insta! (6 & 7)
I might spend less time in Zagreb depending on how much travelling I get done whilst I’m in Split but I just wanted to have a rough guide.
Budapest was my final destination up until recently (8). I decided I didn’t want to leave Europe without visiting Amsterdam despite being a solo traveller. The easiest way to get to Amsterdam from Budapest was to fly so I booked a flight – which I realise was a bit of a stupid impulse buy as I have to stopover in Sweden but don’t actually get to visit it, but whatever maybe next time. Amsterdam would be my final destination (number 9) and from there I booked a very cheap flight back to Glasgow.
3. Booking accommodation:
This is not a necessary step if I’m honest. When I was in South East Asia last year, we booked our accommodation as we went. However, as I am travelling solo this year, I wanted to book fun hostels that were affordable but also gave me a chance to meet people.
I used hostel world for the majority of my bookings. They do take a small deposit which is a bit annoying incase I decide to go somewhere different or cut my stay short anywhere but useful because of the different features of the website. Not only does it give you good balanced reviews, I always sort it to show distance from the centre first but this is really down to personal preference. It also tells you the nationalities of the people in your dorm which I think is super cool!
On average, my accommodation costs around £20 a night but I will have another post up afterwards with exact quotes. It is possible to stay for cheaper in some cities but I opted to be closer to the centre for easiness. I also tried to choose hostels with wifi so that I am able to update my blog and instagram whilst on the go.
4. Deciding what you want to do:
Also not a big necessity as it’s easy to ask people staying in your hostel/ hotel staff. I just made sure I picked out a few key things to do whilst I was away because anticipation is everything.
Here are a few things which I saved up for and decided were worth the money. I decided that I would skimp on accommodation and make sure I had money for some amazing experiences:
– Skydive in Barcelona (approx. £300 but this includes photos and videos)
– Game of Thrones Tour (this is self led so details of price will be up after the trip, I’ve been told it costs around £100 to visit all the places if you are starting in Zagreb so hopefully it will be a little cheaper from Split)
– Sziget Festival 12-14th of August (approx. £150 for a 3-day ticket with an amazing line up: https://szigetfestival.com/en/)
5. Booking trains between cities:
I haven’t done this yet as it is not possible to make reservations until 90 days before travelling. In fact, a lot of trains don’t require you to make reservations but I think I will be doing this regardless. I will talk more about this section nearer the time.
6. Start getting organised:
I know July may seem like a while away, but I like to make sure I have everything that I need for my trip. As I will be walking around more than in SE Asia and jumping on and off trains and planes, I needed to buy a rucksack that wasn’t too big and was also comfortable in. My previous rucksack held 80 Litres but I feel this is way too much for this trip. I opted for the Osprey Farpoint 40L backpack as I have read a lot of great reviews and it is especially appropriate as it is suited for carrying on board airplanes (review to follow). I managed to get this for £72 from Trekitt.com which is a huge bargain and the cheapest I could find on the market.
I also decided that as I am so serious about my blog and the photo content across my blog and instagram, I wanted a lightweight, high quality camera that I could easily carry with me on my travels. After researching tirelessly and feeling as if the word camera was no longer a word, I decided on the Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera in black which has Wifi connection and easy connection to social media using a Sony app. I got this for £449 including a 16-50mm lens. Though this may seem pricey, according to the countless reviews I’ve read, this is relatively cheap for a good quality travel camera (review to follow). I would also like to invest in a tripod as I am travelling solo and think this would be useful for a lot of shots. If anyone has any recommendations on a lightweight, sturdy tripod please let me know!
So there’s the steps I took whilst planning my interrail trip. Obviously there is still more to it than this, but I just wanted to give anyone who may not know how to start planning their trip a little guide as to how I started mine. I am going to be making a post about what I am taking on my trip and how I plan to travel VERY light whilst away.
I hope this was at least a little bit useful for anyone who is looking into going interrailing, I’m sure I will be of a bit more use once I’ve been and know what mistakes I made!