- Category: Travel Tips
Less is best
You’ve just stepped off the train and discovered your hostel is a two-kilometre walk from the station. The sun is blazing and you’re feeling delicate from the night before – this is the moment you’ll wish you hadn’t stuffed your backpack to the point of near-explosion.
By packing only what you need, you’ll have less to lug around, less to worry about and more space to fill up on souvenirs and gifts. You’ll also feel less vulnerable and more comfortable getting around on foot with a smaller and lighter the bag. Read our space-saving packing tips:
- Keep it small. Whatever the size of your bag, the chances are you'll manage to fill it to the max. So, opt for a small/medium-sized backpack or suitcase – that way you're restricted on how much stuff you can take!
- Take multi-purpose items. Be a bit creative and the items you take with you can have more than one usage. Here are some examples: Shampoo can be used as shower gel and washing detergent, dental floss makes a line for drying clothes or a sarong doubles up as a beach towel.
- Share your stuff. If there’s a bunch of you travelling together, why not share your things. Exchange books with your friends or with other travel buddies you meet along the way. Girls, take one hair dryer and swap clothes when you get bored of wearing own things.
- Go electronic. Travelling bookworms should get their hands on an e-reader – usually much lighter and slimmer than a real book, you'll no longer have to break your back carting heavy books around! Store thousands of e-books that will keep you going for your entire European rail trip.
Don't leave home without...
When you're on the road, or should we say on the rails, there are some super handy items you can bring along that will make your European rail trip that little bit easier. Check out our favourite packing tips:
Wet wipes:In the absense of shower facilities, using wet wipes is a reasonable alternative. Particularly handy if you wake up late and need to get going quickly or if you're at a music festival and the never ending queue for the showers means missing your favourite band!
Padlock:If you're staying in hostels in Europe, you'll often be given a locker to store your stuff in. Usually padlocks are not provided and you'll need to supply your own or pay a couple of euros to borrow one. Combination locks are best as you don't have to worry about keeping a key safe!
Universal adaptor:This will guarantee you charging possibilities everywhere you go. Not all countries in Europe share the same plugs, for example Great Britain uses a three-pronged plug, whereas much of the rest of Europe uses a two-prong.
Alarm clock:Although you may try to avoid it like the plague, there will be days that you have to drag yourself out of bed at an early time to catch a train or join a tour. A small alarm clock is useful as relying on a mobile phone is not always a good idea as it may run out of battery and you won't always have the possibility to charge it (hostel dorms often have limited plug sockets).
Resealable bags:These come in handy for all kinds of things: to protect your passport from the rain or to store toiletries that might leak into your bag.
First Aid kit:A: It will keep your mum happy! B: Either you or a fellow traveller will need something from inside, whether for a stomach upset or scrapes and bites. You can add things to it that you think might be useful, including a good supply of plasters.
Photocopies of important documents:Photocopy versions of all your important paperwork, including insurance documents and passport. Keep the photocopies stored in a plastic folder in a different place to the originals.
Protect your pass
Don’t let the loss or theft of your InterRail pass ruin your trip.
Include Pass Loss & Theft Cover.