Interrailing: What they don’t tell you

Ever wanted to be that person at a party that exclaims how they’ve travelled the world? We can all secretly hate these people, partly because of jealousy, partly because going to an all-hours party in Thailand filled with white people is not actually that cultured. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that) For whatever reason, we all know someone that’s done that interrailing malarkey.

I am one of those people.

I travelled when I had just turned 18 – I was still doing my A-levels. I spent all my money I’d saved up on an interrailing trip with my best friend, Ellie. We were quite young for all the places we travelled to, and whilst I did nearly lose my passport and nearly lost my phone – all was well.

We went to Amsterdam, Berlin, Salzburg, Venice, Geneva and Paris all in a matter of 12 days (I think). I’m not particularly sure how we managed it either… But we did it! We drank Berliner beer in front of the Brandenburg gate (which names always haunts me with the classical piece). We went to Venice and stayed interrailing, travelling, what to take, what to do interrailing, europe, beauty, bloggersin possibly the best hostel ever – linked here.

Amsterdam we slept on a boat which was definitely interesting… Salzburg we mimicked the Sound of Music in the original setting of the film itself (Definitely a lot of jumping & kicking our feet). Geneva we got lost on the way to the hostel.

Paris we shared an omelette in a restaurant because by this point, money was not to be frittered.

Here are all the things though they don’t tell you about interrailing:

  1. You will probably smell all the time.
  2. Dry Shampoo is your saviour. And yes, ‘travel’ sized dry shampoos just don’t cut it here, you gotta go for the big ones.
  3. Hostels? You might meet a Russian that offers you weed in your room and you also might meet someone that looks like a murderer as he drinks a whole bottle of wine to himself.
  4. You can’t walk across Berlin. Just don’t do it and no it won’t take ‘just an hour.’
  5. Always ask for still water. Do not, I repeat, do not ask for ‘just water’ in Germany or Austria.
  6. You won’t sleep on a night-train even in the sleepers – This aint the polar express.
  7. Padlock your 8 stone backpack to your bed in a shared room.
  8. You will probably get a Maccies, a Burger King at some point.
  9. Coming on your period is a bummer and may happen.
  10. Currywurst is always a good idea.
  11. You get into the Louvre for free if you’re a student.
  12. Berliner Beer sounds like a good idea. Then you realise you don’t even like beer.
  13. Makeup? Let’s be honest, it won’t happen.
  14. Bring a first aid kit.

In total honesty, I had a fab time. Would recommend to anyone that age thinking of going. Europe is a great place to start travelling (that’s if you live in Europe) as visas don’t become an issue and it’s also relatively easy to get between places if any disasters do happen. Most of Europe takes at most 4 hours to get to.

And if you’re wondering, Paris and Salzburg are my cities of choice.

13 comments so far.
  • Sally

    That’s such a good idea to padlock your bag. I’ve never been ‘backpacking’ but I’ve done a lot of travelling alone. These are really good tips – made me laugh ‘ this ain’t the polar express.’ I’ve never visited any of those places you mentioned, I’ve been mostly on the underside of Europe. I’d love to visit Amsterdam one day though! X

    Sally ~ DiagonSally

    • Such a good idea – Also get a money bag for valuables! Amsterdam’s fun – It’s quite a strange place!

      E x

  • La French Connection

    That’s a brilliant post! I have travelled a lot as well but would love to do many countries in a few weeks. And true, for being French and having lived in Paris, every national monument is free if you’re less than 26 and a citizen of the EU.

    Mika | La French Connection

    • Thanks! I would totally recommend. Ooh really?! Gonna go to them all now haha.

      E x

  • I haven’t travelled much so it was really interesting reading your experiences! Wow you got a lot done in 12 days! 🙂

    Velvet Blush

    • I know right! Not really sure how we did it?! Would deffo recommend the places even in a short amount of time – Venice was quite an odd travelling destination!
      E x

  • Haha there are some things you just need to travel to learn. I’ve never really travelled aside a few summer holidays with the family, but your post was still fun and relatable 😀

    – Anne @ annesmiles

    • Haha, yes! I’m glad I want to go travelling again – I’ve barely been on any trips recently! 🙁
      E x

  • Nadia

    It does sound like you had a lovely time but it’s nice to be prepared. Great tips, girlie. Just got here to your blog from Twitter 😉 Will make sure to hit follow to keep up with your posts! Have a fab weekend!
    xox Nadia

    • Thanks lovely <3 I really appreciate it. I had a super fab time.

      Ahh, I've read your blog before – Just always forget to hit the follow button on Twitter! Done lovely.

      E x

  • Travelling is always a good choice. It doesn’t matter if you have to spend all your savings for one experience, you have to do it: it will be the best time of your life. Of course there will be ups and downs, but discovering new places and meeting new people are the best ways to learn more about yourself and to grow up. I’ve never tried an interrail experience for several (boring) reasons, but I’ve always wanted to. In two months I will leave for an international working experience overseas, let’s the adventure begin!

    Hope you had a great time in Venice too (I live not far from there). Sometimes people don’t get how special that city is just because it’s different from every other city in the world.

    crlncm |

    • Oh wow that sounds amaaaaazing! Thanks for the lovely comment – I’ve stopped getting notifications when I get comments, which is frustrating. I know it sounds cheesy, but I have one life and I’m priviledged enough to do what I want at the moment. It must be so different living near there! xx

  • Akvile Stan

    Never done interrailing but my boyfriend who is British always makes the same water mistake when we visit my family in Germany! Haha He doesn’t get why people drink sparkling water at all!


I’m Eleanor, a UK Manchester based Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger. I write about beauty products, feminism, mental health and my adventures in the big city of MCR.