Always wanted to go on an exciting backpacking adventure around Europe, but don’t know where to start? Think ‘interrail’ is just an anagram of ‘trilinear’? Can’t tell your Ecolines from your Eurolines? You need this series of blogs.
It’s the night before the trip. You’re ready for this. You’ve learned a few phrases in the language(s) of the countr(y/ies) you’re going to. You’ve got some bangin’ outfits lined up. You go to pack them…
But you haven’t got a rucksack. AWKWARD.
So, rewind the clock a week, and invest in this short list of things you will need:
- A good, sturdy rucksack: It might cost you £50 or more, but you won’t regret it if it means all your stuff stays with you.
- Relevant currency, or a card you can use to get currency out in each country: Make sure you have more than enough on there in case you overspend while you’re there. Even if you can’t afford to spend more than you have – take it anyway, just in case. You’re screwed if you completely run out.
- Sturdy shoes (at least one pair of waterproofs): Because walking around a foreign city with wet feet is the worst.
- Plug adapters: Why can’t we just use the same plugs as Europe?? I blame Nigel Farage. In any case: if you want everything electronic that you own and love to last more than 2 or 3 days, take some of these.
- Thick socks and a warm jumper: Even if it’s the height of summer, you never know when a chill will set in, especially at night.
- A list with the names and addresses of hostels written down: So you know where to go, or a local can direct you there.
- Washing powder/gel: Not every hostel has its own, and indeed not every hostel has washing machine facilities. This gives you the option to steal a massive saucepan from the kitchen and wash your clothes in that.
- Bug repellent: Otherwise your legs may end up looking like this:
- Loo roll: You will seriously regret not investing in this when you get to a Greek border stop, absolutely busting for a warm and girthy slash, and find they have no toilet paper either there or in the shop (which has hundreds of luxury perfumes and chocolates, but not the soft caress of Andrex).
- Sun tan lotion: A tan might look good, but skin cancer really doesn’t.
- A book/iPod/iPad/SOMETHING to entertain you on a long journey: Duh.
- INVEST IN IT WELL IN ADVANCE OF YOUR TRIP, but passport: You might not need it in the Schengen zone (although sometimes you do, whatever the media say), but you will need it to get into or out of the UK and other non-Schengen countries. DO. NOT. LOSE. IT.
Not to mention obvious stuff like your phone, clothes and toiletries (although you can pick these up anywhere).
Packed? Well, you’re all ready then – so go catch your plane/train/bus/horse and enjoy your trip!