Hello! It is I, The London Love Letter or just plain Alice, back from the depths of winter and ready to blog another day.
So what have I been up to?
Well, lots. But I am going to resume my little corner of the internet on my latest adventure in the making.
It doesn’t relate to London exactly, but i’m sure many a Londoner can relate to the feeling of wanting to escape the city for a little while this summer.
And my destination of choice? Well, there’s a few because I’m going Interrailing!
So I’ll start from the start and hope to lend advice from one backpacking begginer to another about how to plan a holiday that doesn’t involve lying still and not moving from your sun bed for two weeks.
Here’s my advice for planning your trip…
You don’t have to go for aaaages
My big concern was would I have enough time to Interrail? Europe seems like this huge behemoth that is unconquerable in the parameters of my annual leave.
Of course you can’t go everywhere, for a start that would be way too expensive, but Interrail offer a 2 week global pass that allows for 5 days travel over a 15 day period for €204.
2 weeks in Europe? Yes please!
Make it simple
I went into the planning stages naming all these wild and wonderful places I wanted to go to.
‘I’ll go to Paris and then we can head to Milan and then to Greece and then to Prague’
No no no. Simple is better and way more logical.
Me and my boyfriend decided that in a two week period four destinations would be enough ground to cover.
Unless you want to fly to your first stop the most logical place to begin is Paris (your Interrail ticket covers Eurostar from London StPancras!).
From there we looked at places that were a direct train journey away to avoid changing trains lots and to minimise travel time. We wanted to head to the coast and you are able to catch a straight train to Nice from Paris, so logically that was the next move.
Work in that vein and you’ll have your itinerary planned in no time.
How long are you going to stay in each place?
Obviously, if you’re a wild child and want to wing it you can make your mind up as you go along.
But as I’m an enthusiastic advocate of planning things and that fact we are working on a budget made us want to get all this nailed down before we started booking anywhere.
Of course there’s always a risk that we might end up loving somewhere and only be there for two nights – or hate it and have to stay there for five days – but you live and learn!
We also have hypothesised that we should stay in cities for less time than more beachy places as they are the locations where we’ll likely spend more money on things like dinner and tourist attractions.
We are visiting a city, then a beach, then a city then a lake, to give our budget a bit of a break and enable some chill out time.
The Interrail website is your friend
The Interrail website (which is where you will buy your ticket) is a fountain of amazing knowledge.
There are hidden costs, such as reservation fees for trains, which can be unavoidable at times and these are laid out on the website and help you plan.
They also have a reservations side to the site of which you can log in and book all your trains in advanced. Like hotels, this can be done on the go but some more popular routes (such as Eurostar) do get booked up and you are advised to reserve in advance.
They also have tips for itineraries, advice on what to do when you get there and lots of other hints and tips.
So far we’ve gone as far as booking our train ticket and planning our itinerary, so I’m still learning, but for me planning is half the fun.