InterRailing is overrated – here’s how to travel Europe

Every student should know exactly what InterRailing is but, if you don’t, it’s essentially travelling around countries in Europe with a train ticket.

Lots of people will tell you that inter-railing is the best and cheapest way to see more of the world as a student – but that’s just not true.

InterRailing tickets can be quite expensive for what is actually included, which is just a train ticket.

For example, if you wanted to travel around Europe for one month, taking 15 trains, the ticket would cost you nearly €350.

This seems reasonable until you factor in the costs of accommodation, clothes washing, meals and activities, as well as essentials like sun cream (we are Scottish after all).

Of course, the overall price of an InterRailing trip depends on personal spending habits but it is very common to spend about Β£3,000 for a month in Europe.

The best way to see Europe is with a trip company like Topdeck or Contiki Tours who load around 45 people onto a coach and drive around Europe, a la Coach Trip.

This probably sounds worse than inter-railing, right? Wrong.

Here are 10 major reasons why you should book a coach trip rather than inter-railing:

1. The people are incredible

Spending a month camping, staying in hostels and travelling with people from all over the world creates bonds you just wouldn’t make on any other trip. These people become like family to you and saying goodbye will be harder than you could have ever imagined.

2. The bargain price includes almost everything

For a month travelling 14 different countries in Europe, expect to pay between Β£1,200 and Β£1,500. This includes at least two meals a day, loads of pre-paid activities and accommodation. Don’t be afraid that you’ll have to stay with the group – all the activities are optional (but they are already paid for) and you have plenty of free time to explore.

3. Free WiFi

Yes, you read that correctly. The coach has built in WiFi as well as countless plugs to charge phones and cameras. You won’t have to spend a fortune on internet access or come home to a terrifying phone bill – you can upload your photos as you travel at no extra cost.

4. More luggage

You’re being driven around the continent in a massive coach so you won’t have to lug a strategically packed rucksack over your shoulder everyday. You are free to pack everything you want and buy as many souvenirs as possible because there’s overhead storage, too.

5. No stress

One week on from the best trip and missing these crazy gappies ✨#Topdeck #topdeckers #399 #europe #davesworldtour

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There is no panicking about catching that train or evenings spent checking into hostels and campsites. The trip leader sorts everything out for you so your only responsibility is to enjoy yourself. They will do everything they can to help you out, whether that be showing you how the metro works or even bailing you out from campsite security if you happen to break the automatic parking barrier. Ahem.

6. The chef is world-class

You will end up asking yourself why this amazing chef is making masses of delicious food on a tiny camping stove when they should be working in a really posh restaurant which would pay a lot more. The answer is obvious – no amount of money can tear them away from the chance to travel the world every day. They have their dream job and you are lucky to be fed by them.

7. Incredible opportunities

There will always be optional activities that are not pre-paid because they are more expensive and perhaps a bit too adrenaline-fuelled for everyone. You might get the opportunity to go sky diving in the Swiss Alps with some of the most incredibly stunning views in the world. You might be strapped to the front of a crazy Italian skydiving instructor who calls you Bella even though that’s not your name. Who knows?

8. The team’s knowledge of culture

Your trip leader will always offer to take you around the city and they will have buckets of cultural knowledge to spill. Why pay for an average tour guide when your trip leader can tell you all the most interesting things about a place, and also point out all the best nightlife spots at the same time? Your trip’s team get to know you and make personalised recommendations for every member of the group too.

9. No sharing with strangers

OK, so at the start of your trip you might only know one person – or maybe no-one at all. That doesn’t matter because as soon as you step onto that bus the introductions start, team bonding games are played and at the end of the day you’ll eat your first meal together. By the time you get to the hostel or campsite, you will have made at least four new friends and are saved the awkward (and sometimes scary) encounter of sharing a room with total strangers.

10. There’s always somebody to hang out with

You could be travelling with a friend, but what happens when you want to do completely different things? If you went InterRailing, a compromise would have to be made. On a coach trip, you have 40 other friends to do things with so there will always be a group wanting to do the same activity as you – meet your travel buddy afterwards and everybody wins.

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