When I started this blog and wrote my first ever post telling you all about my planned interrail I had 6 months to go. How on earth are we now only one month away?!
I’ll be honest with you it’s probably more likely to be 3 weeks or less by the time I get this posted but hopefully, you won’t mind too much.
I’m currently in full preparation mode. I have to-do lists upon check-lists but thankfully I’m very nearly ready.
If you want to have a read of what I’ve been doing to prepare up to this point have a read of these posts:
So what happens now. What should you be making sure you’re doing in the month before you go travelling?
1. Make sure you have valid travel insurance.
I can’t stress how important this one is. While no one wants to think about something going horribly wrong while they’re away you don’t want to end up forking out thousands of pounds because you were the unlucky one.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about World Nomads and they’re actually promoted by Interrail itself. But of course, you can always do a quick online comparison to find the right cover for you. Just make sure you get some before you leave.
PSA: If you’re from, and travelling in Europe, you need travel insurance as well as your EHIC card. An EHIC does not cover all costs especially things like flying you back home if you get injured or become unwell.
2. Make a packing list and check what you still need to buy.
I don’t know about you but my brain doesn’t retain information very well. If I relied on memory alone when it came to packing I would 100% forget something important.
Make a list of everything you need or want to take travelling with you and then mark off everything you already have. You’ve then got plenty of time to buy everything else without running around the shops in a mad panic the day before you go.
Doing it in advance also means you can hunt down the best deals and save yourself some money as well.
When making your list don’t forget the important stuff like prescription medicine and check you’ve got more than enough to cover your trip.
3. Check and double-check any tickets, flights, reservations you’ve booked.
Hopefully, you’ve got your flights and at least your first few nights accommodation booked by now. So this is the time to check everything is as it should be.
Check the times and dates of any travel you’ve booked including flights, trains, buses etc. Double check things like how early you need to be there, luggage restrictions and if you need seat reservations, that way there won’t be any nasty surprises.
Look up whereabouts your accommodation is and make sure you have an idea of check in and check out times.
Double check any attractions you’ve already booked. Look up any terms of entry – lots of museums are strict on bags they allow in – and whereabouts these places are.
Make sure you’ve written everything down in one easy to access place – in a phone or notebook – so you have the information to hand when you need it.
4. Sort out your travel money.
Whether you’re taking cash or card make sure you know how you’re going to access your money while you’re travelling.
Using a standard UK debit card abroad can mean paying ridiculously high fees but equally, it’s not often safe to be carrying lots of cash. My suggestion is to get a pre-paid travel card.
I’ve recently got the Revolut card and app and so far everything has been really straightforward and easy. But of course, there are loads of other options out there too.
It’s also a good idea to know the rough exchange rate of anywhere you’re visiting. That way you can budget properly once you’re out there.
5. Start putting together a list of things you want to see and do and researching the countries you’re visiting.
If you’re anything like me you’ll have started planning the fun stuff from the moment you booked your trip. But whether you’re a planner like or a bit more spontaneous it’s good to have a rough idea of what’s in each city.
I’ve made a list of 3 or 4 things that I definitely want to do in each city so I don’t miss anything I’m excited about. It’s also good to look into these things so you know if anything needs booking in advanced.
For example, I’ve been dying to visit Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam since I was about 11 so it went straight to the top of my list. A quick browse of their website told me I needed to pre-book online as they’re not selling tickets on the door at the moment. Can you imagine how upset I would have been if I hadn’t taken a couple of minutes just to google and found out I couldn’t get in on the day!
It’s also good to research things like customs and the culture of the places you’re visiting. If you’re visiting any of religious significance do you need your legs and shoulders covered for example? The more you know about a place you’re visiting the more comfortable you’ll feel.
Also, have a look at what weather you can expect. That way you can plan your clothes a bit better.
6. Let someone know about your travels.
Chances are you won’t have been able to keep quiet about your upcoming travels, but make sure you keep at least one person informed about where you expect to be and when.
Not only will it give peace of mind to your loved ones but should the worse happen, either to you or someone at home, it’s important someone knows where you should be and how to get in contact with you.
And don’t forget to keep them updated should your plans change while you’re away.
7. Print off and make copies of anything important.
Passports, visa’s, driving licence, any form of ID. Make sure you photocopy and take a picture of any important documents you’re planning on taking on your travels.
Should the worst happen and anything gets lost or stolen you can save yourself a lot of time and stress if you have access to a copy of it. Try and have both a paper and digital copy that you can access from multiple devices.
You can also leave a copy with someone at home to be extra sure.
I’ve made a printable checklist in case you’re like me and need to have things written down in front of you. There’s also space to add anything else you might think of. Or you can just use it as inspiration for your own, I won’t be too offended, I promise!
If there is anything you’ve else you always do before you go travelling please let me know in the comments below!
All my love,