• What To Pack

Put That
Kitchen Sink

Down

As much as everyone who goes interrailing would like a backpack similar to Mary Poppins handbag, they unfortunately don't exist. So choosing the size of your backpack and what you're going to put into it is crucial.

Obviously you're going to remember to pack the important stuff; toothbrush, phone, passport, travel scrabble. But the unimportant items that you might forget to chuck in at home become a lot more important once you're 5,000 miles away from them... like your phone charger.

To make sure you leave nothing important behind (but at the same time don't get weighed down with useless crap) we have put together a foolproof guide to packing for your travels.

Backpack

Size

Because of the fact that a big part of interrailing is the journey, and that journey involves a lot of walking, we suggest you choose your rucksack for comfort over style and portability over capacity. You'd much rather have a backpack that’s easy to shove onto train racks, into storage areas, and under your seat.

Massive Tip:

Make sure to leave a good bit of space in your bag as you will no doubt be collecting the odd souvenir from your travels. You need to put it somewhere!

Don't try and look sexy, go for something that fits right. No one looks sexy in a backpack.

We recommend:

  • • 2-3 Weeks: 40-45 litres
  • • 1-2 Months: 50 - 60 litres
  • • Anything Longer: 60-80 litres

Make sure you're happy to carry it. (People will quite quickly get pissed off if you're constantly complaining!) Plus, the smaller the bag, the less room you have to pack unnecessary items. So you're forcing yourself to only pack the essentials! 

We also recommend:

 • Taking a smaller bag with you to keep on yourself at all times, for any items that you might be needing regularly (train tickets, phone, spare cash) so you don't need to rummage into the depths of your backpack every time your phone buzzes!

See below for our awesome packing chart and you'll never need to make your own.


Packing List

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You Do Need:

You Don’t Need:

Small Bag Items
(The Crucial Stuff!)

  • • A Bag for at All Times (with a few different compartments for easy access)
  • • Your Passport
  • • Visa (if required)
  • • Any Tickets or Accommodation Documents
  • • Your Travel Itinerary (if you've made one, we recommend you do)
  • • Foreign Currency
  • • Bank Card
  • • Camera
  • • Mobile Phone
  • • An Emergency Credit
  • • Your IDCard
  • • Travel Insurance Documents
  • • Sunglasses and a Hard Case for Them
  • • Headphones
  • • A Pen
  • • To overload your little bag with paperwork. Make sure you get yourself a document wallet and condense all your documentation down to absolute necessities.
  • • By doing this, when you go out during the day, you'll have room in your bag for some essential toiletries - like suncream and hand gel!

Clothes
(So You're Not Naked)

  • • A clothes packing system is an awesome idea and so helpful when living out of a backpack. Take four; one for tops, one for bottoms, one for underwear, and one for dirty washing. They pack away nicely and make finding and choosing clothes much easier.
  • • No matter how long you are going for, you can't take a different outfit for every day. The best thing to do is take 4/5 shorts and tops and mix and match.
  • • A pair of long jeans orleggings.
  • • A hoodie. For colder weather, cosy train rides, going up mountains, rain etc.
  • • Underwear
  • • Swimwear
  • • Set of PJ's.
  • • 1 or 2 pair(s) of flipflops.
  • • Light pair of trainers
  • • Pop Socks
  • • A hat (optional)
  • • Micro-fiber towel (these save a lot of space and weight.)
  • • A Watch if You Wear One
  • • Big, heavy beach towels
  • • High heels
  • • Lots of jewellery/ accessories
  • • Tons of different outfits!
  • • Girls: it's ok to take one summery dress,
  • • Guys: it's ok to take one smart shirt for evenings.
  • • Just don't go overboard and pack a load of clothes you regret once they are weighing down your backpack

Toiletries
(So You Don't Smell)

  • Hostel Toiletries Bag
  • • Compact Mirror
  • • Razor
  • • Toothpaste
  • • Travel Toothbrush
  • • Tweezers
  • • Shampoo: Lush
  • • Conditioner
  • • Body Wash
  • • Shower Cap
  • • Moisturiser
  • • Small Hairbrush
  • • Hair Accessories
  • Day Toiletries Bag
  • • Lip Balm
  • • Wet Wipes
  • • Sun Cream Lotion
  • • Sun Cream Stick
  • • After Sun
  • • Deodorant
  • • Body Spray/Perfume
  • • Anti-Bacterial Gel
  • • Make Up Bag
  • Washing Your Clothes
  • • Travel Washing Line
  • • Travel Washing Detergent
  • • Travel Sink Plug
  • • Small Sewing Kit: white cotton, black cotton, needles, and safety pins. If you don't want to take a sewing kit, take the safety pins at least.
  • • To carry your entire skin, hair and body care regime around in your backpack.
  • Girls: You don't need all those special smellies, and body creams, and nail varnishes, and hair treatments. Just a couple of hair accessories to keep it off your face and neck in hot weather.
  • Boys: If you want to take hair gel then a small pot should suffice. But don't go overboard with the styling products!
  • • Massive bottles of Shampoo and Conditioner. Go to Lush. Buy a shampoo bar. You are literally sorted for a good 6 weeks.

First Aid Stuff
(So You Stay Healthy)

  • • Tissues
  • • Travel First Aid Bag
  • • Scissors
  • • Surgical Tape
  • • Antiseptic Wipes
  • • Plasters
  • • Wound Dressing
  • • Antiseptic Cream
  • • Blister Plasters:Compeed
  • • Insect Repellant
  • • Calamine and Glycerine cream - for stings, rashes etc.
  • • Travel Sickness Tablets
  • • Allergy Tablets
  • • Deep Heat/Cool
  • • Cold and Flu Tablets
  • • Nasal Spray
  • • Sore Throat Sweets
  • • Antibiotics
  • • Ibuprofen
  • • Co-codamol
  • • Anti-Diarrhoea Tablets
  • • Re-Hydration Treatment
  • • Any Prescription Medication (plus a copy of your prescription)
  • • Ear Plugs
  • • Contraceptives
  • • Female Hygienen Products
  • • A massive first aid box weighing down your backpack.
  • • We recommend a fold up first aid kit. It's lighter and folds away to nothing so it can be stored in a secure compartment in the top/bottom of your backpack for whenever you need it.
  • • Boxes and boxes of pills!
  • • Take all your pill packs out of their boxes and pack them into a little plastic wallet together. They have the name written on the foil top so you won't forget which is which, and you'll save so much space!

Miscellaneous
(Just Because)

  • • Glasses or Contact Lenses
  • • Travel Adaptors
  • • Chargers for your phone, camera etc.
  • • Container for Souvenirs
  • • Umbrella - this is instead of a jacket, as it's much lighter and easy to carry around.
  • Optional:
  • • A Battery Pack for your Phone
  • • Spare Memory Card for Camerag
  • • Travel Hairdryer and Straighteners (Massive Tip! If travelling with friends split these up between bags and share. It will really lighten the load)
  • • Travel Pillow
  • • A Reading Book
  • • Diary
  • • Playing Cards
  • • Money Belt
  • • Swiss Army Knife
  • • Sleeping Bag
  • • Water Bladder
  • • Travel Cutlery and a Small Plate
  • • Combination Padlock: Most youth hostels have lockers but not all. Handy to have just in case lockers aren't provided.
  • • A hefty jacket in case of rain, cold weather etc. Your umbrella will suit just fine and your hoody will provide the warmth! A massive jacket won't fit in your backpack without taking up a lot of the room and it is a pain to carry around!