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Packing List for InterRailing Holidays

Rattling around Europe on the trains is an amazing adventure that is best enjoyed when travelling light! Make sure you have everything you need with this handy list.

Whether you are planning on visiting two countries or twenty, you should still be able to fit everything you need into one backpack. A 40 or 50 litre backpack will fit into the small luggage space above your seat, while anything bigger will prove awkward to stow. 

Because they can be squashed into small spaces, backpacks are more suited to InterRailing than suitcases. They are also infinitely more suitable for hauling up and down station steps and finding hostels down little cobbled streets!


Before deciding which clothes to take, make sure you have the following items ready to pack into the handy pockets and compartments in your backpack:

  • hand-wash detergent, a small line and pegs – if you are only taking a few items you will need to be able to wash them regularly and get them dry
  • a backpack raincover – so everything keeps dry if you need to get to the station in the rain
  • a couple of padlocks – to keep hands out of your backpack and for lockers in hostels
  • a moneybelt – for keeping your money and documents safe
  • a first aid kit – for any mishaps
  • a travel towel
  • toiletries


Keep any important documents in your moneybelt and photocopies in your backpack. These are likely to include:

  • your passport
  • your InterRail pass(es)
  • any other travel tickets or reservation details
  • insurance details
  • your driving licence.


While people used to pack a CD player, alarm clock, phrase books, reading books and games, today people can save tons of space and weight by packing just one gadget:

  • a smartphone or portable music player/gaming device – plus a European adapter for the charger. With Wi-Fi so readily available, these are also great for booking accommodation and travel, as well as keeping in touch with those back home. 


Assuming you are headed to a mild climate, you should do fine with:

  • a comfy and stylish pair of jeans – great for overnight journeys as well as casual nights out
  • two pairs of lightweight trousers or leggings – cargo trousers are great for carrying stuff on hikes
  • two pairs of shorts or one pair plus a skirt
  • four short-sleeve T-shirts or vests
  • one or two long-sleeve T-shirts/shirts
  • one smart ‘going out’ top or shirt
  • a zip-up hoodie or sweatshirt – for keeping warm on chilly evenings
  • a foldable sunhat
  • sunglasses
  • trainers or walking boots
  • flip-flops or sandals
  • one pair of smart but lightweight shoes for nights out
  • five pairs of underwear and socks

And that’s it. Because if you do need anything else you can always buy it there!

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