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My first experience backpacking was a trip interrailing Europe, and of course one of the most daunting aspects is working out what to pack. It can be hard to put together an interrailing packing list, especially if it’s your first time travelling, so here is your ultimate guide, full of packing tips for travel to Europe.

Interrailing Packing List

In need of some advice on planning your trip interrailing Europe? Read my guide full of my best interrail tips and tricks.


How I got started with my Interrailing Checklist…

I made a tough interrail packing list by reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos. It’s also useful to speak to others who already have experience of interrailing in Europe. As with any backpacking packing guide, the one consistent piece of advice is: DON’T OVERPACK!

Backpack for Interrailing

I had 2 bags with me. My main interrail backpack was the Eurohike 45L Pathfinder rucksack. Packing cubes are great to keep everything organised and compacted. I used the Karrimore 10L Sierra Rucksack for my hand luggage and a sort of ‘day bag’ when I was out exploring. I put all my important stuff in here that I wanted to keep with me at all times.

A bum bag should be on any interrailing essentials list. They’re great for keeping your important belongings close to you when you’re out for the day.

Interail – What to pack?

  • Interrail bags – big rucksack, small rucksack, bum bag
  • Essentials for travelling Europe – money, bank card(s), passport, interrailing pass, travel insurane details (printed or saved on your phone), boarding passes / reservations etc.
  • Money / bank cards – I was very vary about carrying too much cash around with me, so I just left home with currency for my first destination and then withdrew cash from ATMs when I arrived in new countries. A lot of people choose to use Revolut or Monzo cards for their travel expenses.

TOP TRAVELLER TIP: when withdrawing from ATMs always say ‘NO’ to do ‘Do you accept this exchange rate?’ question on the ATM. This way your bank will calculate the best exchange rate for you! ATMs at stations and airports often give worse exchange rates.

  • Interrailing clothes – pack light and remember you will be able to do laundry at hostels. Don’t forget swimwear.
  • Shoes – A good pair of walking shoes for when you’re on your feet all day! Flip flops are also great for hostels
  • Spare phone in case you lose or break yours and a portable phone charger to make sure you always have phone battery, even when you’re out and about.

Foreign adaptor plug – check the different plug types on your interrailing itinerary before you go. A universal adaptor one with USB ports is usually the best.

  • Toiletries – 2 in 1 shampoo saves spaces, an eco friendly toothbrush and don’t forget your toothpaste! Get a good sun cream with a decent SPF for your face. Aloe vera is great for sunburn.
  • Earphones – will help keep you sane on long journeys, and therefore one of your interrailing essentials! Download some good music and podcasts
  • Pillow case and sleeping bag liner – just in case your hostel bedding isn’t the best!

Towel – most hostels will give you them but it’s always good to have your own! A microfibre towel is a great addition to your interrailing packing list as they are really compact, and dry you and itself really quickly!

  • Travel pillow – get for those long train journeys you’ll inevitably make when interrailing in Europe.
  • Ear plugs and eye mask – makes sleeping easier on public transport and in hostels.
  • First aid kit – anti septic, bite cream, insect spray, pain killers, plasters, prescription medication with copy of your prescription.
Berlin germany interrailing trip Europe tv tower

Found this interrailing packing list useful?

Check out my updated Backpackers Packing Guide with new backpacking essentials from my 2019 Southeast Asia backpacking trip.

Or check out some of my other travel advice:

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  • Ultimate Camping List: What to Bring Camping in 2023
    Knowing what to bring camping can be difficult, so I’ve comprised the Ultimate Camping List so you don’t miss any camping essentials.
  • Backpacking Southeast Asia Packing List
    This post may contain affiliate links, including Amazon Associates. This means that I will make a small commission from any purchases you make, at no extra cost to you.If you are wondering what to take backpacking, you’re in the right place! Compiling a backpacking checklist can often be difficult but light backpacking really isn’t as …
  • Travel Vaccinations for Southeast Asia
    When you’re preparing to go backpacking it’s important you know what medical precautions to take! Here I discuss medical preparations and travel vaccinations for Southeast Asia.
  • Beginners Guide to Backpacking: planning your first Southeast Asia trip
    This post may contain affiliate links, including Amazon Associates. This means that I will make a small commission from any purchases you make, at no extra cost to you.When you first decide to go backpacking for the first time, you’re going to be keen to start planning your trip as soon as possible. But as …

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  1. […] As this post has already ended up being a lot longer than I expected I’ve decided to do another dedicated to what you should pack and things you might not think about taking / think you need but don’t. I mention what sort of bag I took with me (before I went I spent far too long in shops looking for one because I really wasn’t sure on what was best!). Check out the post here. […]

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