If you are young, a student – or you have just finished your studies, without a fat bank account or rich parents, does it mean that you have to leave all your dreams about travelling, exciting places, meeting new people and unforgettable things unfulfilled?
Of course not! It’s all up to you. You only need a vivid imagination, lots of guts, no fear for the unknown, willingness to meet new people and live in the present. If you go online, you will get information about possibilities, discounts, specific offers for young people, and so on.
Don’t be passive and discouraged; I’ll give you some practical advice and share some good experiences.
Why is travelling by train such a good option?
- You don’t need a lot of money.
- You plan every detail of the journey yourself.
- You can stop whenever and wherever you want.
- You can avoid embarrassing tourist traps.
- You can avoid hysterical mass tourism.
- You will meet a lot of people your age.
- You can make good friends – maybe for life.
- You can change your plans along the way.
- You can decide to spend more time at a place you like.
- You can travel to different places before finally reaching your favourite destination.
- You can join travel and music festivals.
- You can visit places and buildings you have only seen in books or heard about.
- You can enjoy beautiful landscapes from the window in your train compartment.
- You feel proud of yourself afterwards, having managed to move around independently.
- Your feeling of independence and self-confidence will increase.
- You will see that the big majority of people are nice and friendly.
- You will have lots of fun and exciting stories to live and remember afterwards.
- It may make you more curious and open-minded.
What are some good points to remember?
- Make sure your passport is ok and that the expiry date is far away.
- Check with your embassy/travel agency if you need a visa for any of the countries you want to visit. (Be out in good time for this.)
- Check if you need to make seat reservations when you travel.
- Make appointments with friends you would like to meet at specific places you will be visiting.
- Check out cheap but good places to stay, and make the necessary reservations in advance. (Not always necessary but advisable.)
- Get hold of guidebooks and start picking out things you want to do.
- Use a backpack/rucksack.
- Pack comfortable and practical clothes. (Remember that you may be spending nights or several hours on a train.)
- Don’t take too much with you; your rucksack can get heavy.
- Have a lot of clean t-shirts (especially if you are travelling in the summertime.)
- Have a secure purse or wallet for your passport, money, and credit cards.
- Don’t be afraid of travelling alone; you will be a part of a group of other young travellers before
you know it.
- Don’t let guidebooks, e.g. Lonely Planet decide what are nice or not so nice places to visit.
- Start with a positive and “let’s see what happens” attitude. Have a nice trip!