Complete Interrail Packing List and Interrail essentials!

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What we talk about in this article

So, you want to travel Europe by train, but are still wondering what to pack for Interrailing Europe? 

What exactly should you be packing? Should you get a backpack? Or a suitcase? We have Interrailed through Europe quite a bit and we’re looking forward to help you pack your bags! We will also give you tips about the type of luggage you need for your trip. 

So, without further ado, … here’s a complete Interrail packing list with all the essentials you need to make your train adventure in Europe a wonderful experience.

Type of luggage

The type of luggage you choose, is quite important when travelling by train. You’ll have your luggage with you almost all the time and you will be looking for a decent spot to store it while the train is moving. 

Also you want it to be secure at all times.

Easy carry for men
Easy carry for women
Roll instead of carry
Day Pack
$190.00
$186.92
$269.99$219.49
$120.00$78.00
Roll instead of carry
Day Pack
03/10/2024 05:32 am GMT

Option 1: Backpack (recommended)

The backpack is an easy and handsfree solution. As you will probably be visiting mostly cities and urban places, you won’t need anything more than 50 – 65 litres, depending on your own size and clothing size. 

You don’t need camping gear, sleeping bags, or anything like that, so it’s just a few sets of clothing. And, since you have to carry it quite a lot, don’t take too much.

Osprey Rook 65L Men's Backpack
$190.00
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03/10/2024 05:32 am GMT
Osprey Fairview 55L Women's Backpack
$186.92
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03/10/2024 05:38 am GMT

Option 2: Wheeled suitcase

A wheeled suitcase is also a good way to pack your belongings during a train journey in Europe. There won’t be any off-grid hiking with your luggage, so it will be equally convenient. Some travellers enjoy a wheeled backpack over a wheeled suitcase, so, that’s up to personal preference.

For a wheeled suitcase, opt for a high-quality hardside suitcase with wheels that turn in every direction. 

Take into consideration that you might need to store your big suitcase somewhere else than where you’re seated.  

Samsonite Hardside Luggage
$269.99 $219.49

The Samsonite hardcase luggage is among the best in the world.

It's durable and it has already proved its worth in the past.

You can choose from a wide variety of sizes and colours.

Check out their Amazon store.

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03/10/2024 05:53 am GMT

Extra: Hand luggage

Aside from the luggage you might need to stow somewhere in the train cabin, you also want to have a smaller backpack as hand luggage. In this backpack, you keep your valuables and the things you need close by, like your phone, headphones, water bottle, etc. 

Make sure that this small backpack is large enough to act as a day pack throughout your trip. You want it to be large enough to keep your everyday carry and a few extra things, like a sweater or packed lunch.

Deuter Unisex Backpack
$120.00 $78.00

The Deuter Speed Lite is a super lightweight day pack.

It has a lot of small pockets where you can stow away your everyday carry.

Deuter takes pride in the fact that this pack is made of 100% recycled materials, which is a great reason to select this backpack!

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03/10/2024 05:57 am GMT

Packing cubes

We recommend using packing cubes, especially if you’re following our backpack recommendation, but also for wheeled suitcases. The use of packing cubes will make the handling of your luggage so much better.

Even though you start out with a decent and neatly packed backpack or suitcase, it won’t take you any longer than 2 days before your luggage is one hot mess of intertwined pants and sleeves (if you’re anything like us)

By packing your clothing into packing cubes, you will have things that belang to the same category (or same outfit or color or whatever your preferences are) all together in a neat bag.

So, in short, we never pack a backpack without using packing cubes of some sort. By using smart compression packing cubes, you even save a lot of space in your pack.

Bagsmart Compression Packing Cubes
$42.99 $38.96

These Bagsmart compression packing cubes come in different colours and sizes. You can select your own composition of bags to match your needs.

Have a look at the combinations and options in the Amazon store.

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04/10/2024 12:31 pm GMT

Securing your luggage

Take a compact, but decent, padlock with you to secure your luggage. A small padlock will not prevent theft of your backpack or wheelcase, but it will make it more difficult to enter. It’s a security layer that is easy and that makes a difference. 

Since you will have to leave your luggage alone at times during your trip, we recommend getting a lock for your luggage bag as well as your daypack.

Master Lock
$8.99

This high-quality lock is perfect for suitcases and backpacks.

You can set your own numeric code.

On top of that, this luggage lock is TSA approved.


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04/10/2024 12:32 pm GMT

Essential clothing packing list for Interrailing

Clothing is a very personal part of your luggage to pack. We recommend taking some of the clothes you love wearing. If it’s combines well with everything else, then you have an excellent combo!

Let’s have a look at the things we have in our packs for city tripping, which is the equivalent for an Interrail packing list.

Sweaters and long sleeves

I like to have a hoodie with a zipper and a few other things to combine with. So, usually, for me, it’s 1 hoodie and a few extra essentials for the top. I started swapping all my tops for merino and I must say I’m very happy with that choice! 

So, these are the sweaters and long sleeves I have in my pack for Interrailing.

My long sleeves

Lola has also changed her clothing style a little bit for the sake of convenience. Aside from the comfortable and convenient things, she also packs a few items she like better in the evening or when we go out for dinner or drinks. 

So, keep scrolling to find out what extra stuff Lola takes for city visits!

Lola's long sleeves

Shirts and short sleeves

For short-sleeve items, we usually select a few we fancy at the time of packing. So, it varies. But, I must say that both of us have slimmed down our wardrobe in order to only keep items we really like. 

That means, we wear the same things more often and we shop ore quality items. In the short sleeve section, the same thing counts: we have our merino layers and then some organic cotton or linen. 

Merino is super comfortable in all types of weather. We love wearing it just as much during the hot summer months as in winter. When it’s cold, we use it as an extra layer. Merino also smells nice and it dries super fast. All of these are great things for travellers!

Linen, on the other hand, is the perfect fabric for hot days. It keeps you surprisingly cool.

My short sleeves

Lola's short sleeves

Trousers (short and long)

I guess it depends on the weather forecast if you will be taking more short or long trousers. We’ll give you a few options for hot and cold weather. 

For city tripping, we don’t usually take our merino leggings with us, but for hiking trips, these are essential. Personally, I do love my linen trousers, which are a better fit for the beach, but they can also be amazing on a city trip.

I’ll add some of the options we pack for an Interrail trip, but it’s probably best if you select 2 long trousers and 1 shorts.

My trousers

Lola's trousers

Jackets and coats

The type of jacket you take, is largely dependent by the exact timing of your travels. If you’re travelling in winter, take a decent winter proof coat. Chances are good that you will be wearing it most of the time.

For the other months, we recommend layering up. This way, you can take a jacket that packs small, just in case you’re not wearing it all the time.

These are a few of our recommendations:

My jackets and coats

Lola's jackets and coats

All Seasons
Spring, Summer & Autumn
Winter Wear
$56.99
$49.98
$69.99$59.99
Spring, Summer & Autumn
Winter Wear
03/10/2024 10:22 am GMT

Shoes and slippers

For shoes, we switch between a few options. 

We always take slippers with us. These can be used indoors or when the weather is good. But we also often use them for showering as well. 

Then, depending on the exact trip specifics, we take hiking boots or walking shoes. For interrailing, the walking shoes might be more appropiate, but in fact, you can’t really go wrong with hiking boots either. Hiking boots are generally the best choice when the weather is cold and rainy. But, they’re also the best option when you plan on walking a lot.

For trips in perfect weather, sandals are so liberating, especially after a day of wearing hiking shoes. We’re switching to the barefoot feeling more often, because it just feels like you’re wearing no shoes at all.

These are our recommendations:

My shoes and slippers

Lola's shoes and slippers

Underwear

Obviously, you also need undergarments. And usually, you will take what you already have in your closet. But if you’re in the market for new travel-approved underwear, then we got some recommendations for you.

We recently switched to merino underwear and we couldn’t be happier about it. It fits perfectly and it’s so soft. You don’t even notice that you’re wearing it. And, it’s not crawling in all directions while walking or moving around. 

So discovered this brand in Europe: Menique, which we use now. But, if you’re from an other area, make sure to check out Icebreaker, which offers quality merino clothing all over the world.

Women
menique shortie for women
30,26 €

These shorties are super comfortable. They're super soft and they stay in the right shape and place!

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03/10/2024 10:37 am GMT
Men
menique boxer for men
21,95 €

The merino underwear for men is made out of the same fabric. It's comfortable and it always has the perfect temperature.

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03/10/2024 10:32 am GMT

Swimwear

Not every Interrail trip requires swimwear, but I would pack it if I were you. There might be a beach destination in your Interrail itinerary or not, you might need them anyway. 

For instance, if you do a Central European Interrail itinerary, then you will visit Budapest for a few days and there, you get to soak in the healing thermal baths of Budapest. (Read our Budapest travel guide!)

Alternatively, you might venture out on a Scandinavian Interrail adventure, which leads you to sauna days and swimming in the rather cold fjords.

Women
Tankini Swimsuits for Women
$34.99

I like the tankini swimsuit a lot because I like to be a little bit covered up.

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03/10/2024 10:52 am GMT
Men
Swim Trunks for men
$34.99

These are beautiful swim trunks for men with inner lining for extra comfort.

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03/10/2024 11:07 am GMT
Complete Interrail Packing List and Interrail essentials!

Toiletries

When it comes to toiletries, everybody has their own basic supplies they always take. We also have our own preferences and things we always take.

As I already said before, we have been making a switch to more durable materials that have a smaller impact on the environment, as far as we know. This also translates into our toiletries bag.

Deodorant and perfume

We’re also deep into researching body care items that are less harmful for ourself, like deodorant without the harmful aluminium for instance. We didn’t know how harmful aluminium in deodorant can be and we feel much better now that we got different deodorant.

Unisex
Women
Men
£7.49 (£9.99 / 100 ml)
$74.00$42.37 ($26.48 / Fl Oz)
$125.00$105.32 ($52.66 / Ounce)
Women
Men
$125.00$105.32 ($52.66 / Ounce)
03/10/2024 06:02 am GMT

Toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss

We use eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes for sensitive teeth. I know, we’re sensitive people! Then, for use on the go, we also have those toothpicks with floss.  We found a brand that is very eco-friendly. We only take a handful of these in our day pack, to use when it feels needed.

For toothpaste, we always take a normal sized toothpaste, because we’re always travelling and those travel sized toothpaste containers result in so much more waste.

Soap and shampoo

If you’re staying in hotels in Europe, chances are good that there is soap and shampoo available. If you’re staying in hostels, you might want to take your own. We always take our own soap and shampoo, because we tend to switch between accommodation types and all. So, we always have something. 

Still wondering where you will be staying?

We usually travel with one regular soap bar for washing up and one shampoo bar for our hair. Then, especially when travelling with public transport, we also take some sort of desinfectant with us.

These days, we travel with our house on wheels, which has a bathroom that is always available, so, we don’t need desinfectant as much anymore. We just wash our hands when we feel like it.

Other toiletries for your Interrail packing list

As we already mentioned, the things you pack into your toiletry bag are quite personal. Maybe you need lens fluid, like Lola does, or maybe you have special hair care products you want to take. 

For us, these are the other things we tend to pack:

Other Interrail essentials

There are quite a few things I like to take on any type of trip. Most of these are small of easy to stow away.

Ear plugs

Chances are good that there will be noisy people in hotels, hostels, or on the train. I’m very sensitive to that. When we’re on a train, I will usually put on my noise cancelling headphones and listen to some music, a meditation, or a book summary in Headway or Blinkist.

But when we’re trying to sleep and there some noise in the train or hotel, earplugs are the way to go. You can either choose earplugs made for your ears specific, if you travel a lot or wear your earplugs often. But there are also very decent earplugs for sale for all kinds of situations.

Alpine SleepSoft Sleeping Earplugs
$17.99 ($17.99 / Count)

The SleepSoft Earplugs are moderately priced. They are very comfortable, both for sleeping as for wearing on the go in a loud environment. I'm already on my second set throughout the years!

Have a look!
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03/10/2024 12:47 pm GMT

Pen and paper

Yes, I know. It’s pretty outdated to take pen and paper on a trip. But we still do. And, you’ll be surprised by how it can serve you anyway. Sometimes, you might want to quickly write something, without taking your phone out. Or, you want to write something down, in order to give it to someone. And then these ancient tools for writing are pretty interesting.

PS. It doesn’t have to be much, just a small notebook and a pen will do.

3 Pocket Notebooks
$9.99

This set of 3 different coloured notebooks leaves you some room to use them for different writings.

Have a look!
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03/10/2024 01:07 pm GMT

Foldable bag

We always take a few small foldable bags. This can be convenient for tons of situations. Think about going to a store during your city exploration or taking some stuff from the grocery store on your way back to the hotel.

We even use them as laundry bag to take our stuff to the laundry and back. A foldable bag is never wasted!

PS. It doesn’t have to be much, just a small notebook and a pen will do.

Grocery Bags: Reusable & Foldable
$6.99 $6.18

Set of 6 foldable bags. It's always a good idea to have these at hand (or in your backpack)

Have a look!
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03/10/2024 01:12 pm GMT

First aid kit and medicine

Let’s hope you don’t need it, but you might. I have a history in nursing, so this is one I will always travel with. There are small first aid kits on the market, which have all the necessities to take care of minor issues without the need of a doctor. 

Aside from a small travel first aid kit, don’t forget to take you regular prescription medicine. These might be your allergy pills or other things. We also take our supplements and some pills against a headache.

Mini First Aid Kit
$9.99 ($0.07 / Count)

This small first aid kit contains everything to get you started with small wounds or bruises.

Have a look!
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03/10/2024 09:37 pm GMT

Electronics for Interrailing

This is probably my favourite part. Especially researching exactly which items I needed and which were the best fit for my backpack. 

For electronics, all these items have been carefully selected in order to be as lightweight as possible, without compromising on the specifics I wanted or needed. So, the specifics come first :p lightweight comes second.

Now, what do we take on our trips? These are all for backpack travel and all of these items add comfort to your trip. If you feel like you don’t need all of these, that’s perfectly possible.

Smartphone with a good camera

I switched from Android to iPhone and I’m so happy I finally did. All of my appliances now collaborate with each other. Aside from the smooth syncing and collaboration, iPhones have such good camera. It’s really way better than any of the other smartphone camera’s I’ve ever used. 

So, even if it was just for the image quality: get the iPhone!

We stopped using our big, bulky camera and now only take iPhone photo’s. They’re more than good enough for most photographers during their trip.

For me, the extra cost for the iPhone has taken away the cost and space of a large DSLR camera. So, it was more than worth it!

Apple iPhone 15 Pro (512 GB)
£999.00 £949.00

The iPhone Pro is a smartphone which gets you amazing pictures. For me, it replaces my bulky camera and of course, it does much more!

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03/10/2024 01:27 pm GMT

Noise cancelling headphones

Noise cancelling headphones are really a life saver. Not just for me, Lola also wear hers quite a lot. We both regularly feel the need to disconnect, whether it is for listening to music, doing a meditation session or listening to a book summary on Headway or Blinkist.

I used to have Sennheiser noise cancelling headphones, but they weren’t sufficient for video calls. That’s why I switched to the same headphones as Lola has: the Sony noise cancelling headphones from the WH series. 

They are super comfortable to wear for hours and they sound crisp and clear. I really love the switch I made. When these ever wear out, I will definitely select Sony headphones again.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones
$398.00

These are, without a doubt, the very best noise canceling headphones you can get right now. And they're super comfortable.

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03/10/2024 08:12 pm GMT

Ereader

Well, you can ‘t leave home without a few books to read while travelling, right? We both love to read and submerge in thousands of different worlds and lives. In the olden days, we took one paper book and exchanged it in a book exchange in a hostel. Those really were the days. As Forrest Gump would say: “You never know what you’re gonna get”.

But, we live in a different era now and we would never even think about leaving on a trip without having access to thousands of books, right at our fingertips. 

So, if you’re still wondering what to pack for Interrailing, make sure to get that ereader! And we need it to last for a long time. We both had ereaders break down on us before. Nothing sucks more than not being able to read. But like any other thing, an ereader can break down too.

We now use an Apple iPad and it serves us well. But we used to have Kobo ereaders, which are also quite good. In the US, Kindle ereaders are the norm. You can choose the type that fits you best, depending on your budget and type of ebooks you have access to.

Power bank

Last, but definitely not least, a decent power bank! All of these electronics need power and during a long train ride, you might be lacking just that. Some of the night trains or high speed trains might be equipped with power sockets, but don’t be too sure that they are…

When looking for the perfect power bank, make sure to select one that can charge a few of your electronics, like you smartphone AND your ereader. In the best case, even a little more than that.

Belkin Power Bank 20000 mAh
34,99 € € 33,59
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03/10/2024 09:02 pm GMT

Most important Interrail essentials for your European trip

So, those are a few of the most important Interrail Essentials for your train trip through Europe. To make the most of your trip, we recommend reading a few of the guides and articles on our website about travelling Europe by train.

Must-read articles to plan a perfect train travel trip in Europe:

Conclusion - Interrail packing list for Europe

To make sure you pack the right things for your Interrail adventure, make sure to quickly scroll through this list again. You can, more or less, take the same stuff you would take on a European city trip. Just take into account how many days you will be travelling and what season it will be. 

Also keep in mind: anything can be bought in Europe AND you can wash your clothes in hotels or hostels if you need to. So, there’s not too much that can go wrong here! 

Don’t forget to take some stuff to make life on the train easier and more fun, like a book, an ereader, and headphones.

Make sure to check out these cool Interrail route ideas for Europe!

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Interrail Packing List - Take these Interrail travel essentials on your next trip!
Interrail Packing List - Take these Interrail travel essentials on your next trip!
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