Tales from Earth


The Kitchen Sink: A Few Things to Pack

So, here we are: four days until we get on that plane and embark on our voyage to the end of Europe – about time to commence the panicked search for everything that I will need to survive for 5 weeks’ InterRailing. I would like to share with you some of the not so ordinary things that I think would be useful for your own trip.

1) European Rail Timetable

European Rail TimetableThis bible for InterRailers contains over 50,000 train times, and has been compiled every year [with the exception of during WWII] for 140 years. Since Thomas Cook ceased publication of the timetable in 2013, John Potter, one of the compilers, has
taken on the mammoth task of compiling this, and it’s now available again from his website.

Containing every train time in Europe, and main train times for the whole world, this is an absolute must-have for InterRailers – relying on phone apps is not advisable.

Buy: www.europeanrailtimetable.eu

Cost:  £17.99 [+postage]


2) Portable Charger

Phone ChargerUnless you’re solely using new trains in Western Europe, you’re likely to be without a power source for long periods of time. In order to keep all of your gadgets, whether that be your phone, iPod or heated slippers, you’ll need a portable charger, of which there are many on the market. I have the 5000mAh Power Walker from Maplin and also the solar powered Freeloader Pro, for when I’m camping, which  I can also use to charge my D-SLR battery.

You charge up the internal battery of your charger via USB, from a power socket or computer, then when you’re without power, you plug your device into the charger, and hey presto, it starts to charge. Very useful indeed.

Buy:   Maplin

Cost:  £24.99 [free delivery]

3) Point It® – Traveller’s language kit

We’re visiting the Czech Republic, Poland Hungary and Romania, among other countries. In fact, we can only speak the languages of two of the countries that we’re going to [Eleanor speaks German and Jonny speaks Italian], so what are we going to do when we can’t just shout English at people and hope that they will understand? Point It is our answer, and has saved me in awkward situations before.

The concept is very simple – this books contains photos of pretty much all of the things that you could ever need to talk about when on holiday, and you just point to the item that you need. Many types of food, transport, accommodation, medical emergencies are just a small selection of the items photographed.

Also available as an Android and iOS app.

Buy:   Amazon

Cost:  £4.99 [free delivery if over £10]


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