INTER-RAIL FOR IDIOTS

by Frankie Fraser

2. Going Dutch

Bicycle is a great way to get around Holland...

 

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I’ll arrive in the Hook of Holland on the overnight ferry from Harwich – if I’m smart I’ll hardly have to stay in a hotel at all over the whole trip, because I’ll be taking overnight trains (I am not smart, and will later miss my connection).
    I’m hoping that being flexible and booking late through sites like Lastminute.com or Booking.com using the tiny netbook computer I brought along will save me some money on the journey (it won’t - but you might have better luck if you go off-season. My birthday is in the summer, so I can never get a deal).
    If you go Interrailing make sure you book the time off well in advance, and get a few days extra – as it’s quite possible you’ll get stuck somewhere or miss a connection and need to change your plans along the way.

 Going with a friend is nearly always more fun... here we are somewhere between Den Haag and Hook of Holland in late 2015, when my friend finally forgave me for not taking her on the first trip.

 

If you think the slow way is for you, go on the internet to a site like euroventure.eu, where you can find the lastest deals and routes including hostels and hotels, and don’t just go into it blindly like I did. Stena Line often offer boat and car or sail and rail deals if you book ahead.
    Another word of advice: try to go to bed early if you’re on the overnight ferry crossing. The first call in the morning comes at around 6.30AM – or 5.30 British summer time. Otherwise, ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’, AKA 'The Stena Line Theme Tune,' will be stuck in your head for weeks on end afterwards, waking you up on the PA system UNBELIEVABLY LOUD.
    Unfortunately, on this occasion none of my friends can get the time off, so I’ll be going it alone. Being in another country on my own doesn’t phase me because I’ve been travelling before, but it helps that I’ll start out in a city as friendly and accommodating as Amsterdam. Remember that going with friends is almost always more fun, and safer (although if your friends are anything like mine by the end of the trip you will almost certainly be ready to murder each other). 

 

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