Travel As Friends. Stay That Way
They're your best friend, and you're super excited about going InterRailing with them. But what if you get on each other’s nerves? After all, you are going to be stuck with each other and only each other for days, often crammed into a train carriage. But never fear; I assure you, it's perfectly possible.
Spending every waking hour with each other (apart from the odd bathroom break) makes it inevitable that you're going to have a few disagreements along the way, but they don't have to spoil your trip! So here are a few possible scenarios and tips to help you keep your cool with each other while you’re InterRailing around Europe.
You're both going to do it, because let's face it, neither trains nor hostels are particularly glamorous. So, you're both going to be tired, hungry or hung-over at some point and this may mean you or your companion turn into a bit of a mood hoover.
The key: just agree with their complaint. Placate them. It'll be your feet aching from all that exploring soon enough and they may just need a little vent in order to get on with cheering up. So let them have it, let it go and get on with things!
'Told you so'
You'll have disagreed about which turning to take; whether to go see if anything’s up that stupidly long staircase or which metro stop you need to get to your hostel. You might have even disagreed over which European city to hit next. And, one of you has to be wrong. And at some point it’s going to be you, which will probably end in a bit of gloating from your companion.
So, just breathe, let them have their moment of success and admit you were wrong. (Also comfort yourself with the knowledge that you'll probably be right next time).
General 'lost at stupid o'clock in the morning' crabbiness
This one's a killer; it's not that you're disagreeing about where to go, it's that neither of you has the foggiest. Consequently, you're both just depending on each other to sort out this mess because you're tired.
Sorry, this one requires teamwork. Being stuck in a foreign train station that's seemingly empty at silly o'clock can be daunting, but try to just put on a smile and have a little think together about what your options are. There's always something. Plus, you'll both feel like you can take on the world together after you've solved it!
'Oh no! I've lost the...'
While InterRailing, you tend to have to carry a few important documents (passport, InterRailing pass etc.) around with you, and at some point one of you is bound to either think you've lost something important, or you might actually lose something important.
Don't just sit there and let your best friend fumble about trying to find it, or vent your frustration at them, just give each other hand and have a good old look for it. Hopefully you'll get that big whoosh of relief when they find their InterRail pass in time to catch the train, but if not, don't get angry. Just accept that it’s gone, figure out the best course of action, and go for it.
That one really annoying habit
I'm sure you have some irritating habits too, so you've just got to put up with them from your friend. You can ask them to stop, but if your friend’s anything like mine they may just carry on or make it worse. Sometimes, it's best to just ignore it.
Do try and make it easier on yourself though; if they're a snorer be sure to bring some earplugs, as there's nothing worse than having an exciting yet exhausting day and not being able to crash out at the end of it.
Bad seat on a train
European trains are a little bit of a lucky dip. Sometimes you chance upon a really comfy one, or get assigned brilliant seats. Other times they can seem like they were sent straight from hell to give you bum ache.
So, if you're on a long journey and you've lucked out by getting a pretty good seat, but your friend’s stuck by an air con that's stuck on freezing, be nice. Swap for a little bit, and when you're the one stuck next to some gaseous individual or other discomfort, they just might help you out too!
All in all a trip like this will only bring you closer, and make you appreciate traits in each other you didn't know you had. You'll be incredibly glad of their company when you're somewhere you don't know, secretly pleased you went their way and not yours, otherwise you'd be God knows where. You'll actually love having a moan about all your shared little woes.
So don't worry about your trip, because you'll get through it just fine. Disagreements make the funniest stories, and let's face it, it'd be nowhere near as fun without them, would it?
An InterRail Global Pass is the best way to see Europe, giving you complete freedom to travel across the continent by train, making your own route and itinerary as you go. This is the ultimate Euro trip pass.
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