The best of world on a budget of €15 a day…
Use the trains to listen and read up.
On a day that was spent mostly on the train, earlier day’s tips of snacking wisely and stocking up on water before you’re a captive for inflated prices could not be more relevant. However, another valuable tip for trains is to use the time to get informed. The people you are on the train with have either been travelling on a similar route to you, or bette yet, they live in the area. Sometimes you get lucky and end up sitting next to people who know a lot of stuff about the places you’re going, so (when appropriate and hopefully we’re all big and ugly enough to know that waking someone up to chat about the Slovenian mountains isn’t kosher) get talking to others and get some good tips.
Often, you’ll meet other people doing similar trips to you, and InterRailers are generally a pretty budget savvy bunch of cats, so strike up chat with people who blatantly are doing the same thing (hint: they’re often easy to spot by their Europe guidebooks and giant backpacks).
If you don’t get lucky and all you have for company is a snoozing and snoring neighbour, use this time to read a guidebook and get clued up on what’s worth seeing and how you can get there. You’ll be amazed how much you can miss out on by turning up in a town and winging it, only to hear afterwards about the amazing castle that’s just out of the town, or the club that has free entry on a certain day of the week.
Interestingly, I’ve sadly NOT used my train time to inform myself today (see above – me not practising what I preach!). I didn’t bring a guide book because I’m an idiot and forgot it. And moreover the train’s really quiet so it’s just me sitting here, writing and enjoying the view (which by the way is epic, I can definitely recommend InterRailing in Austria, BEAUTIFUL) So, this tip comes from previous experience and not from today’s slight fail. Hopefully the girls I’m meeting up with in Ljubliana are already clued up. Knowing them, that’s wishful thinking but I’m sure we’ll make it work!