Some of my favorite travel writing is by people who have gotten far off the beaten path, avoided the tourist traps, and had real adventures in exotic locals.
But you know what? Going off the beaten path can be dangerous. And scary. And give you diseases. And cost a fortune when you realize you’re lost and don’t know how to get back to the path.
I’m not trying to discourage you from doing something daring, I just think you need a good amount of travel experience, lots of planning, and maybe some survival skills before you head off into the jungle or up a mountain or across a desert.
If you’re new to travel, or if you’re travelling alone for the first time, there’s something to be said for sticking to the well-travelled path. There are lots of other travellers there for you to meet. There are clean-ish hostels with adjoining pubs and nightclubs where you can get to know these travellers. There are help desks and people who speak English and free maps and tour guides.
So if you’re feeling guilty about signing up for a bus tour instead of playing Indiana Jones all on your own, don’t. Travel isn’t always about pushing your boundaries and taking physical risks. Sometimes it’s just about having fun, relaxing, opening your mind to new ideas and cultures, eating and drinking far more than you should, and not getting malaria.
All of this brings me to this list of Eurail’s most popular routes. From Prague to Amsterdam to Rome, you really can’t go wrong with any of these trips. Talk to a Travel CUTS agent to find out how you can save money with student fares and make the most of your European adventure and still go home with all of your fingers and toes.