As you may have seen by my Instagram, I have been gallivanting across some Greek islands for the past three and a half weeks. Oh, and Venice. And even before this trip I was constantly being asked “Did you plan this through a travel agency?” “How can you afford to go away for so long?” even whilst we were out there we were being asked “Are you rich or something?” – and the truth was we planned the whole thing ourselves, all 6 destinations. And didn’t break the bank in doing so. So, of course I thought I’d share how we planned this trip. I guess it’s the sort of trip you’d see all the luxury bloggers and Instagrammers talk about, but you could totally do it too!
If you’ve ever looked into island hopping, the ferries across to different islands vary from £11-£80 depending where you’re going. So it limits your options. However, may I introduce you to the Interrail ticket. If, like me, you just assumed this was for the trains, think again, they also offer a ticket for ferries. Giving you 4 domestic trips and even 2 optional international trips within a month (hence the Venice add on) with train and bus transport across mainland Greece included, and for only £138. We had to pay an extra £30 just for insurance purposes on our international ferry but a part from that, there’s no extra costs to it. Just fill in your ticket, and go.
It then came to the part of finding a route. Interrail do suggest routes for you with all the main islands, but we decided to make our own way. And after endless Starbucks dates and iced lattes, we decided to go from Crete > Rhodes > Santorini > Paros > Mykonos > Mainland Greece (only for travelling purposes) > Venice. We basically did this by looking at the list of possible islands on Interrail’s site (don’t worry there’s like 27 to choose from!) and then go to the BlueStar Ferries website and find out if there’s any ferries going when we want. Some ferries come on the daily, some will be once weekly or even fortnightly so definitely do your research and work your timetable out by that! At this point I’ll add that we flew from Crete to Rhodes, as we couldn’t find a ferry but still really wanted to go. And because we rang up in advance we had our reference numbers given to us making our lives 10 times easier.
I should probably add a sidenote. If you saw my Twitter recently, more specifically a certain story about a certain ferry. I just want to add this was not Interrail’s fault. The ferry line we chose just weren’t co-operative with us and it was a one off bad experience. I’d still 100% recommend using Interrail if you want to island hop on a budget!
As for accommodation, there’s not much to say, we stuck very much to Hostel World to find places. It does give you some hotels and apartments that are cheap, and gives you a good overview and ratings on location, facilities, safety etc. And you only have to pay a small deposit when you book, meaning you can book in plenty of time. The one place we struggled to find affordable accommodation for was Mykonos – no surprise there. But after our trip (typically) I found MyCocoon Hostel which is right in the main area and helps keep you on that budget lifestyle.
The same goes to say with flights really, we added an extra flight which made our total bigger but if you stick to the budget airlines you can get flights to Greece for about £60pp (just make sure you book in advance!). It can get expensive to fly to and from Greek islands, which is a reason we chose to do the international trip, flights from Venice to London came in at about £30pp, and it meant a trip to Venice – how could you say no???
I’ve only really given the basics here, to get you off your feet and moving forward. I also wanted to post this just to show this wasn’t something that had to be expensive, well it’s always going to be expensive but its still doable. However, I hoped it helped in one way or another. I feel I need to apologise for being so invisible during my travels, but I’m back and I have many a travel posts coming, so I’m coming back in full swing.
Until next time,