Evolution of hostels

Can you imagine being woken up at a hostel at 7:30am to chop fire wood or complete your chores before breakfast?

Chore detail had fizzled-out before 2009 when I hostel hopped for several months; spending anywhere from three nights to two weeks at various places. Personally, I enjoyed seeking out the odd ones, like old prisons or sailing ships. But what I discovered recently was, that same year the … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | May 24, 2012
Category: Backpacking, Europe, General, Hostels/Hotels, Notes from the collective travel mind

The fastest way to find great hostels

Hostels vary wildly in quality.  Some are total fleapits; others are so luxurious they rival hotels.  How can you find the quality hostels instantly?

The website Hostelworld.com announced the 2012 winners of the “Hoscars,” their awards for the best hostels in the world.  Users around the world voted for their favorite places to stay.  The establishments are clustered into an amazing variety of categories.  You can find hostels based … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | February 10, 2012
Category: Backpacking, Hostels/Hotels, Notes from the collective travel mind

What are your favorite hostels in the world?

Nomadic Matt recently posted a list called My favorite hostels in the world.  Goes to show that low prices don’t always mean low quality.  You can save money and have a great time.

Matt’s list spurred me to remember which hostels I’ve enjoyed over the years.  Here are some of my picks:

Circus (Berlin, Germany) — If every hostel was as grand … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | December 9, 2011
Category: Backpacking, General, Hostels/Hotels, Notes from the collective travel mind

Making hostel booking social

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCWvnp7-ikI&feature=player_embedded Intro video for inbed.me

Over the years, there have been several attempts to combine travel and social networking.  The latest on the scene is inbed.me (that name is just asking for double entendres).

The idea is to solve the problem of that first-night loneliness in a new hostel.  You’ve just arrived, and all the previous guests have formed their cliques, so you don’t have anyone to talk to.  With inbed.me, you can connect to … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | December 2, 2011
Category: Hostels/Hotels, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Tech

Staying in hostels: yay or nay?

Hostels are a mainstay of the budget travel circuit. Share a dorm room with strangers, shave off a big percentage of your accommodation costs.  They do come with some drawbacks however, as this article from The Sydney Morning Herald describes: The problem with staying in hostels.

Although for me, the “problem” the author writes about is my favorite benefit of staying in … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (9)  | September 23, 2011
Category: Hostels/Hotels, Notes from the collective travel mind

Monty Python on the irritations of package tourism

A 1972 Monty Python sketch called “Travel Agent” contains a classic scene where the Eric Idle character goes on an over-the-top rant about package tourism, at the expense of Michael Palin’s travel-agent character. Many of the references are dated now — and the whole scene is drenched in hyperbole — but many of the frustrations of overly structured group-travel still ring true. Here’s the rant in full:

“What’s the point of going abroad … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | April 18, 2011
Category: Europe, Hostels/Hotels, Travel Quote of the Day, Travel Video

Two thumbs up to a good hotel or hostel

Damascus, Syria

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” wrote Charles Dickens in the opening line of A Tale of Two Cities. He was referring to life in an area of Europe in the late 1700s, but one could also feasibly slap this line into a book about overnights in hotels and hostels … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | January 18, 2011
Category: Asia, Hostels/Hotels, Images from the road, Notes from the collective travel mind

Unique accommodation across Europe

Ice Hotel

One great part of travel is the thrill you get from the random and deliciously quirky places you find yourself. Just a few weeks ago I was thrilled to find myself sleeping on an 8×10 square foot floor with 2 other people on a tiny fishing island in the Yellow Sea. Why? Because it’s an 8×10 foot floor on a tiny island in the Yellow … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | August 9, 2010
Category: Europe, Hospitality, Hostels/Hotels

Is green going mainstream?

t4g_title_indexLast week, the online travel search engine Travelocity announced that a new partnership with EC3 Global has enabled them to display more green hotels in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

As green/eco awareness increases, so too does the need for ethical travelers to be able to find those businesses that adhere to morals and business practices that they believe in. Travelocity reported that … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | July 1, 2010
Category: Ethical Travel, Hostels/Hotels, Travel Tech