Saturday, August 11, 2012

Travel Tip - One

I think one of many reasons that more people do not travel is that they are inexperienced with all that comes along with a trip and how do we expect to gain experience without traveling to learn. All that to say, I will post personal travel tips for time to time. I am no expert, but I have been a part-time travel agent and have traveled quite a bit. So my advice is a take it or leave it type of thing. Feel free to ask questions.
Here is my first travel tip...it's a bit long so bear with me. Thanks! Hope it helps!
Travel Tip One:  
Don't be scared to stay in hostels!

Litton Lane Hostel in Dublin, Ireland (converted music studio building)
I know the word itself may give you "hostile" thoughts (sorry, couldn't let that one go...) or make nightmare-ish flashbacks of the movie, "Hostel," pop into your mind, but don't believe them. I stayed in numerous hostels while backpacking for three weeks in Europe - some of which were more like boutique hotels. I mean anything bad can happen anywhere, it doesn't have to be at a hostel... it could be at NYC's Plaza Hotel. With hostels though, you just have to know how to pick'em.
Me in London after my first hostel stay

Sheila's Hostel in Cork, Ireland
Here is what I do:
1) I go on http://www.hostels.com/ and look up options for lodging for what city/country I want to visit.
2) When I look at the options, I only consider the ones that have prices, info, maps, photos, amenities and reviews to look at on the individual hostel's page.

3) Then after that narrowing down of my selections by Step #2, I look for the best priced ones, then read the reviews and look at the photos.

4) If the reviews are recently posted (within the last year) and good and the photos look nice, then I look at the map/location of it. At this point, I look up the area in that city/town and see if it may have a huge crime rate or be by a lot of rowdy bars, etc. If you're looking for extra safe locations, you'll not want to stay at one near bars and wild nightlife, etc. (Ex: Don't book a hostel on or near Bourbon St. in New Orleans...)

Generally, if a hostel is near famous landmarks, town centers or museums, they are most likely to be the best locations with the most security around and other tourists too. You just need to know as much about the areas as possible before making your decision. (You could even possibly call the hostel and talk to someone about it or call the city/country's local tourism information office to ask their opinion of that area.)
5) Be aware of the pricing and room booking though, most hostels have mostly large dorm rooms with several rows of bunk beds for male only or female only or mixed gender rooms, but there are usually private single bed rooms as well as double bed rooms too. The prices are amazing! When we traveled we stayed in a few private double twin bed rooms and then several female dorm rooms with anywhere from four beds to 16 beds in them. We did not have any problems and most likely each bed will have a bin or locker to lock your belongings up in (so you'll need to bring a padlock or combination lock with you).

If you want to travel and want to cut down on costs, utilize this nice affordable lodging option by keeping hostels in mind and following my above guidelines. While I can't make a 100% assurance that everything will be perfect, you know you'll have an adventure regardless. The possible risks and thrills of adventure are what we unknowingly face everyday.
If you have questions or I did not make something clear in this post, please leave a comment below. Thanks! Happy Traveling!
My arrival in Paris from London via the Chunnel!!!

2 comments:

  1. Best thing about hostels - they're cheap. Saving money on accommodation can help cut your overall travel costs. Spend less, see more!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have stayed in a few hostels and had no problems. It is a nice way to save some money on accommodation. It is also a great way to meet people from abroad.

    ReplyDelete