Tag: Hostels

The Morning After: Breakfast at Balmer’s

The Morning After: Breakfast at Balmer’s Photo by Terry Ward

Terry Ward explores a travel rite of passage in Interlaken, Switzerland

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In Praise of the Book Exchange

In Praise of the Book Exchange Photo by dreamsjung via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by dreamsjung via Flickr (Creative Commons)

As I’ve mentioned, I loved nearly everything about my visit to Bequia, in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, last week—but today, finding myself craving a nice, lightweight paperback novel, one particular memory from the island stands out.

The book exchange was ubiquitous there. I’m used to seeing them around hostels and budget guesthouses, but in Bequia, they were everywhere—from my hotel lobby to the restaurant where I ate lunch one day, it seemed there was a shelf full of paperbacks waiting for a trade in every corner.

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Five Hostels I Have Loved

Five Hostels I Have Loved Photo of Lizard Point by Eva Holland
Photo of Lizard Point by Eva Holland

These days, there are more accommodation options than ever for the budget traveler: everything from house swaps to pod hotels to rock-bottom recession-era deals at more traditional travel digs.

But even with that abundance of choices—most of which I’ve sampled, and enjoyed—I think my shoestringer’s heart will always belong to the youth hostel. I love the hosteling community, I (sometimes) love the fiesta atmosphere, and—of course—I love the price. From grungy party pads to serene dorm-room retreats, here are five hostels I have loved:

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Hostel-Goers: Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

A recent hostel-dwellers-have-scabies crack by one of my esteemed colleagues here at World Hum reminded me of that perennial fear for the regular hostel-dweller: bedbugs. Though in all my hosteling I’ve never been bitten myself, I do have friends who’ve had run-ins with the critters—and the aftermath was time-consuming, pricey and unpleasant.

Got bedbugs in your bunk? The Backpackers Guide to Bed Bugs offers some quick tips for hostel-bedbug triage; meanwhile, the Bedbug Blog (yes, there really is such a thing) offers everything you could ever want to know about an infestation, at home or abroad. And finally, this last link might set your hostel-going mind at ease: About.com lays to rest the myth that hostels are bedbug havens—turns out, you’re just as likely to come across them in hotels, too. (Feel better now?)


Morning Links: Roman Gladiators, Michelin Guides, Prehistoric Airports and More


New Zealand Hostel Owner Sentenced For Filming Female Guests in the Shower

A former hostel owner in New Zealand has been sentenced to community service and probation after admitting that he filmed his female guests in the shower for over a year. The man eventually removed his recording equipment and destroyed the hours of tape, but kept a two-hour “highlight reel” which he apparently watched regularly—with a friend who was a convicted sex offender.

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Any Tips For Making a Cheap Hotel More Bearable?

Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel

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I’m in my Mid-40s. Am I Too Old to Stay in Hostels?

Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel

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Tags: Hostels

Jennifer Leo: Travels Down the Written Road

Jim Benning asks the editor of a new story collection about blogging, women's misadventures and the challenges of a career in travel writing

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