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How to travel longer cheaper

How to travel longer cheaper

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What if you could travel for months, visiting far off places for cheap? You could check off some of those destinations on your bucket list or discover exotic locales you’d never dreamed you would, or even could!

There are more ways than ever to save on travel and taking extended trips is becoming more common. I know firsthand how cheap it can be to travel far, for a long time. My family and I spent $74 a day traveling for a year, all costs included. We took seven flights to eight countries on three continents, eating out, visiting attractions on a daily budget less than accommodation costs alone for most vacationing families. Taking an extended trip, traveling a longer time for cheap is easier than a lot of people believe. The key is cutting costs wherever you can while traveling because every dollar saved equals more time seeing the world. Here are some simple ways to travel longer cheaper.

Extended Travel Planning and Budgeting

You need to get in the right mindset to prepare for an extended trip. Part of that is determining the purpose of your trip and a rough outline of your preferences to help you fulfill that purpose. Be flexible and plan intentionally.

Start by asking yourself some important questions:

Why do you want to travel?

Asking yourself why you want to take an extended trip will help you shape your plan. Do you want to volunteer? Are you interested in learning about a particular region or culture? Maybe you want to start the process to become an expat and live and work overseas.

Where do you want to go?

Do you have a list of must see places or simply a starting point? Is it specific cities or whole countries that intrigue you? Using sites like Numbeo and Price of Travel can help you determine basic living costs in different places around the world. I’ve used both to find countries where my travel budget will stretch further.

How can you make it happen?

Can you get the time off or secure leave from your job? Do you want to travel sustainably and work while you’re on the road? Can you sell some of your stuff that you don’t need or want anymore to help finance your adventure?

When do you want to leave?

Having a travel date in mind gives you a goal to work towards. The date may change as plans often do but having to amend when you leaving is no big deal, you’re still going!

How many countries do you want to visit?

If your list is long and spread out over multiple continents, your trip will be more expensive.

How fast do you want to travel?

Faster costs more money, slower keeps costs lower.

How are you willing to get around considering cost, time, and comfort?

Planes can be expensive, and buses can take a lot of time. The seemingly cheapest mode of transportation can end up costing you huge chunks of time and can end up being more expensive monetarily as well. Considering convenience when determining modes of transportation can end up saving you money.

How do you want to stay?

There are accommodation choices to fit every preference and budget all over the world. You need to decide what you prefer and then research accommodation types that fit your budget.

How to Make an Extended Trip Affordable

Make your budget as simple as possible. You and your budget need to be flexible. The most important thing when determining a budget is to be realistic.

The length of time traveling comes down to how long you can be away from your job and how much money you have to spend to devise a budget, that part is pretty cut and dried. Answering the above questions will help you determine what you want to achieve with your trip.

You don’t need to plan everything down to the last detail. But having a clear reason why you want to go and what you hope to achieve will help you figure out important details before you leave and prepare you to recognize opportunities to enrich your travels as they arise on the road.

Now to find ways to get the most value for your money and to meet your travel goals!

How to travel Cheaper

There are ways to keep costs a lot lower; in fact, there are ways to eliminate some expenses all together! Accommodation prices can affect a travel budget the most. Reducing or eliminating some of those costs equals more time traveling.

The one thing that keeps my family traveling longer is staying free with house sitting! There are opportunities all over the world to stay in beautiful destinations free in exchange for minding people’s homes while they vacation.

You can find house sitting assignments for weeks, months and, even years on different house sitting sites. House sitting has accounted for almost a year of free travel accommodation for us. We stayed six months in Panama, two months in Spain, one month in Turkey and two months in the UK with accommodation costs covered because of house sitting.

Here are more ways to save money on the road:

Benefit from the sharing economy

Couchsurfing and WWoofing are other ways to garner free accommodation. They also help travelers learn about destinations on a local level. My favorite way to stay aside from house sitting is with Airbnb. Rentals offer space and conveniences, like full kitchens and even washing machines that make family travel way more affordable than hotels and hostels.

Skip car rentals

Choose accommodation with easy access to amenities and public transportation. Being able to walk to things you need and want when traveling helps you see the finer details of a destination. You also save a bunch of money not needing to pay rent, insure and gas up a rental car.

Approach destinations like locals do

Shop and eat in restaurants outside tourist areas, pricing is always cheaper. Visit sites like Like A Local and Spotted by Locals to get local opinions on great things to do and see in the places you visit. The recommendations are often the best value for money.

Take a food tour

Taking a food tour when you first arrive in a destination is a great way to learn great places to eat. Local guides offer recommendations aside from the places on the tour.

Research city tourism cards to save

Getting a city tourism card can help you to receive discounts or free entry to attractions. Most also give users a discounted rate on public transportation.

Don’t book everything before arriving

Organize the first third of your time in a new destination. Leave the rest open-ended so you can make plans based on money saving tips and opinions of people you meet along the way.

Keep costs at home in check while you’re away

House sitting is a great way to stay in amazing destinations free but using a house sitter to care for your home and pets while you’re away can save you a lot of money as well. Having a house sitter stay will save you expensive kennel fees and additional insurance fees you may have to pay if your home is left empty for an extended period. My favorite house sitting site is House Sit Match. The personal service offered on the site is a great support for anyone wanting to try house sitting services for the first time.

I hope these tips inspire an extended trip for you! I use them as I travel and have saved a lot of money as a result. If you’ve had a long-term travel experience and can offer more ideas how to travel longer cheaper, please share your thoughts in the comments.

If you’re thinking of heading off for the holidays, here are some pretty neat tips for making it last that extra bit longer.

It is a common misconception that extended travel is always hugely expensive. In the travelling community, there are many ways to travel to a new country inexpensively.

Organisations like Workaway and Coach Surfing give travellers the opportunity to experience a new country in a more cost effective way. World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farms ( WWOOF ) is one of the less common ways of making your travel longer and more inexpensive.

This organisation began in England in 1971 and since then, hosts have spread across to more than 50 countries worldwide attracting all types of travellers for different lengths of time. As a traveller, you are expected to work for a host of your choice for a couple of hours a day in exchange for free accommodation and food. The hosts are spread across the world and vary from farms, small holdings, gardens, vineyards or woodlands and follow organic or sustainability principles.

How WWOOfing enriches your travel

Save money

If you are travelling for an extended period of time, WWOOFing is an effective way to cut costs and take a break from paying for accommodation and food.

Get out of your comfort zone

One of the common goals for many travellers is to get out their comfort zones and encounter different cultures and ways of living. WWOOFing is the perfect opportunity to totally immerse yourself in a different culture and lifestyle.

Meet interesting travellers

Due to the nature of the work and remote location of many of the host farms, you are bound to meet really interesting travellers. If you are interested in alternative ways of living and want to meet interesting people, then WWOOFing is for you.

Learn new skills

Many of the WWOOF hosts seek travellers with particular skills. Although this is not a mandatory requirement, it is a great way of learning new skills from other travellers such as wood work, cooking, fishing or even manual irrigation for farms. This type of volunteering also offers the opportunity to experience an organic lifestyle and other sustainable farming techniques.

Live in a community

It is very rare to experience what it really feels like to live as part of a community. Many of the WWOOF hosts offer shared accommodation and encourage the group of travellers and locals to work together on daily tasks. WWOOFing allows you to live and learn from the locals in a way that is not possible just by passing through as a tourist.

Venture off the beaten track

Many of the WWOOF hosts are located in areas that are off the beaten tourist track. This creates a much more enriching travel route, as you veer away from the more popular hostels and tourist areas towards the more authentic areas of a country. You will experience things, see places and meet people that you would never usually along the ordinary tourist path.

Travelling is the perfect time to do things that you wouldn’t regularly do back home. With WWOOF, you can find yourself in the most random scenarios, which really only enriches your travel experience. Instead of visiting a fancy cattle ranch in Argentina like an ordinary tourist, why not volunteer to work on a WWOOF host cattle ranch in exchange for free food and accommodation?

Watch a video of a first-hand account of one WWOOFer’s experience here:

Travel Better, longer, cheaper!

When you travel a lot many things just become second nature. The things you’ve learned to help you along your way aren’t thought about anymore, just practiced. Newer travelers don’t benefit from this wealth of experience and in my discussions with many of them could learn from some of the more travelers among us. Here are my top 10 Travel Tips (in no particular order)!

Be Patient While Traveling!

There are a lot of things that you can’t control while travelling, Did you miss your bus? There will be another! Did you forget to pack something? They sell it down the street! Cheap Flights delayed? Great, go and explore the area! Rather than stressing about these issues focus on the things you can control, number one being your attitude towards the situation! A positive attitude will take you further than any impatient, stressful one could! Good planning can really help take the edge off as well, I found a great blog post about travel planning that can help!

Engage with the Locals!

We travel to see the sights, explore new places and engage new cultures but I can’t count how many times I see travelers grouping together. Bunching up and speaking only your common language may feel nice and safe but it detracts from why you came… Engage with the locals! They are 99.9% genuinely great people who want to see you enjoy your discovery of their country and culture. Even if you don’t speak the language (see tip 3) you’d be surprised how much you’re able to interact with some simple gestures and a smile.

Learn the local language!

It’s a little far-fetched to expect you to learn an entirely new language for each trip you take. A few hours of preparation, learning and practicing the most basic words though will go a long way with the locals and their respect for you. Try for a greeting or two, “my name is”, “what is your name”, please, thank-you and most importantly “I don’t understand” and “I don’t speak X”

Get away from the tourist traps!

That flashy restaurant at the beach? Overpriced and unauthentic! If the menu is printed in more than the local language the food is likely going to be lackluster. Watch where the locals eat, shop and relax and frequent these locations. You’re in for a much more authentic experience at cheaper local prices and you’ll have a chance to engage with the locals (see tip 2) who will tip you off to other authentic experiences!

Stash Cash!

The saying goes, cash is king. I suggest carrying some emergency cash and stashing it in different places in your belongings. Typically I keep about $200USD tucked away in various spots in my bags and on my person during an extended trip. When your card stops working in the local ATM’s, your wallet gets stolen or you simply get yourself into a tight spot you’ll be glad you did!

How to travel longer cheaper

Pack light for Travel!

Do you really need that second dressy outfit? That third pair of shoes? The answer is no. Stop dragging along unnecessary items in your backpack. Pack smart with multifunctional travel specific items. Not only will it be faster and easier to pack or unpack and simpler to fit in the overhead bin on your flight but you went be left lugging it around when (not if) you miss that bus or tram.

Take notes!

We all have good intentions of being able to recall names and places but that’s rarely the case. Bring a notepad and jot down people, places and things you want to remember, even better, use your smartphone and take a video,a photo or type a note. You’ll appreciate this trick when trying to recall your travels or tell stories at a later date!

ABC – Always be charging!

When you get to your destination, charge everything! Laptops, cell phones, cameras etc… There’s nothing worse than taking off on a day trip to somewhere you’ve really wanted to see and photograph only to have your battery die after two photos! Always charge your devices and if possible bring an extra (charged) battery (or three) with you while you’re out!

Get up Early!

Yes, you’re traveling, you’re on vacation, I get it, sleeping in sounds just perfect to you. Do so at your own peril. Tourist attractions are always busiest in the afternoons. As a Photographer I’m typically up in time to shoot sunrise anyways and I always get to photograph and enjoy the touristy spots without crowds! My thoughts are that sleeping in is only acceptable if there is nothing better to do, AKA Never!

Overcome Fear!

The world is nowhere near as dangerous as mainstream media would make you think. Keep your eyes open for sketchy situations and using a little common sense will go a long ways to keeping you safe on the road. Remember though, 99% of people are good, caring, generous and helpful and wish only for you to enjoy your time in their country!

How to travel longer cheaper

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Description

For over half a decade, Matt Kepnes (aka Nomadic Matt) has used his massively popular travel blog to teach readers how to travel the world on the cheap.

Arguing that traditional travel media lies, Matt cuts through the myth that travel is expensive. How to Travel the World on $50 a Day reveals Matt’s tips, tricks, and secrets to comfortable budget travel that you won’t find anywhere else.

Traditional media shows you expensive hotels, resorts, cruises, and packages because that’s what makes them money. They make you believe you have to spend money on travel.

This book will show you why that is a lie and how to use the system against itself to gain free flights, hotel rooms, find alternative accommodation, get into attractions for free, websites to find the best deals, and as well as detailed costs and saving tips for destinations around the world.

Whether it’s a two-week, two-month, or two-year trip, Nomadic Matt shows you how to stretch your money further so you can travel cheaper, smarter, and longer.

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NEW YORK — What comes to mind when you hear the world “hostel?” A gaggle of 20-somethings on a week-long bender? Smelly hippie-types barefoot hiking around the world? A movie series that managed to combine enough torture and grunge to scar a generation?

How to travel longer cheaper

In the most general terms, a hostel is just like a hotel, except you usually have to share a bathroom. For the lowest room rates, you’ll also share a room. Additionally, most hostels have a kitchen and a lounge.

NEW YORK — What comes to mind when you hear the world “hostel?” A gaggle of 20-somethings on a week-long bender? Smelly hippie-types barefoot hiking around the world? A movie series that managed to combine enough torture and grunge to scar a generation?

What if I told you that for the majority of the last five years I’ve travelled all over the world, and in that time stayed at some of the most incredible places … that just happened to be hostels? That I’ve met dear friends and adventurous companions, all while paying a fraction of what a hotel would charge?

Hostels aren’t what you think, at least, not anymore. While every hostel is different, I’ve stayed in over 100 across six continents and feel comfortable offering some general observations.

WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN TODAY’S HOSTELS

In the most general terms, a hostel is just like a hotel, except you usually have to share a bathroom. For the lowest room rates, you’ll also share a room. Additionally, most hostels have a kitchen and a lounge.

The most common dorm, or shared room, has 4 beds, usually in the form of two bunk beds. Most hostels will have rooms with more beds that are cheaper per night, and rooms with fewer beds for slightly more money per night.

Only hostels in the most touristy areas will have rooms with a dozen beds or more.

The more people in a room, the lower the rates, but it’s just by a few dollars a night. Unless your budget is very tight, a smaller room will generally be quieter and worth the small premium. Most hostels also have private rooms, which are their most expensive rooms, but still usually cheaper than a hotel.

These can be good for couples, families, or even just an individual looking for a quiet night’s sleep. In addition to the bed, sheets and a pillow, you’ll nearly always have a locker to hold your bags or valuables.

Just like a hotel, almost every hostel locks their doors at night, and has keys, cards or codes required to access both the hostel and your room.

Some hostels have “en-suite” rooms, as in there’s a bathroom attached to the room, like you’d find in a hotel, just shared with the people staying in that room. Personally, I’m not a big fan. Usually that means you’re all fighting for that one bathroom all at the same time.

Plus, if someone creates an odorous mess (I’m talking about a deluge of Axe body spray, obviously), then the whole room will smell like that too.

Very, very rarely is there an upper age limit at a hostel. At 40 I’m almost never the oldest, although the average age is younger. Almost all, however, have a lower age limit.

Travellers under 18 usually can’t say in dorm rooms. Nearly every hostel will have women-only dorms available, though the majority of rooms are co-ed.

HOW TO FIND AND BOOK A GOOD HOSTEL

Just like hotels, hostels have review and booking websites to help you find where to stay. Hostelworld and Hostelz are two of the big ones. These feature reviews from recent travellers, lists of amenities, and most importantly, pictures.

The pictures tell a story, directly and indirectly. Sure, you get to see what the hostel looks like, in a best-case “we’re having photographs taken today” fashion, but they’ll also give you an idea what the hostel is about.

Is every photo a bunch of people drinking? Party hostel. Are there lots of photos of people reading or playing board games? Probably chill and relaxed. These sometimes go beyond the description and inform you what staying there will be like.

Since you’ll likely be sharing the space, be extra aware of your person and your belongings. For example, don’t eat chips at 1am. Don’t leave your durian or Limburger or lutefisk sandwich on your bed.

Also, and this is a personal pet peeve, don’t use plastic bags in your luggage. The loudest sound in the universe is someone packing their belongings into plastic bags at 5am.

But my biggest advice? Say hello and introduce yourself. Most people in hostels are travelling alone. Break the tension with a smile and a handshake. After all, you’ll be living with these folks for a night or more. Who knows, you might even make a new friend. I sure have.

As an inveterate introvert and part-time misanthrope, no one was more surprised than I to find that most travellers are good people. Many are amazing and well worth meeting.

Hostels are not perfect, and like hotels will vary considerably region to region. There is an adjustment, of course, needed to sleep next to strangers. But for that adjustment and lack of perfection, you’ll be able to travel longer and cheaper.

Especially if you’re considering slumming in a cheap, possibly questionable hotel instead. I’ve stayed in bad hotels and bad hostels, and the latter is far easier to take when it costs a fraction of what a cheap hotel costs.

Oh, and the Wi-Fi is almost always free. Can’t say that about hotels. THE NEW YORK TIMES

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How to travel longer cheaper

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How to travel cheaper by traveling longer
Mon Jan 29, 11:00 AM ET

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about travel is that short trips cost less than longer ones. In reality, a month-long journey is not just cheaper than four one-week vacations; it can in fact cost about the same as one typical one-week vacation. Similarly, taking a year off to travel can easily be a better value (and a more memorable experience) than a decade of hurried, two-week vacations.

The secret here is not merely a matter of budgeting and planning; it’s a matter of mindset. Here are five strategies, taken from my book Vagabonding, on how to adopt a mindset that can make a long-term journey affordable:

1) Take out the middleman

Resist the temptation to purchase your travel specifics in advance. As wonderful as that Ugandan safari looks in the promotional literature of a Dallas-based travel company, shopping for the same experience when you arrive in Africa will be infinitely less expensive — and you’ll have saved yourself the trouble of adhering to a fixed date. The same goes for air travel. A discounted “round-the-world” flight ticket might seem tempting but it’s generally better to buy a one-way ticket to your first destination and plan your ongoing transportation as you go. Not only is it cheaper this way (thanks to frumpy local airlines such as Biman Bangladesh, Aerocaribbean, and SkyEurope), it allows you a more organic experience — since you’ll have a much better feel for your travels en route than you will before they begin.

As a general rule, remember that pre-packaged adventures and micromanaged arrangements — even those touted under the guise of “budget travel” — are for people who can only spare a few days away from home. Long-term travel is all about setting your own pace and finding your own way — and you can rest assured that everything you see in a glossy brochure in Milwaukee will be just as available (and ten times cheaper) when you arrive independently at your destination.

One of the advantages of long-term travel is that it allows you to see and experience things at your own pace. This will ultimately save you money, since a slower travel tempo better integrates you into the local economy, and allows you to wander around and find your own adventures.

Hence, when planning, don’t aspire to “do” Central America in six weeks; you’ll have a much more vivid (and economical) experience if you limit yourself to a country or two. Similarly, don’t plan to “do” Asia in six months; instead, aim to see a part of it, like the Northeast, the Southeast, or India. And — even if you have a year to play with — trying to cram five continents into a single travel stint is a sure path to jadedness and exhaustion. Long-term travel shouldn’t be approached like bulk shopping: The value of your travels does not hinge on how many stamps you have in your passport when you get home — and the slow, nuanced experience of a single country is always better (and more affordable) than the hurried, superficial experience of forty countries.

3) Patronize the local “mom-and-pop” economy

A great way to save money and have an enhanced travel experience is to sidestep international hotels and tour companies. Instead of luxury chain hotels, seek out clean basic, hostels and local guesthouses. Instead of flying from place to place, take local buses, trains, and shared taxis. Instead of dining at fancy restaurants, eat food from street vendors and local cafeterias. Within the local economy, one can take a train from one end of China to the other for what it costs to gas up an SUV back home. For the cost of a home-delivered pepperoni pizza, one can eat great meals for a week in Thailand. For a month’s rent in any major American city, one can spend a year in a beach hut in Nicaragua. Moreover, even the industrialized parts of the world host enough hostel networks and camping opportunities to make long-term travel affordable.

This principle also applies to day-to-day life on the road. Shop for food in local farmers’ markets instead of continually seeking out processed supermarket food and restaurant meals (you’ll end up healthier for the experience). Moreover, shopping and sleeping in local economies will help you understand how local residents live. Not only will this understanding make you aware of local prices and procedures, it will give you cultural pointers on everything from haggling for bargains to dealing with beggars.

4) Learn from your travels, and be flexible

No matter how intricately you’ve planned and budgeted your travels back home, what you learn from your first two weeks is far more valuable in the long run. Thus, be prepared to adjust your itinerary and reconsider your budget as you make new discoveries. Keep open to advice from locals and fellow travelers alike. The reason long-term travel is so appealing is that it promises to show you the destinations and experiences you’ve dreamed about — but the reason it’s so addictive is that, joyfully, you’ll never quite find what you dreamed. Money aside, the most memorable travel experiences usually find you by accident, and the qualities that will make you fall in love with a place are rarely the features that took you there. So be ready to shift your plans as you learn new things.

5) Work or volunteer on the road

Just because you’re out having new travel experiences doesn’t mean you constantly need to be on the move. One of the best perks of long-term travel is the opportunity to stop in one place and get to know it better. And a great way to do this is to find work locally (teaching English, dive-mastering SCUBA, contracting IT work, tending bar, etc.), or volunteer locally (formally through an agency, or informally as the need arises).

For more information on inexpensive volunteer opportunities, read my earlier column, Overseas volunteering on a budget.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Three days to go and we are packed already. Quite an acheivement , we usually leave packing until the day before travel, but we wanted to make sure the rucksacks are not too heavy. And they’re fine, despite the carrier bag of mosquito repellent and sunscreen!
Colin has a 70 litre rucksack, I have a 40 litre one and we also have a small 15litre backpack which holds essentials for the flight and we are taking a travel bed for Dominic, which allows us to save money by getting double rather than triple rooms in a lot of places. So far, Colin has about 1/4 of the room left and the flight bag is almost empty. We have packed a foldaway holdall for the inevitable souveniers we pick up along the way.
People always ask what we take for an extended trip or how we manage to fit everything for the 3 of us, so here’s a list of what we have packed.

For me:
3 long skirts
1 pair leggings
3 vest tops
3 white thin cotton shirts
3 bras
6 pairs knickers
1 light cardigan
1 pair tiva sandals
1 pair cheapo flip flops
1 pair Vans
2 bikinis
2 sarongs
2 small head scarves
1 make up bag: tinted moisturiser, black eyeliner, black mascara, bronzing pearls, red lipstick, lipgloss, nail polish, highlighter cream, body spray oil, tweezers , 1 sachet powder bleach, 1 bottle peroxide cream, 2 wash in haircolour sachets.
1 small ziplock bag with 2, 3mm crochet hooks and 12 assorted skeins of embroidery cotton – I’m going to crochet tiny jewel coloured hearts and stars into bracelets and necklaces to give to local kids rather than tooth rotting sweets!

For Dominic
4 long sleeved T shirts – very thin Fruit of the Loom value range
2 T shirts
3 pairs long shorts
3 pairs light cotton trousers ( made by my own fair hand!)
7 pairs pants (only just potty trained)
1 UV swim suit
3 sun hats with a neck flap (this type of hat is hard to find abroad, so I take a few to deal with inevitable loss along the way)43 pairs socks
1 vest with poppers to sleep in
1 pair Vans
2 pairs crocs
1 light fleece hoodie
1 thin cotton cotton sheet
1 light fleece blanket for airconditioned trains at night
1 small square cushion
12 nappies (for nights or long journeys with no toilet breaks)
1 travel potty with liners
1 water bottle
1 mosquito net
Dominic has a separate bag with 6 Mr Men/Little Miss books, some crayons and a notebook and a bag with 12 or so micro machines cars, he will also take “Noel” a fleece monster I made when he was a baby, and Philip a small orange and blue giraffe.

For Colin
2 pairs linen trousers
1 pair shorts
1 kurta
1short sleeved shirt
3 T shirts
1 swim shorts
1 flip flops
3 prs boxers
2 pairs socks

Electronics
2 Tablets
1 phone
1 MP3 player
1 camera
3 chargers (1 charger does both tablets and the phone)
1 travel alarm clock
1 bendy neck torch

Toiletries/Medical
4x Mosquito reppellent gel/ cream with DEET
1 mosquito spray for Dominic’s buggy and the ouside of his travel bed
2x SBF 50 sprays
2 x SPF 30 suncream
2 large bottles of hand sanitiser
1 toilet roll
4 small packs of tissues
1 x hair conditioner (large)
6 shampoo sachets
1 deoderant
Razor and 8 extra blades
1 medical kit – a samll plastic takeaway box, containing, antiseptic wash, germolene, 2 sterile dressings, tweezers, sanitising wipes, medical tape, assorted plasters, calpol sachets, immodium, dioralyte sachets, heart burn pills, small scissors, adult paracetamol, corn plasters.
Anti-malarials for Dominic
Prescription painkillers and letters from the GP detailing the meds we are precribed (necessary for opiate based painkillers)

Foods
40 teabags – What can i say?- I’m English!
12 coffee sachets
12 instant creamers
8 hot choc sachets
8 cup a soups, (these and the chocolate are for train journeys where you can get boiled water on board)
4 small packs breakfast biscuits – emergency snacks for Dominic

Miscellaneous
3 small Folders – 1 for travel confirmations tickets etc, 1 for hotel bookings, 1 for photo copies of passports/visas/ credit cards etc. Plus a copy of the planned itinerary (I also scan and email this stuff to myself so that I can access it on line form anywhere in the world)
Notepad and pens
1 small zip-lock bag of washing powder
1 laundry wet bag
1 flat terry nappy square and 1 nappy wrap (for emergencies as a nappy, otherwise as a handtowel)
6 large zip lock bags
Small homemade sewing kit – a few metres of black and white thread wound round a small piece of card. 6 needles, 4 white buttons, 4 black -all in a small “sample” bottle – a clean one!
Earplugs and eye masks
Headphones – because airline onea are always crappy
Extra batteries for the clock
1 small foldaway beach bag
1 spare foldaway bag
1 roll duct tape. 1 ball string & 4 small hooks; these are for hanging the mosquito net and for taping/lashing together theings that rip/tear/break
1 travel bed for Dominic

It sounds a lot, but actually the bags are probably the lightest they’ve ever been when we’ve gone away, even on much shorter trips – I think we took more on a weekend trip to Munich than we are taking for this entire 15 week trip, which is all the more impressive when you consider we didn’t take either sun cream, hand sanitiser or insect repellent with us to Germany.
The lists of clothes above do include the clothes we will be wearing, so obvioulsy they won’t be packed, as we’ll be in them!

Don’t always rely on travel websites when booking a hotel, sometimes you can do better looking yourself

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How to travel longer cheaper

Hotel maid bringing fresh towels to the room (iStock)

Here’s my spending philosophy: If you can get something a bit cheaper, it’s worth a little effort.

There are digital tricks that can make travel easier, safer and more affordable, too. Tap or click for five smart tech tips you should read before you hit the road this summer.

When saving on hotel rooms, the sites that claim to have the best possible deal aren’t always the way to go. Sometimes, you can do better on your own. My son just used the tips below to get a hotel room for $80 cheaper than the lowest price online.

Don’t book through a travel site

When you’re looking for a hotel, travel discount sites like Kayak, Expedia or Hotels.com are good places to start — but don’t book there. Once you find the lowest available price at the hotel you want to visit, call the hotel’s reservation desk.

Many hotels will meet or beat the best internet rate when you book with them. They’d much rather skip the commission to the travel site and book your stay directly. The hotel might even throw in a free upgrade like a nicer room or complimentary breakfast.

If you’re not having any luck with the first person who answers, respectfully ask to speak to the sales manager.

This is the best time to book a hotel room

If it’s feasible, wait until the day you need the hotel room to book it. The later in the day, the better. After 4 p.m., hotels know the odds of selling a room are pretty slim, so you’re more likely to get an even lower rate. On average, the same-day rate of a hotel room is 10% cheaper than booking in advance.

But this comes with a caveat. Don’t rely on this strategy if you’re traveling to a busy tourist city or a town where a large event is happening. You might be fortunate, but most people book rooms well in advance. In a pinch, sites like Hotel Tonight can help with last-minute bookings.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “hostel?” A troupe of 20 years and over for a week of bending? Smelly hippies who hike barefoot around the world? A film series that managed to combine enough torture and grunge to scare a generation?

What if I told you that for the majority of the past five years, I’ve traveled all over the world, and during that time, I’ve stayed in some of the most amazing places…that turned out to be hostels? That I met dear friends and adventurous companions, while paying a fraction of what a hotel would charge? Hostels aren’t what you think, at least not anymore. While every hostel is different, I’ve stayed at over 100 on six continents and I feel comfortable making a few general observations.

What you’ll find in today’s hostels

In the most general terms, a hostel is like a hotel, except you usually have to share a bathroom. For the lowest rates, you will also be sharing a room. Additionally, most hostels have a kitchen and living room. The most common dorm, or shared room, has 4 beds, usually in the form of two bunk beds. Most hostels will have rooms with more beds which are cheaper per night, and rooms with fewer beds for a bit more money per night. Only hostels located in the most touristy areas will have rooms with ten or more beds.

The more people in a room, the lower the rates, but it’s only a few dollars a night. Unless your budget is very tight, a smaller room will generally be quieter and worth the small premium. Most hostels also have private rooms, which are their most expensive rooms, but still cheaper than a hotel. These can be good for couples, families, or even just someone looking for a quiet night’s sleep. In addition to the bed, sheets and a pillow, you will almost always have a locker to store your bags or valuables. Just like a hotel, almost all hostels lock their doors at night and have keys, cards or codes needed to access both the hostel and your room.

Some hostels have “en-suite” rooms, as there is a bathroom attached to the room, like you would find in a hotel, just shared with the people staying in that room. Personally, I’m not a big fan. Usually that means you’re all fighting for that bathroom at the same time. Plus, if someone creates a smelly mess (I’m talking about a deluge of Ax body spray, obviously), then the whole room will smell like that too.

There is very, very rarely an upper age limit in a hostel. At 40, I’m almost never the oldest, even though the average age is younger. Almost all, however, have a lower age limit. Travelers under 18 can’t usually tell in dorms. Almost all hostels will have female-only dorms, although the majority of rooms will be co-ed.

How to find and book a good hostel

Just like hotels, hostels have review and booking websites to help you find where to stay. Hostelworld and Hostelz are two of the biggest. These feature reviews from recent travelers, amenities lists, and most importantly, photos.

Images tell a story, directly and indirectly. Of course you can see what the hostel looks like, best case scenario “we are taking pictures today”, but they will also give you an idea of ​​what the hostel is like. Does each photo show a group of people drinking? Party hostel. Are there lots of pictures of people reading or playing board games? Probably cool and relaxed. These sometimes go beyond the description and let you know what a stay there will be like.

Since you will likely be sharing the space, be very conscious of yourself and your belongings. For example, don’t eat fries at 1 a.m. Don’t leave your durian sandwich or Limburger or lutefisk on your bed. Also, and this is a personal pet peeve, don’t use plastic bags in your luggage. The loudest sound in the universe is of someone packing their things in plastic bags at 5 a.m.

But my biggest tip? Say hello and introduce yourself. Most people in hostels travel alone. Break the tension with a smile and a handshake. After all, you will be living with these people for a night or more. Who knows, you might even make a new friend. Of course I have. As a hard-core introvert and part-time misanthrope, no one was more surprised than me to find that most travelers are good people. Many are amazing and worth experiencing.

Hostels aren’t perfect and, like hotels, vary greatly from region to region. There is an adjustment, of course, required to sleep next to strangers. But for this adjustment and this lack of perfection, you will be able to travel longer and cheaper. Especially if you’re thinking of staying in a cheap and possibly dodgy hotel instead. I’ve stayed in bad hotels and bad hostels, and the latter is much easier to pick up when it costs a fraction of what a cheap hotel costs.

Travel trends that will define 2022

Looking forward. As governments around the world ease coronavirus restrictions, the travel industry is hoping this will be the year travel comes back strong. Here’s what to expect:

Accommodation. During the pandemic, many travelers have discovered the privacy offered by rental residences. Hotels are hoping to compete again by offering stylish extended-stay properties, sustainable options, rooftop bars and coworking spaces.

Car rental. Travelers can expect higher prices and older cars with high mileage, as companies still haven’t been able to expand their fleets. Are you looking for an alternative? Car-sharing platforms might be a more affordable option.

Cruises. Despite a bumpy start to the year, thanks to the rise of Omicron, demand for cruises remains high. Luxury expedition voyages are particularly attractive right now, as they typically sail on smaller vessels and away from crowded destinations.

destinations. The cities are officially back: travelers are eager to immerse themselves in the sights, bites and sounds of a metropolis like Paris or New York. For a more relaxing time, some resorts across the United States are pioneering a nearly all-inclusive model that takes the guesswork out of vacation planning.

Experiences. Travel options focused on sexual wellness (think couples’ retreats and beachside sessions with intimacy coaches) are becoming increasingly popular. Educational trips, meanwhile, are increasingly sought after by families with children.

Oh, and Wi-Fi is almost always free. I can’t say the same for hotels.

Geoffrey Morrison is a freelance writer/photographer specializing in technology and travel. He is the editor of Wirecutter and you can also find his work on CNET. He’s the author of the sci-fi bestseller “Undersea,” and you can follow him on Instagram or Twitter .

52 LOCATIONS AND MUCH, MUCH MORE We have a new 52 places traveler! Follow Sébastien Modak on instagram as he travels the world , and discover more travel coverage by following us on Twitter and Facebook . And subscribe to our Breakdown of trips newsletter : Every week you’ll receive tips for traveling smarter, stories about hot destinations and access to photos from around the world.

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How to travel longer cheaper

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How To Travel Long Distances For Little Money

How to travel longer cheaper
When I first began researching how I was going to get from Bucharest to Ulcinj, Montenegro, the first destination of my upcoming trip to the Balkans, I started off by checking airfares. I figured that flying there would just be the easiest method and considering that the distance is a lengthy, but reasonable, 850 kms / 470 miles between the two places, how expensive could the airfare be?

Well, the answer turned out to be ‘very expensive’. My initial airfare searches gave me fares of around $500 USD one way. And all I needed was a one-way ticket because my return route would be overland, with stops in Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia and Bulgaria along the way.

And not only were the flight options $500 or more, they all involved one or two stops and total durations ranging from 10 to 23 hours.

It was time to look for a Plan B.

Plan B – Alternative Airports

After a quick look at a map of the region, I discovered that there were several other airports I could fly into that would leave me somewhat close to my final destination along the coast of Montenengro. And so I searched for airfares from Bucharest to Tivat, Montenegro, from Bucharest to Tirana, Albania and from Bucharest to Dubrovnik, Croatia.

No luck. The lowest fare was $454 to Tirana but involved an 11-hour layover in Istanbul.

Bear with me. You’ll soon see where this is headed.

Plan C – Round-trip Tickets

Knowing that sometimes a round-trip ticket can actually be cheaper than a one-way ticket, I then searched for such tickets on all the routes above. But I couldn’t find anything cheaper in this particular case.

Plan D – Bus/Train Combination

Thinking that it was perhaps time to abandon my hope of flying to Montenegro, I began looking at the bus and train options available to me. There seemed to be two that were somewhat reasonable.

The first option was to take a train from Bucharest to Belgrade, Serbia followed by an overnight, 13-hour bus or train ride to the capital of Montenegro. The total cost would be about $125 USD and take a total of 33 hours.

Unfortunately, however, I soon learned that the train from Bucharest to Belgrade is no longer in operation, the route having been canceled just two weeks ago.

The second option was to take a bus from Bucharest across the Bulgarian border to the Bulgarian town of Rousse. From there, buses depart somewhat regularly for Sofia, making the trip in about 5.5 hours. Once in Sofia, there is an afternoon minibus to the town of Nis, Serbia, a journey of about 3 hours, allowing you to connect to another minibus that covers the journey from Nis to Podgorica, Montenegro in about 13 hours. The total cost for this option would be about $120 USD and take a total of approximately 25 hours as long as you have smooth connections.

This second option actually looked quite good to me but that excitement quickly disappeared upon learning that there would be no smooth connections as the bus schedules for each segment did not match up too well. In the end, it would take closer to 38 hours to complete the journey.

At this point, I had no idea what to do and so I stopped doing research altogether for a couple of days. If I had looked at one more online flight search engine, Bulgarian bus website or Romanian train timetable, I was going to throw my rubber duck out the window.

But once I calmed down a bit, and those two days without research passed, I suddenly realized that I had less than a week to figure this stuff out.

Plan E – Get Lucky!

Just for the fun of it, I decided to search for airfare one last time, hoping that some random airline would be offering some ridiculously low fare for the exact route, date and time I was looking for. However, for some reason, I accidentally entered “Belgrade” into the search engine as my “From” airport and not Bucharest. It was just a mistake and I didn’t notice it until the airfares started popping up.

And as they did pop up, I quickly realized that this silly little typing error was about to be the best silly little typing error I’ve made in a long time.

Right there before me on my laptop screen was a flight from Belgrade to Podgorica, Montenegro on Montenegro Airlines for a mere $75 USD. Instead of a 13-hour bus ride, I could enjoy a 40-minute flight for just $35 more than the bus ticket. Interesting.

After another few minutes of research I then discovered that a private company offers daily minibus shuttle service between Timisoara, Romania and Belgrade, Serbia, picking you up and dropping you offer wherever you want in each location.

And then I found an overnight train from Bucharest to Timisoara that would arrive in Timisoara in time to catch that shuttle bus to Belgrade. Perfect.

The only downside of this plan is that I would arrive in Belgrade at around 12pm on July 5th and my flight wouldn’t be until the morning of the 6th. But if spending almost a full day and a full night in Belgrade is a downside, count me in!

So, in the end, my journey will be as follows…

  • Overnight train from Bucharest to Timisoara, Romania (9 hours, $35 USD)
  • Minibus from Timisoara to Belgrade, Serbia (2.5 hours, $25 USD)
  • Overnight in Belgrade – hooray! (hostel, $15 USD)
  • Morning flight from Belgrade to Podgorica, Montenegro (40 minutes, $75 USD)
  • 1.5 hour bus from Podgorica to Ulcinj (1.5 hours, $7 USD)

And while this journey will take me around 35 hours to complete, it involves the comfort of a sleeper car on an overnight train, almost one full day plus one night in a hostel in Belgrade, and then a short, inexpensive hop of a flight to Montenegro.

Also, I’ll only end up spending around $180 USD for this trip, which is far less than the the 15-hour, $500 flights I originally found and just a little more money than the other bus options that would have taken me even longer.

Get Creative!

So what’s the point of this post? Get creative when planning your travels! This is how you can save a great deal of money while finding the best options for your journey.

Look for flights to alternative airports, look for round-trip tickets even if you only need a one-way. Break up your trip into segments and search for two separate one-way tickets (in my case, Bucharest to Belgrade and Belgrade to Podgorica). Look for bus/train/plane/shuttle bus combinations. Find out which budget or regional airlines fly the routes you’re looking for. Search their websites directly. Change your dates around. Don’t be afraid to spend the night somewhere mid-journey as it gives you a chance to rest and visit another destination.

I’m often asked how I can afford to travel all over the place so much. Flights must be expensive, right? The above description of how I planned my upcoming Balkan trip is my answer. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all if you are willing to get creative!

Any other travel planning tips to share that have worked for you? Any questions about travel planning? Leave your comments below!

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Publisher Description

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For more than half a decade, Matt Kepnes (aka Nomadic Matt) has been showing readers of his enormously popular travel blog that traveling isn’t expensive and that it’s affordable to all. He proves that as long as you think out of the box and travel like locals, your trip doesn’t have to break your bank, nor do you need to give up luxury.

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day reveals Nomadic Matt’s tips, tricks, and secrets to comfortable budget travel based on his experience traveling the world without giving up the sushi meals and comfortable beds he enjoys. Offering a blend of advice ranging from travel hacking to smart banking, you’ll learn how to:

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Whether it’s a two-week, two-month, or two-year trip, Nomadic Matt shows you how to stretch your money further so you can travel cheaper, smarter, and longer.

How to travel longer cheaper

Exploring exotic places doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you certainly don’t need to win the lottery to travel the world – not if you know how to watch your pennies. We’ve complied some tried and tested tips to help you plan a holiday on a budget.

1. Come up with a plan

Travelling spontaneously is great, if you have the luxury of time and money to spare. But if you’re travelling on a budget, the first thing to do is come up with a plan. You don’t have need a tight, hour-by-hour itinerary, but you should at least have an idea of how long you’ll be spending in each city or country, and know the route that your epic adventure will take. Leaving less to chance means less unexpected spends; last-minute flights and accommodation are often far more expensive.

2. Travel out of season

Avoid trips during the school holidays, this is when the travel industry hikes up prices to take advantage of families who can only travel during these weeks. Research the best time to visit your intended destination, and then travel just before or after these dates. This is called the ‘shoulder season’, where you’ll still have a great trip but maybe the sun won’t shine quite as brightly (and, on the plus side, it won’t be quite as hot.) Hotels and airlines lower their prices to attract customers during this time.

3. Be accommodation-savvy

Trade expensive hotel suites for dorm rooms in hostels. Sharing a room naturally divides the costs and communal bunk rooms offer the opportunity to meet people who might be keen to explore with you. Other great alternatives are websites like AirBnB and Couchsurfing, where you simply book a spare room in a local person’s house or apartment. It’ll halve the price and allow you an authentic snapshot of real life in the city. Consider your host your very own, personal tour guide, filled with insider-tips for the best eateries and tourist spots in that neighbourhood.

You could even stay with family or friends. Reach out to people you know or plan a trip to somewhere that a long-lost cousin or school friend now lives – this could take you to visit places you’d never have thought of before.

4. Pack properly

Make sure you bring everything you need so that you don’t have to shop while you’re away (apart from a few souvenirs). No matter where you’re heading, take at least one pair of long jeans, warm hoodie and waterproof jacket for unpredictable weather incidents. For some in-depth advice, check out our ‘Travel like a pro’ guide to packing for every kind of trip.

5. Book flights in advance…

Especially return flights; running out of money abroad without a guaranteed ticket home is never ideal. Airlines ‘release’ their flight seats up to a year in advance and the closer you get to your departure date, the more the prices increase, especially in the last month.

6. …and be smart about how you fly

Opt to travel on a Tuesday. Midweek travel prices are lower as a premium is added to weekend flights and you’ll breeze through shorter queues at airport check-in desks and security. Fly economy too – there’s no need to upgrade, no matter how nice Business Class looks. The money you save on cheap seats can be spent on food or accommodation when you arrive. Low-cost, budget airlines are fine for short flights and regularly have cheap deals. If you’re planning a weekend trip try to pack light and use only hand luggage, saving yourself a bit of money on hold luggage.

7. Embrace public transport

Buses and trains are cheaper than planes. It’s that simple! A journey on an overnight train also mean you have one less night in a hostel to pay for…

8. Don’t eat away your cash

Cheap lunches can be bought in a supermarket or even a local fresh food market, rather than in an overpriced cafe or restaurant. Aim to wander around before choosing a place to eat dinner too; if you just pick the first restaurant you see you won’t know if you’re overspending. Drinking beer with every dinner soon adds up – both your wallet and your waistline will thank you if you opt for water instead sometimes. Alternatively, hostels and spare rooms often let you have access to a kitchen if you want to save a little money by cooking for yourself.

9. Earn while you travel

Working holidays are a brilliant way to afford to spend several months of the year (or more) living the travel dream: Teach skiing on a winter season, take care of holidaymakers travelling to the Mediterranean in the summer, or earn by teaching a language in Thailand; you could even freelance while traveling if you’re able to work “on the go”. The opportunities are literally endless.

You’ll Discover the Best Ways to Plan a Trip that Fulfills Your Dreams, but Doesn’t Break the Bank

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Hostels are the most ideal approach to travel economically everywhere throughout the world. Here are a few hints in the event that you’ve never remained in one, or more awful, have an inappropriate thought of what a hostel resembles.

What rings a bell when you hear the word “hostel?” A gaggle of twenty-year-olds on a weeklong drinking spree? Malodorous flower child types shoeless climbing the world over? A film arrangement that figured out how to join enough torment and grunge to scar an age?

Imagine a scenario in which I disclosed to you that for most of the most recent five years I’ve traveled everywhere throughout the world, and in that time remained at probably the most staggering spots … that coincidentally was hostels. That I’ve met dear companions and daring partners, all while paying a small amount of what a hotel would charge? Hostels aren’t what you think, in any event, not any longer. While each hostel is unique, I’ve remained in more than 100 across six landmasses and feel a good contribution to some broad perceptions.

What you’ll discover in the present hostels

In the broadest terms, a hostel is much the same as a hotel, with the exception of you, as a rule, need to share a bathroom. For the lowest room rates, you’ll likewise share a room. Furthermore, most hostels have a kitchen and a parlor. The most widely recognized dormitory, or shared room, has 4 beds, generally as two lofts. Most hostels will have rooms with more beds that are less expensive every night, and rooms with fewer beds for somewhat more cash every night. Just hostels in the most touristy territories will have rooms with twelve beds or more.

The more individuals in a room, the lower the rates, however, it’s simply by a couple of dollars a night. Except if your budget is tight, a little room will, for the most part, be calmer and worth the little premium. Most hostels additionally have private rooms, which are their most costly rooms, yet at the same time normally less expensive than a hotel. These can be useful for couples, families, or even only an individual searching for a calm night’s rest. Notwithstanding the bed, sheets, and a pillow, you’ll about consistently have storage to hold your sacks or assets. Much the same as a hotel, pretty much every hostel bolts their entryways around evening time and has keys, cards or codes required to get to both the hostel and your room.

A few hostels have “en-suite” rooms, as in there’s a bathroom appended to the room, similar to you’d find in a hotel, simply imparted to the individuals remaining in that room. By and by, I’m not a major fan. Generally, that implies you’re all battling for that one bathroom all simultaneously. Additionally, in the event that somebody makes rotten chaos (I’m discussing a storm of Ax body shower, clearly), at that point, the entire room will possess an aroma like that as well.

Extremely, once in a while is there an upper age limit at a hostel. At 40 I’m rarely the most established, in spite of the fact that the normal age is more youthful. Practically all, in any case, have a lower age limit. Travelers under 18, for the most part, can’t state in apartments. Almost every hostel will have ladies just residences accessible, however, most of the rooms are coed.

The most effective method to discover and book a decent hostel

Much the same as hotels, hostels have surveyed and booking sites to enable you to discover where to remain. Hostelworld and Hostels are two of the large ones. This component audits from ongoing travelers, arrangements of luxuries, and in particular, pictures.

The photos recount a story, legitimately and by implication. Of course, you get the opportunity to perceive what the hostel resembles, in a best-case “we’re having photos taken today” style, however, they’ll likewise give you a thought about what the hostel is about. Is each photograph a lot of individuals drinking? Gathering hostel. Are there loads of photographs of individuals perusing or playing prepackaged games? Presumably chill and loose. These occasionally go past the depiction and advise you what remaining there will resemble.

Yet, my greatest counsel? Make proper acquaintance and present yourself. A great many people in hostels are traveling alone. Break the pressure with a grin and a handshake. All things considered, you’ll be living with these people for a night or more. Who knows, you may even make another companion. I sure have. As an ingrained thoughtful person and low maintenance cynic, nobody was more shocked than I to locate that most travelers are acceptable individuals. Many are stunning and well worth gathering.

Hostels are not great, and like hotels will differ impressively area to the district. There is a change, obviously, expected to rest close to outsiders. In any case, for that modification and absence of flawlessness, you’ll have the option to travel longer and less expensive. Particularly in case, you’re thinking about slumming in a modest, conceivably faulty hotel. I’ve remained in awful hotels and awful hostels, and the last is far simpler to take when it costs a small amount of what modest hotel costs.

Gracious, and the Wi-Fi is quite often free. I can’t say that regarding hotels.

Cloudhostels is the only hostel in Baltimore. Baltimore hostels are few in numbers but the hostels are best for amenities and view. Book Direct and save at Backpackers hostel!

GEOFFREY MORRISON, New York Times
Tue, 03/26/2019 – 2:00am

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Hostels are the best way to travel cheaply all over the world. Here are some tips if you’ve never stayed in one, or worse, have the wrong idea of what a hostel is like.

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