Post by slicktraveler on Apr 15, 2009 21:14:39 GMT -5
I'm leaveing in a week and this is sooo last minute but what hostel organization should i join. I'm gonna have to book alot of my hostels when i get over to europe before i move onto the next country cause i simply dont know when I'm gonna be in what country.
slicktraveler, whether to obtain a Hostel membership will depend to a large extent on which Hostels you'll be staying in.
If you'll be staying at Hostelling International (HI) properties at all, a membership would probably be a good idea, as it will provide slightly better rates and preference in booking. They have a lot of properties in many countries (sometimes several Hostels in a city), and I've found the facilities are fairly consistent for the most part (with a few exceptions). Normally, breakfast is provided. I stayed at one HI Hostel in Switzerland where membership appeared to be compulsory.
With only a week to go, there isn't much time to get a membership (should you decide to get one). Two options - you could either find an HI property in your city (if there is one) and buy a membership there or buy one at the first Hostel you visit.
hi slick... if you are planning to visit Italy you can always have a look at the official website of the Italian Hostels... www.ostellidellagioventu.org/
just keep in mind one thing: they have good hostels but a few per city and -as a user- you do not have the possibility to compare prices with other accommodation providers that in many cases ( see for example B&B, apartments, local budget hotels) have last minutes and big discounts... up to you, but keep your possibilities alwasy wide open! ;-) have a safe trip for now.. laters... ;-)
I have a membership with HI and I only stay at HI hostels. Yes, they are sometimes a bit more dorm like than some of the private places but I've found them cleaner and safer than most. I also like the people who stay there too. MOre my crowd if you prefer. I'm not a party type anymore and I find the people at HI hostels are usually more the tourist types than the drinking types. I"ve gone exploring with some great people who I've met while there.
Ciao Libby, I have never gone along with drunk people either. With the time my tastes changed in terms of accommodation as well. I prefer know booking an apartment for my friends or even the more familiar B&B . There are some destinations that particularly flourish with them. In Barcelona, B&B are soo cute.. I woudn't recoomend any hostel dorm at all! The prices still affordable. Same thing in Rome or Florence, as far as I can see. Other cities, like London or NYC have more to offer in terms of youth hostels and related services. HI hostels are also good for families! Well...that's all i got to say. Bye now! ;-)
hi Lia.. do you know of a good site to find affordable B&Bs and pensiones in Europe? I am planning on a last minute trip to Europe but not sure I can do the whole hostel thing.. I am gonna venture myself for the first time ever and try and do some sort of backpacking thing.. frightening!!!! thanks..
allsf, what is your approximate budget per night? If you go to small towns in cheaper countries, you can often find private rooms for 25-35 Euros per night. Are you willing to share a bathroom? That will also help.
My personal opinion is that particularly in cities, I'd prefer to stay at a modern, well-kept hostel, even in a dorm, rather than a room in the cheapest, crummiest hotel, if I'm sticking to a strict budget. There are great deals out there, so if you have a little room in your budget, you can often have a nice room at a great price.
What places do you want to visit, and what is your budget?
hi "Will".. thanks a lot for your reply.. I just found this site and have been reading all its precious information all week long.. I also posted under planning your trip - Last minute trip - but haven't gotten any replies.. so I truly appreciate your reply and thoughts.
I must say I am a bit overwhelmed by all this.. although it's been a dream for the past five years or so.. trying to get all this together is sort of frightening.. considering my personality and my like of some sort of comfort, I always do things with lots of planning so I am a bit freaked out - and excited! - trying to put all this together.. I figured that leaving in a week or so wouldn't help much so I changed my departure to late July or early August.. time is not much of an issue as is getting the best out of my dollar..
I'll get my ticket with my miles.. which I am happy about.. but still have to figure out what I think it's going to be my biggest expense.. accommodation.. I've only been to Europe once 18 years ago and I can't say that was a budget trip at all.. I was with a friend and we had a great time.. we did 14 cities I think in a month and a half.. by train mostly.. it was the trip of a lifetime.. now I am searching another trip of a lifetime.. I've never stayed in a hostel before and I think my main issue with it is security.. leaving my belongings behind like that in an open room.. also, I am not exactly shy, but it sort of freaks me out to just get into a room full of strangers and get ready for bed.. let's just say I am a spoiled kind of guy.. oh, by the way, I would not mind sharing a bathroom at all..
with all that in mind.. I still have to do what's best for my budget, right? I am not sure what my budget per day is.. maybe U$100 per day (not including train/air fares).. is that even realistic? I am not searching for five stars hotel or the ultimate comfort, but I'd like this trip to be fun and adventurous, but safe.. with lots of sightseeing, museums, parks, and some sort of nightlife too.. I am not a party guy.. nor do a drink much or do drugs at all.. but I do enjoy checking out the scene.. particularly the gay scene in another countries. I don't want to spend months eating bread and peanut butter either.. it doesn't need to be a five star meal, but I do like to check out the different culinary in different countries too.. I don't care for fast food..
as for the places I'd like to visit.. oh my God.. there are so many places.. bellow is a quick 'dream itinerary' I put together last night.. it has about 20 cities.. I know.. EXTREMELY pretentious.. but that's why I want to minimize my expenses, so I can see as much as I can for as long as I can.. as I said, time is not an issue here since I am in between jobs.. so I gotta take advantage of that, but still not break the bank, right?
understand July and August are not the best times to go to Europe so I think I want to do the northern countries first so I can escape the hot weather and crowds of the most southern places. I can get a good deal with my miles to fly to Amsterdam or London.. not Paris, nor Oslo, nor Copenhagen, nor Prague, nor Berlin though..
again, I know this is VERY ambitious.. PLEASE feel free to critique.. it's all in planning still so nothing is set in stone.. I am more than open to nix or add places..
also, what would be the best option for my main transportation? a 3 month train pass? unlimited? HELP? I don't think I want to do a super planned trip with all in the paper.. I would like to have some flexibility as for staying longer in a place I love and less days in a place I don't care for.. how do I do this regarding accommodations?
as for my budget.. initially I thought I'd be willing to spend about U$10,000 for the whole trip (not including the airfare from the USA since I'll be using my miles).. but then I realized a train pass would eat a good chunk out of it, right? is that budget even realistic at all? is that enough money to see about 20 cities in like 3 or 4 months??
geezz.. I am sorry I wrote this much.. I am so excited about all this and you were the first one to give me a reply so I guess I got carried on..
thank you so much for your time and I look forward to your comments/suggestions about all this. best, Alex