Category Archives: Travel Tips

Trip Planning 101 – Choosing a Destination


Something I hear people say a lot when discussing upcoming vacations is how stressful it is to plan a trip. Longer trips, especially those overseas can be overwhelming to those who don’t have any experience in being their own travel agent.  Obviously, it can also be very time consuming to plan out a one or two week overseas trip and with the pressures of everyday life some people just don’t have time. There are always travel agents or websites that will help you plan out an itinerary – and I’ve known plenty of people who have had wonderful experiences with pre-planned trips. However, I think that … Read More

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Surviving Long Plane Rides


Long plane rides are without a doubt one of my least favorite parts of traveling. I’m not afraid of flying, but I hate every moment of it. The crowded airports, the long lines, the boring 12 hours in one seat, the horrible airplane food, the noisy children….ick. I have a pretty consistent day dream that mankind invents teleportation and it suddenly becomes possible to visit far flung locations without all the pain of transoceanic flights. Then I think about how it will probably be so expensive that I won’t be able to afford it and so I will just be bitter … Read More

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Lessons learned from arriving in Budapest after dark

Snowy Streets of Budapest After Sunset

My first glimpse of Budapest…. In winter of 2010, I flew into Budapest for a week of work. I had gotten there a few days early so that I would have time to see the city and visit the Christmas Markets. To save money, I was staying in a small hostel prior to checking into my work hotel. My flight landed after dark (which isn’t that late when you think of winter in Eastern Europe) and I had to make my way from the airport to my hostel. Because I knew there was a flat rate shuttle service available at … Read More

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The Art of Packing

Packing is an art form that I haven’t really mastered… I think for most people its a lifelong struggle between underpacking and overpacking. There are always a few things that I wish I had brought and many thing I wish had stayed at home. The best packing advice I ever got was from my dad. He told me that before each trip I should think of the essentials that must be brought for the trip to be a success and pack those first. Everything else you can live without or buy if necessary. So for most trips it will be … Read More

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Hostel Manners

Since the theme of this week seems to be Hostels I wanted to touch on something I thought a lot about during my most recent hostel stay – the inconsiderate hostel roommate. Nothing is worse than someone who seems to have no understanding that they are sharing a small space with many other people. In no particular order here are the worst people I’ve had to room with: 1. The CallerThis ‘lady’ was in my hostel in Amsterdam and ended up having the bunk next to mine in a 16 person room. I noticed her when she checked in because … Read More

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And now the bad news

Now that I’ve gone through the sunnier side of hosteling, I think its only fair to reveal the seedy underbelly of the hosteling world. Alright – well its not as bad as all that, but there can be some bad aspects of spending your holiday in a hostel. Here are some of the downfalls (and ways to mitigate these downfalls) that I’ve come across in my travels. 1. BYO everythingHostels are selling cheap accommodations, so it stands to reason that those little ‘extras’ that the Marriot offers might not be provided at the hostel. And by extras I mean things … Read More

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The hidden perks of Hosteling

Now that my summer travels are over, I want to get back to updating the blog on a more regular (and timely) basis. I will still try and put reviews of  my travel locations, but I also want to have more posts focused on travel topics rather than just destinations. I recently returned from a trip the the Netherlands where I split my week staying in two different hostels. Since I went alone, I had a lot of time to consider the various pros and cons of the hostel travel experience. Hosteling is definitely not for everyone – but it … Read More

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