Hostels, Hotels, and Couches…

So much of the experience of travel revolves around where you rest your head.  Hotels abroad become your little home201412-w-best-places-to-travel-in-2015-cuba away from home.  They save or waste your money, a friendly host can open doors for you all over their hometown, and fellow travelers you meet in the common areas, provide tips that  can enhance your experience tremendously.  So when it comes to lodging choose wisely.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind when checking out these stays… 

  • Plan ahead, especially in busy seasons.  Once you are sure that you’ll be in a particular town, do your homework and book your stay.  You don’t want to get shut out; that can be a real pain in the rear end.
  • Credit Cards and a cell  are really helpful in booking ahead.  Bring em and use em.  Or you can buy a throwaway cell on the road.
  • Couches – if you have a friend or a friend of a friend or an uncle of a friend of a friend, don’t be bashful at all about asking if you could spend the night.  People abroad love to open their homes to travelers; if they can’t, they won’t,  and they’ll tell you so.  But there’s nothing wrong with asking.  A couple days, unless its a good friend,is probably the max – but you can judge the mood when you arrive.  It’s  a great way to meet people and save money and learn more about the world.  It’s always nice to pick up a little something out on the road to show your gratitude, but don’t go overboard.
  • Hostels – for students they work well.  Hostels are generally cheaper than hotels.  They use common kitchens and prague-czech-republicsometimes bunk bed dormitory sleeping arrangements.  A lot of college students and Australians use hostels.  They can be a great place to meet folks and plan adventure.  They can also be a bit chaotic and sometimes a little noisy.  It all depends upon the place and your attitude.  Regardless, you will save  money
  • Cheap Hotels – my favorite.  I like the hotels better than the hostels; you get a little privacy.  However if you use the guidebook right and are adventurous you’ll meet plenty of folks at the hotel.  Depending on where you are at, the hotel might be considered a house stay, which may also include breakfast which is a nice deal.  Often you eat with the family.  Each hotel has its own flavor – take a good look at the guide books and you’ll figure out what you need.
  • Multiple nights – If you are in town for more than a night – book at the same place.  One you get to know the staff.  Two – you’ll probably eat at a local joint, near the hotel multiple times.  That’s kind of nice because you become a regular.  Three – the longer you stay someplace, the more comfortable your surroundings – and you rest a little better.
  • Lonely Planet – is a great source for scanning hotels and prices.
  • Trip Advisor – is a great source for scanning hotels and prices and for reading evals.
  • There’s a million places on the web for you to dig up hotels and hostels and family stays.  Find a sight you like and stick with it.


  • For  the Assignment portion of Hostels, Hotels, and Couches…here’s the plan.
  • Search your location for reliable and cost efficient housing – use Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, and /or anyother site you wish.
  • Stay within a reasonable budget.  Some places will be more expensive than others – but you know – keep the costs down as much as possible.  You aren’t wealthy – and expensive hotels are boring.  So – the cheaper (without going scuzzy) the better.  And home stays whenever possible.
  • For the Assignment – we’ll use either a section of the three ringed binder for “lodging only” or a separate three hole punch notebook.
  • I want you to do three things.  1 – Print the page of your hotel (one page only) – identifying it with its basic information.  2 – In the same location on each of these papers draw a large box and, identify in large bold print (Date, Location, Price, where you found the hotel) 3 – Repeat this for all of your lodging choices.
  • When you are staying the night with a friend – Same thing – with the Box however for the paper add the photo of your friend of his or her residence on google maps.
  • If you are on the train – print out the times page off of the train schedule.  And do the same stuff in the box.
  • While you will eventually cover all of your squares with this hotel information – on the first one here do it only for the ten places that you have covered in depth.
  • In the end – every evening will have a printed page – with a written box – that will organize your lodging…


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