7 Hostels Perfect for Backpackers in Las Vegas

It’s no secret that Las Vegas has a reputation for being an expensive place to visit. Considering the city’s massive gaming and entertainment industry, there’s definitely some truth to this assumption. In fact, Statista reported in this article that in 2017, $130.48 was the average daily room rate in Las Vegas, up from $125.96 in 2016.

However, you don’t really need to spend a fortune to get a taste of the Vegas lifestyle. Why not take the path less traveled and go on a budget-friendly adventure in sin city? The best way to start planning this adventure is to book a room in one of Vegas’ many affordable hostels.

1. Hostel Cat

Hostel Cat

Only dorm rooms are available here, with as few as six and as many as eight people in one room at around $25 per guest. As an added bonus, Hostel Cat does an event called Stratosphere Bar every Wednesday. For another $20, you get to drink at the hostel’s special bar at the top where they serve some surprisingly strong mojitos.

2. Las Vegas Hostel

Las Vegas Hostel

The dorm rooms here are slightly cheaper, starting at $20 per person. A single private room will cost you around $60. For the low prices, Las Vegas Hostel comes with small, but modern hotel-like accommodations. They also have a pool and an outdoor gym.

3. Shalimar Hotel

Shalimar Hotel

The slightly more upscale Shalimar offers private rooms from $45 to around $70 per night. Its large, traditionally decorated rooms come with private balconies. They also have a swimming pool, bar, and a restaurant if you don’t feel like going to the Strip. But if you do, Shalimar is located right at the entrance to downtown Vegas, so you won’t need to spend much to get around.

4. Sin City Hostel

Sin City Hostel

Image credit: https://www.facebook.com/sincityhostel/

Because it’s located right on Las Vegas Boulevard, you won’t mind the fact that Sin City Hostel only offers shared dorm rooms. Prices start at around $25 and don’t go past $30. Since you’re already on the famed Vegas Strip, you’ll also save on taxi/Uber costs if you want to visit the local attractions. You might also want to bring good earplugs if you’re staying in a shared room, as Gap Year advises in a first timer’s guide to hostels.

5. Travelers Bed & Breakfast

Travellers Bed and Breakfast

Private rooms at this bed & breakfast range from $60 to $70 per night. While past hotel guests report that the place doesn’t actually serve breakfast, they also say that the accommodations are nice and clean. Only book this hostel if you don’t mind shared bathrooms, though.

6. Tod Motor Motel

Tod Motor Hotel

At around $20 per night, the dorm rooms at the delightfully vintage Tod Motor Motel come with their own bathroom and kitchen area. This means that you can just buy food at any of the nearby groceries and cook your own food at the motel. The accommodations are far from perfect, but it’s cheap, and it’s already on the Strip.

7. Bridger Inn Hotel

Bridger Inn Hote

The rooms are a little steep at around $70 but the bathrooms are really nice. The place is located right in the middle of the city, and they even offer room service! That being said, it’s not technically a hostel, but the Bridger Inn is popular with backpackers who want some privacy and quiet time in between wild Vegas nights.

Even if you’re not staying at the fanciest hotels, you can still get the Vegas experience by staying in cheap hostels that are just as near the action. As Party Poker’s Kings of Vegas article explains, the city’s retro-modern sights, sounds, and adventures cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world. You’re bound to feel the electric atmosphere wherever you stay, which heightens once you step inside one of Sin City’s 70 casinos. And if you can save money by picking a good, cheap hostel as the base of your Vegas adventures, you’ll have more money to spend on seeing what else the city of sin has to offer.

Find Travel Buddies With Car-Sharing

When it comes to cutting travel costs, nothing works better than car sharing. Not only that, but if you opt into a car sharing plan or decide to split a car hire with someone else, you setup the perfect opportunity to meet new people while traveling to places you’ve never been before. Though the concept of car sharing isn’t new, Holiday Autos and similar services make it easier than ever to share a ride with other travelers.

Here are some other tips for finding travel buddies with car sharing:

Identify Your Travel Goals

Before you can find travel buddies who are willing to car share with you on holiday, you need to think about your personal travel goals. This means having answers to the following questions:

  • What is your destination? Do you have multiple stops in mind?
  • How long do you plan to stay?
  • Which attractions do you plan to see?
  • What is your budget?
  • How much luggage do you have with you?
  • What kind of accommodation do you want? (Do you have to have a private bathroom? Are you okay with shared spaces, like a car share or hostel dormitory?)
  • How flexible are these travel plans and do you mind adding or taking away some points to compromise with your travel buddy?

Furthermore, know what kind of person you want to travel with. They should match your interests, routine, be around the same age as you, have similar travel goals, and a near identical budget.

Join Travel Groups

Once you have figured out a flexible itinerary for your trip and can answer the questions listed above, it is time to join some travel or meet-up groups. There are a number of travel buddy websites out there to help you meet the right people.

You will be able to pick out the appropriate personality types and so on as you interact with more people. Some people will seem like a better fit than others, but this doesn’t mean you should book your flight and meet them in an exotic location somewhere without a test run first.

Get Your Wheels

Car sharing is a perfect way to deem whether or not someone is the right travel buddy for you. Find a rental car with Holiday Autos , where you get a budget-friendly price on car hire almost anywhere in the world. With your wheels reserved, you and your travel buddy (or buddies) are ready for a test drive—literally. Take your car and go for a road trip that takes at least a day, where everyone in the car gets behind the wheel at least once.

While car sharing, you can have conversations about previous travel experiences and so forth. You also have time to compromise about must-see attractions, budgeting, and accommodation. It may seem like a lot, but this car sharing practice run with potential travel companions will lessen the stress of travel exponentially.

That’s all there is to it! Finding travel companions throughout the world is easy, especially when you decide to share a car and tour your destination in style and comfort. Car sharing might not be a new concept, but it shouldn’t be forgotten, especially when you want to make friends while traveling abroad.

Why planning a backpacking trip is so essential?

Are you planning to take a backpacking experience soon? Yes? This is just the piece for you! While backpacking may not be like your usual travelling experience and it may not require as much detailing as your other travel plans include, it indeed requires a lot of planning. Planning may often be frowned at but it is actually the best way to execute a trip successfully, be it a luxury trip or a budget backpacking. Let’s take a look at why planning a backpacking trip is so essential.

Save time

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When you have everything planned, you tend to save a lot of time. Planning would involve developing an itinerary for yourself which comes from a good amount of time spent in research. So by the time you reach your destination, you’d know what exactly you wish to visit and where you want to spend your maximum time. When you plan your itinerary, make sure that you keep some buffer time for any added attraction, any unforeseen circumstance (jet lag, getting accustomed to a new place, climate change, health issues, etc.), traffic and weather condition.

Manage your expenditure

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When you have everything planned beforehand, you have an estimate of money that is going to be spent during your trip. Knowing the amount you’ll be spending in your next trip will help you in planning your budget in a better manner. You will eventually have a better idea of how much currency exchange you should be going for and the potential places where you can bargain and save some bucks. Always keep some extra cash handy when travelling in a new country although make sureyou distribute it at different places so that you are well prepared for any unforeseen financial loss in an altogether new place.

Prioritise Better

When you plan in advance, you’d know your priority. You already have the list of attractions and let’s face it, it is impossible to explore everything in such a short time span; so having planned beforehand will help you to choose what is essential and what is not. If you’re someone who enjoys art then you could very well prioritize places of importance from the art and architecture perspective whereas if you are a shopaholic, you’d keep visiting the local bazaar on priority.

You will not forget anything

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When you plan, you have a list of everything you would want to take with you on your trip. Yes, a backpacking trip does not require too much packing and needs only the essentials, but packing in a hurry leads us to often forget to pack even some essentials. With a plan in hand, you’ll never forget packing anything, not even that toothbrush all of us are guilty of missing out at the last moment. This comes in handy especially when you are travelling to a country which is costlier than your native country. Why spend more for toiletries abroad when you can get it at half the price in your own nation?

Easier and Faster

You might call this a crazy one, but this is actually extremely helpful. As you plan, you tend to save places on maps, make a list of all the places you want to visit and all of those dishes you wish to try. You’d have already taken reference from TripAdvisor on hostels to check-in to, cafes that serve your favourite breakfast, and the markets from where you can get goodies for family members back home. This helps in saving a lot of time that goes in contemplating where to go and where not to! When you save places on maps offline, you save yourself a lot of running around looking for internet and cabs.

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Some Tips for Planning a Backpacking Trip

  • Shortlist your mode of travel: Study your route well. How do you wish to travel? Do you want to travel throughout by air or would you be segregating your trip into various other modes such as the rail or the road.
  • Shortlist your destinations carefully: If you are visiting a country, what are the places that you’d want to visit? Do not rush into visiting all of them; just pick the ones that you’ll be able to explore without any hassle. Jot down the pros and cons of all the places you’ve shortlist and narrow down on the final ones accordingly.
  • Get your permits: Check if the country you’re travelling to allows Visa on Arrival or you need prior permit. Check for vaccinations or fevers you could catch.
  • List down your essentials: Whatever essentials you need to carry should be a part of your list and must be in your bag at least 2 days before you leave.

We hope that this piece has helped you understand the importance of planning a backpacking trip. So don’t let the vagabond mode of travelling bring you to think that it does not require planning. It does! And this planning will take you a long way. Bon voyage!

43 Tips to Travel (and Live) Better

Before I left on what turned out to be a 7 month trip across Europe, I spent a lot of time procrastinating and curbing my anxiety by reading travel advice. Now that I’m back (briefly), I’ve had a chance to reflect on some of what I learned and wanted to share it with others preparing for their own solo trips.

Below is a collection of travel tips for my future, forgetting self. These are things I try to live by—many (if not most) of which I learned the hard way first while traveling.

Hope it’s helpful!

You can also see a gear list from the beginning of my trip as well as what was still my pack by the end of my Euro trip on my blog at: http://www.alasdairplambeck.com/packinglist2016/

Money

  1. Never keep cash in your pocket. It won’t stay there very long.
  2. Avoid ATMs and restaurants in city centers and around tourist attractions.
  3. Get a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees.
  4. Get a debit card that doesn’t charge ATM fees.
  5. Keep backup cards for both in a separate place in case you lose your wallet.
  6. Always have a plan for how you’ll get out of a major transit hub (bus station, railway, airport). The local cab driver’s plan is likely to be very expensive.
  7. Always know the exchange rate ahead of time.

Gear

  1. You don’t need to carry shower soap with you.
  2. The best thing you will ever pack are earplugs and an eye mask.
  3. Have a designated place for everything you pack and always put things away.
  4. Never put anything down on the seat of a car. Not even for “just a second.”
  5. If you aren’t using something you packed, give it away. Many things you don’t need will be exotic to locals or useful for other travelers.
  6. Handwritten thank you cards are the best gifts. Sweets, chocolate, and wine will also do the trick.

Travel

  1. It’s amazing how much you can see and do when you aren’t hungover.
  2. Sometimes the hangover is worth it.
  3. Default to yes in new situations but don’t be afraid to say no when you need to.
  4. Always carry a book, Kindle or a device with Audible with you for the countless hours of in between time.
  5. You don’t need to be facebook friends with everyone you meet. Being friends in the moment is enough.
  6. Unless it’s your wine, don’t pour it.
  7. If you feel lonely or overstimulated, change your plans. You have control.
  8. When you feel lonely, write to someone. You’ll feel less lonely and it’ll be nice when you hear back from them.
  9. If you feel really lonely call someone as soon as possible.
  10. Send postcards often. It’s like shooting off little love missiles from all over the world.
  11. Go easy on the planning. Most things are easy to find out when you get there.
  12. If you stay at a hostel with a bar attached to it don’t expect to get much sleep.
  13. Travel is no excuse to not be reading. Keep feeding your mind.
  14. Be patient. Sometimes the long route is the best one.
  15. You don’t have to see or do anything that’s on someone else’s top ten list. By simply being present where you are you will see and do plenty.

Locals

  1. Knowing how to say “hello”, “thank you” and “cheers” in the local language will get you by in 90% of situations.
  2. A notebook and pen will get you by in the other 10% of situations. Turns out travel includes a lot of awkward games of Pictionary.
  3. Making an effort to use just one word (even incorrectly) in someone’s native tongue can change the dynamics of a conversation and an entire relationship.
  4. Don’t forget to smile. It’s the fastest way to communicate your intentions.
  5. Be nice. Everyone is doing the best they can.
  6. Don’t take it personal. You never know exactly what others are going through —it’s probably more than you think.
  7. Always know the visa requirements BEFORE entering a country.
  8. Trust people. Like you, they generally want to help.
  9. If you don’t know, ask. Curiosity is usually well received. Ignorance isn’t.
  10. If someone has made your experience special take the time to let them know. They will appreciate it.
  11. If someone has made your experience special take the time to let others know. Everyone will benefit.
  12. Generosity isn’t infinite. Pass it forward.
  13. Ask for help when you need it. Being “self-sufficient” is a myth.
  14. Leave things better than you found them whenever you have the chance.

And Most Importantly…

  1. You are an ambassador for your country. Work for peace.

“Written by Alasdair Plambeck. Originally published at www.alasdairplambeck.com.”

Top 10 Destinations for Backpackers in Asia

10. Climb or recline on West Railay Beach, Thailand

Located on the tropical shores of the Railay peninsula, this stunning setting is among Thailand’s most picturesque white sand beaches, lapped by emerald tides and enclosed by towering limestone cliffs. These cliffs cut the peninsula off from the mainland, so it can only be reached by boat, which enhances its atmosphere of isle-like seclusion. Rock climbing up these jagged sentinels above the soft-sanded beach draws enthusiasts from around the world. And there are also plenty of bars and restaurants, at astonishingly low prices, for the more indolent to indulge in their own brand of pleasure. The accommodation is cheap too, and ranges from bamboo bungalows on the adjacent East Railay Beach, to the affordable and secluded Tonsai Bay Resort on neighboring Tonsai Beach.

9. Experience the ancient Buddhist culture of Luang Prabang, Laos

A small town in northern Laos, Luang Prabang weaves together natural and man-made beauty. It sits at the confluence of two rivers which girdle the town, beneath forest-swathed hills rising to rugged mountains. The town’s skyline is dominated by one steep hill topped with the gleaming spires of Wat Chom Si, one of many gold-hued wats sprinkled through the town, decorated with intricate mosaics depicting the life of Buddha. Each morning brings the sight of hundreds of monks wandering the town’s streets collecting alms. The town also has a long tradition of handicrafts, sold at the night market which runs until 10 at night.

8. Party All Night in Bangkok, Thailand

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A global backpacker Mecca, Bangkok’s budget travelers orbit around the hippie haven of Khao San Road, designated by one writer as “the place to disappear”. Handicrafts, food and fruit, pirated CDs and DVDs, and regional barbequed snacks join the jumble of bars and clubs that are filled with lounging travelers at any time of the day or night. Elsewhere in this buzzing, relentlessly eventful metropolis, travelers can step into relative peace in Buddhist temples such as Wat Pho, with its huge golden statue of a reclining Buddha, or explore the vast and labyrinthine Chatuchak Weekend Market.

7. Check out the questionable beaches of Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sihanoukville’s latest incarnation as a budget traveler hub marks a fresh twist in its tragically eventful history. It is named after Norodom Sihanouk, a former King of Cambodia, under whom the town became a booming and glamorous port in the 1950s. But after the Khmer Rouge seized power the city was symbolically desecrated; the walls of its luxury Independence Hotel peppered with bullets. Through the past few decades, the town has been traveling the slow road to regeneration, helped in large part by intrepid backpackers who braved the journey’s dangerous reputation and brought back word of the area’s sublime beaches, such as the stunning 4km stretch of white sand, Otres Beach. The town is now the hub of Cambodia’s most vibrant backpacker scene, a chilled-out stretch of bars, restaurants, cheap lodging and tropical coastline, lively but relatively unswamped with travelers.

6. Get yourself along to the classic hippy hangout of Goa, India

There’s no denying that Goa’s soul has changed since it was first chosen by the hippies of the sixties as an exotic backdrop for exploration of self and consciousness, distanced from the psychic chains of western civilization and conveniently situated in lush tropical surroundings. There are still strong hippy communities in the area, and ragged westerners travel here to make and sell handicrafts. But these days they share the tourist space – including iconic beaches such as Calangute and Baga – with charter holidaymakers, a creeping quantity of upscale resorts, and Catholic and Hindu pilgrims. But a great backpacker scene cuts through all this, feasting on the fantastic cheap food and cavorting in the bars and on the beaches, and in many ways the area’s increasing diversity makes it all the more interesting to visit. Many budget airlines fly direct to Goa’s airport.

5. Encounter the flora and fauna of Cat Ba Island in Vietnam

The jagged archipelago of limestone islands that compose Halong Bay off Vietnam’s north coast have long been one of the country’s top backpacker attractions. As well as the ocean and beaches, there are mangrove forests, craggy peaks and enchanting caverns such as Song Sôt for tourists to explore. This environment is home to a unique world of flora and fauna, including some of the world’s rarest flowers as well as the golden Cat Ba langur. This endangered creature inhabits Cat Ba Island, one of the archipelago’s best stop-offs, an island of breathtaking beauty which packs the best of Halong Bay into one place and is a great base for kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and water sports.

4. Explore the island of Bali, Indonesia

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Bali’s volcanic landscape, fringed with world famous beaches and alternating barren and forest covered hillsides, attracts millions of tourists from all over the world, traveling on the whole spectrum of budgets. Famous backpacker sites such as Kuta Beach have now been infiltrated with wealthy resorts, top-end restaurants, and private developers who have chomped chunks of the white sand beach. But there is still a terrific budget scene and plenty of cheap and laid-back bars and cafes in which to meet locals and travelers alike. And you can meditate on the island’s spirituality at Tanah Lot Temple, spectacularly situated on a headland jutting out into the ocean.

3. Drift among the beautiful Gili Islands, Indonesia

The Gili Islands make up a small archipelago just north of Lombok in Indonesia. They became popular with backpackers in the ‘80s, looking for a remote experience of the Pacific isles that didn’t require a super-expensive flight to reach. Even two decades after the first intrepid budget travelers set foot on the island’s powdery sand, it remains relatively undeveloped – there’s no automated traffic, and people travel primarily by horse and cart. But there are a few indulgences to choose between, including a Japanese restaurant, good backpacker accommodation, and, inevitably, a lively Irish bar. The island is also famous for its hatching sea turtles, and there is a sanctuary which buys the eggs from the local population to prevent them being sold in the market. And there are some world-class, uncrowded dive sites, such as the ominously named Shark Point.

2. See a different side of China in Yangshuo

Backpackers first flocked to Yangshuo in the ‘80s, set on the trail by a gushing recommendation in Lonely Planet. They discovered an entirely different China to the rapidly industrializing country depicted in the western press, a quiet, picturesque region spread from the banks of two great rivers, Li and Yulong. Strung between these rivers is a rolling landscape of bare karst peaks, green hills, deep sharp-sided caves and unique sights such as Yangshuo Moon Hill, a limestone pinnacle with a moon-shaped hole reached by over 800 marble stairs.

1. Escape the traveler crowds in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand’s rural north is far less infested with hordes of tourists than the resort-ridden south, and it makes a great escape from the crazy crowds that swarm Bangkok and Phuket during peak season. Chiang Mai is the region’s hub – founded in 1296, it was the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom and designed as the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand. This ancient heritage can be experienced at sites such as Wat Chedi Luang, a towering ruined temple in the center of the city, and the Bhubing Palace, surrounded by colorful gardens a few kilometers out of town. And the city’s cosmopolitan ex-pat population has given rise to a vibrant scene of restaurants, bars and nightlife.

Article originally via Hopper.

13 Tips For Travelling With Almost No Money

‘I want to travel but I have no money.’ Oh really? Well I want to slap you. If I received a dollar every time someone said this to me I’d be travelling a lot more than I currently am so either travel or give me a dollar!

Tip 1. Don’t spend your money on stupid shit

Seems like common sense doesn’t it? Well apparently not for 90% of people.

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Tip 2. Sell your crap (if you have any)

This is to get your started on your journey, use this money to buy a ticket and all the essentials you need for travel.

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Tip 3. Don’t be like this guy

Pack light. The less you pack the less you’ll spend on any means of transport / flights. No excess baggage costs etc. Just travel with a carry on.

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Tip 4. Don’t travel anywhere that’s out of your budget

Check out our guide here to see the top 10 cheapest destinations to go backpacking.

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Tip 5. Work while you travel

Don’t be a complete hobo. You can find jobs to get you by as you go. If you don’t want to work and know how to busk do that. For the rest of us, hostels offer work for accommodation so that’s a roof over your head as well. I did this for months and we used to survive off eating food that other backpackers left.

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Tip 6. Couchsurf

If you need a place to sleep for free this can be useful. Make sure to plan far in advance to assure you have a couch pre-booked. A lot of people have started using backpackr for this as well.

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Tip 7. Try Hammocking or Camping

If there’s not a couch available just set up a hammock or tent wherever you are. You may get asked to move on but that’s alright, there’ll be somewhere else to set-up base around the corner.

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Tip 8. Hitch Hike

If you need to get somewhere and are really that broke, try hitch-hiking. I’ve met a guy who has hitched his way through every country in Europe.

Two Tourist Girls Hitchhiking

Tip 9. Wash Your Clothes in the Sink

We mention it a lot but this is a massive money saver. Mine are in the sink as I write this.

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Tip 10. Cut your Own Hair

I haven’t paid for a hair-cut for 7 years. That’s around $3,000 in savings! WOW that’s the equivalent of a round the world flight. If you don’t trust yourself get a friend to do it. If you don’t trust your friend don’t cut it at all.

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Tip 11. Explore cheap

Depending where you are you’ll find a lot of cities have free walking tours and museums etc. This allows you to see and learn some things while you travel for free.

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Tip 12. Eat Cheap

Now I don’t condone it but I used to steal food from the supermarket because I was actually that broke, but I survived. You can eat free legitimately if you do your research. For example in Vancouver, Canada there’s a temple called Shree Mahalakshmi where I used to go to eat free Indian food.

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Tip 13. Drink Cheap

All about the pre-drinking here. We know backpackers spend most of their money on booze and this will never change. Just make sure you drink before going out and maybe even take a flask with you too. Unless you’re in Cambodia where a beer at the pub will cost you 50c.

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Any other tips you’ve found useful that you’d like to share? Chuck them in the comments!

 

 

 

10 More Crazy Party Hostels Around the World

Due to the popularity of our original 13 Great Party Hostels around the World we decided to bring you 10 more.

1. Carpe Noctem – Budapest, Hungary

Hostelworld travellers have said the staff of Carpe Noctem offer ‘awesome off-the-beaten-track tips to explore the city and are always willing to go the extra mile to help us find something exciting to do, ensure we get proper wrecked and feed our lush hangovers’.

“The best hostel I’ve stayed at! The staff is the insanely fun, they sure know how to party and know some sweet spots. I would come back 100%.” – Hostelworld Review

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2. Malibu Beach Hostel, Malibu Beach, Panama

“After checking in to my private room, I went down stairs to enjoy my free welcome shots and hang out with other travelers. They played great music and had a good party. There are hammocks all around the place to enjoy a drink and lay out, along with a great bar and small pop-up pool to cool off. The beach is a few steps away from the hostel…”

Mmelissameg – Panama City, Panama (Trip Advisor)

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3. Rising Cock Party Hostel, Lagos, Portugal

Going hard since 2004, Rising Cock has become a haven where global travelers, international students and party connoisseurs come to have fun, relax and experience Lagos how it was meant to be.

“I stayed at many hostel in Portugal and the Rising Cock was definitely one of the best!!! Outstanding ambiance, great staff, and amazing free pubcrawl. I felt completely safe leaving my stuff in the room I was in. Everything was clean, the linen is changed every single time a new person comes in, Mama’s crepes are the best, and the location couldn’t be better. I loved my experience and would go again anytime!!”

LouTanguay – Canada (Hostel World)

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4. Hanoi Backpackers Hostel – Hanoi, Vietnam

This hostel throws a party at the drop of a hat. Started by Australians, the place has a legendary Sunday bash that includes traditional barbie and a free keg. Happy Hour starts at 5pm every day on the roof.

“It is crazy busy, which is good for a hostel and if you’re looking for a party… Overall it’s a good place to meet people if you’re young and want to party…”

Richie B – Tipperary, Ireland (TripAdvisor)
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5. Bounty Hotel – Bali, Indonesia

“This place is made for everyone who likes to party! Big rooms with all you need (and also a minibar with alcohol and snacks), a big and clean pool with a poolbar and sound during the whole day, clubs all around the hotel, full of young people, and a damn crazy party every Friday. If you like a quiet place, or dont like party, then i guess its the wrong place.”

Moritz F (Trip Advisor)

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6. The Mad House – Prague, Czech Republic

A beautiful city, ideal central location, cheap beer and a wild new short term home to get the party started. Remember it’s the Madhouse, not the behaved and sensible house!

Enjoy the taste of a free beer on arrival with the fridge stocked with help yourself $1 beers thereafter.

The beer pong games get you lubricated before the staff take you out (for free) and the party is on every single night. Prague’s nightlife is legendary and the staff know where to go to maximise the madness. Very highly rated, The MadHouse is the best hostel in Prague to start your party in a city known to party like tomorrow is the end of the world.

“Fantastic place to stay while exploring Prague!! The staff are very inclusive and the family meals are amazing!!! The nightly beer pong games and multiple planned events each night makes meeting people easy and fun. The location is great for walking to everything, and the burrito place is right around the corner.”

Anonymous review – Canada (HostelWorld)

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7. The Bulldog  – Amsterdam, Holland

It’s no exaggeration to say this is one of the best known hostels in the world. Most will know of its legend simply by word of mouth. It’s located right in the centre of the city smack bang in the middle of all the action, with the red light district and Dam Square mere steps away.

“If you’re looking for a party hostel, this is your place. It’s in a great location and the bar downstairs was always full. If you’re in Amsterdam to sight see and not spend the whole trip stoned and drunk, do not stay here. It was loud, our lockers were broken, the entire place reeked of weed, the shower was disgusting, and we cancelled our remaining nights and went to a hotel. The staff members were very nice, the wifi connection was strong, and the beds were comfortable though.”

Anonymous Female (HostelWorld)

Via Ryan Quinn
Via Ryan Quinn

8. Gilligans Backpackers – Cairns, Australia

Most travellers either begin or end their Aussie route in Cairns and the vibe here is pretty contagious. At Gilligan’s Resort, you can expect to dive right in to the party scene with regular social events and ‘cool people’.

“If you’re looking for a good time in Cairns, Gilligan’s is the place to go to. The staff is really helpful and friendly, the rooms are nice and clean and the atmosphere is full on party. Everyone is looking to meet people and have fun. If I ever go back to Cairns in my twenties that’s where I’m staying for sure.”  – Hostelworld Review

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9. SameSun Backpacker Lodge – Vancouver, Canada

The largest hostel in downtown Vancouver with a central location in the entertainment district . We boast a clean environment with a great social atmosphere and friendly staff, as well as the Beaver Lounge with food and drinks. Everything you need in a hostel!

“If you’d like to sleep, request a room not on the first floor. Other than the bar itself the loudest place in the hostel was my room, despite a plethora of signs about quiet hours after 11pm. On weekends the bar is open until 2pm and opens again at 7:30 for breakfast.” – Hostelworld Review

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10. Miami International Traveler’s Hostel – Miami, Florida, USA

Miami Beach International Hostel is a lively hostel centrally located in the Art Deco district of Miami Beach, surrounded by bars and clubs and less than five minutes’ walk from the sands of South Beach. Hostelworld guests have said the friendly staff ‘think about what the traveller needs and try to provide it’ and that ‘this is by far the best hostel…for meeting people and partying’.

“Don’t think guests sharing dorms should bring visitors back after a night out to have sex. Very uncomfortable being in a dorm while this is going on and no where to go.” – Hostelworld Review

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Best Transport For Travelling Australia

There isn’t one best choice for travelling Australia as it really comes down to your personality and where in Oz you’ll be going, however this article should help you weigh up some different options. Take note a lot of emphasis is on the East Coast as it’s the most travelled and what I know best, coming from an Aussie who has travelled it multiple times. I’ll try keep it short and sweet by breaking down a few different options I personally recommend.

Own transportation 

If you’re travelling with friends or your significant other and looking for an adventure this is definitely what I suggest. The freedom of travelling at your own pace and finding the little hidden gems that Australia has to offer is more than enough to get one excited. You may also consider this as an option if you’re travelling alone, but if you’re sleeping in your vehicle you may find it difficult to meet other people (if that bothers you). Within this category of transportation there are a few sub-categories for you to consider.

Camper-van 

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If you’re travelling up the East or West coast a camper-van is my top pick as not only does it serve as transportation, but also accommodation. Unless you’re looking at travelling for extended periods of time I’d probably recommend renting one to save yourself the hassle of trying to sell it once you’re done. Before going ahead with the whole renting process I would definitely recommend doing some research comparing price vs. comfort.

Without shoving any particular companies down your throat a few that you may want to consider are Jucy, Travellers Autobarn, Spaceships and Hippie Camper. You should also seriously consider visiting a travel agent to do the work for you as not only can they get a better rate, but if something goes wrong they can help sort it out.

Car 

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A lot of people will choose this as a cheaper downgrade to the camper-van but the main thing to consider is whether or not you’ll be sleeping in it. If your plan is to find places to pitch a tent it’s definitely doable but depending on where you are you may find it a little difficult. If on the other hand you’ll be sleeping in the car you’ll want to make sure it’s comfortable enough. If you’re renting, vehicles such as Travellers Autobarn’s stationwagon can be as cheap as $44 a day with insurance which brings me to my next point, insurance.

Unless you’re rich and unintelligent you definitely want it. Rental companies will charge an arm and a leg for it but it’s one of those shitty things that needs to be paid unless you’re prepared to pay $2,500 if a kangaroo jumps in front of your car. Believe me, he sure won’t be paying.

4wd 

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When it comes to going to places such as Fraser Island and Moreton Island, a 4wd is perfect transportation. If you’re looking to rent one you can expect to pay anywhere from $145-200 a day.  It’s also important to note that there may also be a minimum 7 day rental require on the vehicle. If you have a big group of you it will work out cheaper than paying for a tour and you may even consider the option of buying one. This can be quite expensive unless a few of you go in together but if you do it this way to get to Fraser you’re looking at around $110 return on the ferry + approx $7.50 each camping + $46.65 / month national park fee.

Regardless which of these vehicles you travel with buckle yourself up for a whole lot of excitement. Take a fishing rod with you and you may even manage to catch dinner.  You also definitely want to consider downloading wikicamps as it shows you all the free rest areas throughout Australia. If you’re not after this adventurous way of travelling Australia or it still doesn’t interest you, then maybe it’s time for you to consider being a bus wanka.

Bus 

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If you’re lazy like I am or don’t want to drive, this might be the best option for you. Depending on where in Australia you are you’ll also have to decide on which company you’re to travel with. If you’re on the East Coast and you want flexibiliy Greyhound is the most reputable. It leaves 3-4 times a day and a 3 month hop on hop off bus will cost you $419 from Cairns to Sydney or vice versa. With this pass you can hop on and off as many times as you want as long as you keep travelling in the same direction. Their service also offers wifi and usb chargers on board but I’m not going to lie, there’s a 50/50 chance they won’t work. If you don’t care about flexibility and want a cheaper alternative I would recommend looking into Premier which will cost you $295 for the same pass leaving once a day. Definitely check out Firefly down the bottom end as well as it can get you from Sydney to Melbourne for as cheap as $65.

The method of transport you choose really comes down to where you’re going and what services are available. This article has focussed a lot on the East Coast so depending where you’re going always research the services available and weigh up the pro’s and cons. I’ve met people who have hitch-hiked (it’s most definitely doable) though you may want to use caution as technically it’s illegal and can be dangerous. It’s also worth constantly checking flights as companies like jet star or tiger airways often have ridiculously cheap deals. Just make sure you use Skyscanner as it will compare prices for you.

The Cheap as Hell Guide to Bangkok ($20/day)

Currency: 34 Thai Baht = $1 USD

Average Cost Per Day: $20 (THB 650) if you don’t pay for any attractions and drink a bit.

Drinks: Around 35 baht for a beer from 7 Eleven, or 275 baht for small bottle of whiskey.

Bed: Dorm bed from 180 baht, private from 300 baht and budget hotel room from 700 baht.

Food: 40 baht for a small street food meal (eg, pad thai, fried rice)

Transportation: 30 baht for skytrain (2 trips)

Difficulty Level: Easy!

Contents: Drink | Eat | Move | Sleep | SeeTips

Bangkok, the ultimate destination for virgin backpackers looking to set off on their journey. The most visited city in the world, Bangkok is a main hub for other South East Asian countries. Notorious for its night-life, beaches, food and sex tourism, there is something for everyone. A dream for the budget traveller with cheap food, hostels and relatively inexpensive drinks, you can easily stay a few nights here without spending more than $30 per day.

In this list we’ve compiled the cheapest places to drink, eat, sleep, see and where to meet people if you’re travelling alone.

Drink

Cost to get wasted: THB 300-500 if you stick to hard liquor and don’t eat much.

As it is the party capital of Asia, you can’t travel to Bangkok without having a few drinks. With a good selection of local beer, whiskey and rum, world class nightclubs, fancy rooftop bars, ubiquitous “liquor trucks” and backpacker hot spots like Khaosan Road you’ll definitely have a good time.

What to drink

All-Thai-Beers-2007

Cheers Beer – Large cans usually sold in 2 packs for around THB 60, not the best tasting but worth it!

Archa Beer – Dirt cheap but gives you a serious hangover.

Leo Beer – THB 55 for a 650 ml bottle or 38 THB for a can.

SangSom Bucket – Rum, tonic, coke or redbull for THB 250-400 a bucket.

Hong Thong Whiskey – THB 275 for a 375ml bottle.

Where to drink

7 Eleven

Be warned that 7 Eleven does not sell beer from 2-5pm and 12-10 am due to liquor laws, but you can usually find other mini marts that will ignore these laws.

Liquor Trucks

You will find these flashy, neon lit up trucks lined along the road after around 10pm. Sukhumvit soi 11 was notorious for these, but after new laws with the military government, it seems they are rarer. A bottle of beer will be around THB 60-80. They also serve cocktails and buckets.

Khaosan Road

The infamous Khaosan Road, a backpacker hotspot located in the “old city” of Bangkok. With plenty of bars, nightclubs and street food every night turns into a party. You can find buckets of Sangsom and Redbull starting from 200 baht and small Chang’s from 60 baht.

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Golf Bar, famous for cheap buckets and not checking ID’s…

Eat

Cost per day: THB 120 is doable.

If you want to eat on a budget, there’s quite a few places you can eat. On the street, at 7 Eleven or at food courts. Avoid large fast food chains and fancy restaurants aimed at tourists as this will break your budget. We recommend sticking to 7 Eleven and eating their frozen food that they will heat up for you if you really want to save money. Also stick to food courts like Pier 21 in Terminal 21 or any food court in any large shopping mall such as MBK or Siam Paragon.

What to eat

Street Food – From chicken and pork innards to delicious grilled chicken, starting from THB 15 per stick. Can be found almost anywhere on the street.

Pad Thai – The ubiquitous Thai dish , starting around THB 40 at most street stalls.

Chicken Rice – Plain chicken on rice which costs around THB 50.

Green Curry – Another famous Thai dish starting at around THB 100.

7 Eleven Sandwich – Price is around THB 25.

7 Eleven Frozen Dinner – Starting from around THB 35.

Food Court Meal – Starting from around THB 40 for a variety of great Thai foods.

Where to eat

Pier 21

Located in Terminal 21 on Sukhumvit Soi 21, this is my go to place when I want to eat clean, delicious and cheap food!

7 Eleven

There is one on every corner, more ubiquitous than lady boys and plastic bags. All kinds of cheap food to eat here, just ask them to heat it up for you, “Mee Wave Krap.” Family Mart is an alternative if by some chance you can’t find a 711.

Street Food

If you can’t find street food in Bangkok then you’re doing something wrong. It’s usually the cheapest food there is, but you may still be hungry after.

Move

Cost per day: THB 60 is reasonable if you’re only using the sky-train and making a few trips.

Bangkok surprisingly is a great city for public transportation and very convenient with a taxi or tuktuk on every corner and the reliable and cheap sky-train. There are also boat taxis for a more “cultural” experience.

How to get around

Walking (Free)

My favourite way of getting around any city. It’s free and keeps you fit. The side-walks tend to be crowded and full of street stalls and makeshift shops so you may have to walk on the street at times.

BTS Sky-train/MRT (THB 15)

The go to mode of transportation and the cheapest and quickest. Fares start at 15 baht for one stop, and go up to 52 baht for longer journeys. This will take you to most places around the city except for old town (Grand Temple and Khaosan Road). More info here: BTS Skytrain

Bus (THB 2)

The cheapest option after walking, Bangkok’s bus network is very extensive, 2 THB will get you anywhere within city limits and you can experience the life of a local.

Taxi (THB 42)

Has to be one of my least favourite options as the traffic in Bangkok is notoriously awful. If you want to take a taxi make sure you get one that will put the meter on otherwise taxi drivers will try charge more. You may need to hail 5 or more cabs before you get one who will agree to do this because most prefer to get a fare off someone who doesn’t know better. The meter starts at 42 baht and begins ticking up after about 5 minutes. There are also motorcycle taxis which are great for getting around quickly.

Boat (THB 10 – 40)

There are two boat services in Bangkok. First there’s Chao Phraya Express Boat, servicing the Chao Phraya River which is popular among tourists for getting to landmarks such as the Grand Palace. Then there’s the Saen Saep Express Boat, used mainly by locals who commute to work. The fare differs based on the colour of the flag or route. More info can be found here.

Tuk Tuk (THB 50 – 400)

I wouldn’t even bother with this unless you have absolutely no other choice. They tend to rip you off once you get to the destination or take you on a detour trying to get you to buy a suit or cheap jewellery. Once you know exactly how much it should cost to get somewhere you can consider travelling in these after first agreeing on a price.

Sleep

Cost per day: THB 200 is reasonable if you want an okay sleep with A/C in a dorm room.

For budget travellers the Khao San Road area offers the cheapest accommodation with many guest houses, hostels and budget hotels. This is the main backpacker hotspot. If you want to get away from this crowd, Silom and Sukhumvit areas are more up-scale and you can still find cheap accommodation.

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Khao San Road, the backpacker hotspot.

Where to sleep

Khao San Road (THB 150 and up)

This is the first destination for most backpackers in Thailand. Crowded streets with cheap food, alcohol and sweaty men in Chang t-shirts. The cheapest accommodation is on the side streets and not on the road itself. If you want the best deal, you’ll have to walk around until you find a small guest house or hostel that won’t be listed on any websites (you can haggle too). These run on average around THB 200 for an 8 bed dorm with AC if you’re lucky. If you like to be prepared and need to book before you go then you should check out these:

Rest Inn Hostel Dormitory (฿220)

Khaosan Road Rainbow Hostel (฿200)

Sukhumvit Road

Another great alternative to Khao San Road if you don’t feel like hanging out in a dirty neighborhood. Sukhumvit 11 offers some great nightlife and food, but it can get pricey.

Stay Hostel (฿212)

The City At Fifty Hostel(฿195)

Silom

A more up-scale neighbourhood with lots of cheap food and interesting things to see, including the notorious Patpong Street.

Everyday Bangkok Hostel (฿250)

Thrive the Hostel (฿250)

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Everyday Bangkok Hostel

See

Cost per day: You can do this for free.

What to see

Temples (50 baht)

The famous Wat Arun.

Wat Arun Entrance fee is only 50 baht and it’s a great sight to behold. The other temples such as the Grand Palace will be beyond this budget, however you can stand outside and take pictures.

Shopping 

MBK and Platinum Fashion Malls are great places to get lost in the maze of stores and stalls. Chatuchak weekend market has over 8,000 stalls and  you can walk around all day looking for cheap clothes/toys and even live animals.

Nightlife Districts (Free)

Patpong street in Silom is a sight to behold and so is Soi Cowboy but you’ll want to watch out for all the venereal diseases.

Rooftop Bars

You can get into rooftop bars for free but make sure you dress up and don’t buy any alcohol if you’re that cheap. You may find yourself getting kicked out for being a tight-ass though. Some good ones are Octave, Above 11 and Lebua Skybar.

Octave Rooftop Bar
Octave Rooftop Bar

Khao San Road (Free)

A sight in itself. Chill out at one of the tables on the street drinking cheap beer while watching people make fools out of themselves.

Quick Tips

Arriving: The airport train is 45 THB to the city, taxi is 300 THB.

Best time to visit: from November to April (warm and humid year round).

Language: English is not widely spoken, so expect a large language barrier. Try and at least learn to count in Thai and the names of food before you go.

Currency: It’s best to get some Thai Baht before you go, if not there are many small bank kiosks to change your currency for a reasonable price. ATM’s charge a flat rate of 180 baht in most places, so when you withdraw, take out as much money as you can. You should consider setting up a Thai bank account and transferring money internationally to save yourself even more. We wrote a detailed article about it here.

Haggling: Know your prices. This means doing some research before buying anything. You’ll find that a lot of the stores will sell the exact same thing so if you see something you like ask for the best price and don’t act overly interested. Ignore the whole ‘special price for you my friend’, because it’s all part of the game. After being given their ‘best price’ start walking away and before you know it the price will start rapidly dropping. Before long you will start to work out exactly how cheap you can get it for and when going to another store you’ll be armed with this knowledge. You may end up paying 1/10th of the initial price.

Scams: There are a lot of scams for the gullible and inexperienced. To begin with don’t get into a tuk-tuk and watch out for taxis offering you to take you somewhere that you didn’t initially want to go. Also be aware of tour guides telling you a certain temple is closed (which is a lie) and offering you to take you to a more expensive one.

Protecting your belongings: Thai people are great but like a lot of places in the world there are people out their who will try and steal your shit. Now I know money belts and neck lanyards  look lame but you may consider some sort of protection as I can guarantee  someone will try to pick-pocket you at some point. I used to put mine around the neck and under the shirt so unless you’re getting freaky with a girl (or lady-boy) it should be safe. You may also consider leaving all valuables locked up and only go out with the money you need.

 

The Bottom Line

If you walk every where, eat at 7 Eleven or food courts, stick to hard liquor, don’t pay to see any attractions and sleep at a dorm for 200 baht you can easily do Bangkok on 600 baht per day. Add 30 baht for the sky train if you don’t feel like walking.

Food: 120 baht

Accommodation: 200 baht

Transportation: 30 baht

Liquor: 300 baht

Total: 650 baht per day you cheap motherf&cker!

Cheapest way to Transfer Money Internationally

TLDR; If you like travelling and/or need to transfer money internationally read this for a free money transfer & learn how to save yourself a lot of money.

Overview: The new and simplest way to transfer money is peer to peer trading. Simply put, if I want your currency and you want mine, we swap. We ignore banks completely and use a secure website as our source of connection. We pay a small fee per transaction however we get the normal currency exchange rate.

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If you haven’t already guessed it, we don’t recommend direct transfers between your bank accounts. Although at first it may seem appealing to go through reputable banks, there are a few costs that need to be considered:

1. The bank you send from has a sending fee

2. You get a really shitty exchange rate

3. There’s usually a receiving fee on the other end

Depending on the amount being transferred one can expect to pay anywhere from US$30 – $60 in charges as well as getting a very standard exchange rate. This means that if you make 10 transfers it could cost you  $300-$600 in unnecessary charges (the equivalent amount of money you’d be able to use to travel for 2-4 weeks through South-East Asia).

The solution: Seek alternatives to big banks when transferring money. Some people use Paypal which is definitely better, however an even better solution is peer to peer trading which works by cutting banks out of the equation altogether. There are lots of sites out there but to save you time we’ve listed two well known (and 100% secure) sites that we use and would highly recommend.

Currency Fair

One of their co-founders suffered a massive fee when transferring money through his bank so he came to the conclusion that there should be a cheaper option and lo and behold Currency Fair was born. Now a world renowned peer to peer market exchange, Currency Fair has saved its customers over 126 million euros. They do charge a small fee per transaction, however we’ve reached out to their team and they’ve organised you the first trade free if you sign up through this link – https://www.currencyfair.com/backpackr

Transfer Wise

A newer UK based peer to peer company that we’ve found has great rates if you’re not transferring large amounts. It supports more than 300 currency routes across the world so if you’re looking for an alternative to Currency Fair you should definitely Czech it out. They’ve also agreed to organise a free transfer up to $3,000 when you go through this link – https://transferwise.com/u/24880.

While there are a whole plethora of additional companies out there that offer money transfer services these two are ones we have personally used and are by far the cheapest way to transfer money. It’s completely up to you on which service you decide best fits your needs and what you’re looking for. Regardless, you’ll save yourself some hard earned $$$.

If you’ve read up to here and are still a bit unsure how it works don’t worry, we know that some people are slower than others! This video should give you a clearer understanding.

If you’ve found this information useful feel free to share this article and transfer links with your friends so they can save money too.

Before you go register your free account with CurrencyFair here.

Or alternatively register your free account with Transferwise here.

Are there any other sites you use that you’d like to recommend to our readers? Chuck them in the comments! For now, safe travels.

Backpackr Team

13 Great Party Hostels Around the World

Hostels are a vital part of backpacking. There are a lot of factors that define a great hostel and reviews can often be skewed as what is going on in the hostel varies greatly throughout the year. With that being said here are 13 hostels in no particular order that have been reviewed positively when it comes to partying.

1. Retox Party Hostel, Budapest, Hungary

One of the most notorious party hostels in the world; with a name like Retox Party Hostel, you’re bound to have a good time or a terrible time due to the copious amounts of alcohol. Cruise the Danube on a party boat, drink in a castle overlooking Budapest or just relax at the Retox bar with a game of beer pong.

“Stayed at Retox and the place was insane. Make sure you know what you are getting into. The place is as advertised with it being dirty, crazy and loud. That being said it was a total blast and I would stay again in a heartbeat. Definitely not for everyone though.”

-Via Reddit user: photosandfood

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2. Dancing Elephant, Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand

If you’re looking to experience the famous Full Moon Party, then this is the hostel you want to be at. Located in the heart of Haad Rin village it is surrounded by shops, restaurants, massage parlors and only a 2 minute walk from beaches and the full moon party.

“Great location, close enough to haad rin beach for easy access but far away enough that you cannot hear the noise from the beach night. The staff pull out all the stops for full moon and the nights leading up to it. Great party atmosphere and very easy to meet people.”

-Customer Review from Hostelbookers.com

dancingelephant
Via: Dancing Elephant FB Page

3. Pacha Mama, San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

With their famous Sunday Funday pool crawl, Pachamama is located quite centrally in San Juan del Sur and is close to the main beach and the main strip with all of the bars to party in of a night time. It is also only a short distance from the main street, where you can find all of the restaurants, food, and other amenities that you might need during your stay here.

Staff and service was always just ok. On the first day everyone looked at us like weird outsiders, it was unpleasant. A day later we realized we were looking at new arriving guests the same way. It was because we had bonded and formed little groups with the other guests. The hostel is super chill during the day, jump in the pool, drink a beer or watch Netflix on the lounge and take it easy before whatever wild party will ensue that night! Sunday funday was off the hook, if you stay at pacha mama you are guaranteed a ticket so stay there!

-captianpeanuts (2014-11-13) Tripadvisor review

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Via: PachaMama FB page

4. Asylum Cairns, Australia

A great hostel to make new friends, with their famous Mad Moon-day Party where for $15 you get your own original design t-shirt, free entry to awesome venues, BBQ sausage sizzle, a minimum of two free ‘things’ and free internet for a week (although internet should always be free). The atmosphere has a truly relaxed, ‘homey’ kind of feel, which is great for seasoned travellers and first-timers who may find it hard to make that first move in making new friends.

Great location. Party hostel. secure location to park your campervan if you have one. only a few blocks from the port/ocean. Be prepared to party on Thursday for they have their crazy Pants Down party. Kitchen is large and clean with fridge. Rooms are secure. Sadly you have to pay 2 dollars a day if you want wifi (5 dollars on first day to ‘activate).

-Anonymous (2014-10-29) Hostelworld review

asylum

5. The Flying Pig Downtown – Amsterdam, Holland

The Flying Pig is a great location for young travellers, partiers, and people who are planning on walking everywhere. It’s very close to the Red Light District, and train station. The Flying Pig is right in the center of the city, and is located on a shopping strip.

I found it to be very clean and welcoming, as were the staff. Thankfully, my group likes to party and there were no shortage of those in or around the hostel, but if you’re not the party type, you may want to look elsewhere.

— Kelly (2014-03-14)

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Via: The Flying Pig Downtown FB page

6. The G Spot Hostel – Lagos, Portugal

Hands down one of the best in Portugal, this review pretty much sums it up:

Planned to stay for 3 days, ended up staying for 10! Not much more needs to be said, if you are looking for a great party hostel with awesome staff this is the place to be in Lagos.

-September 19th, 2014 Hostelworld review

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Via: G Spot Lagos FB page

7. Greg and Tom Party Hostel, Krakow, Poland

One of the fanciest party hostels around with a super modern common room, showers and kitchen. Every night, Polish students will take you out to the best party spots around Krakow and show you their special Vodka & Beer Tasting Tour. With a party 7 nights a week, it’s definitely a must when you’re in Krakow.

This is one of the greatest hostels available if you are looking for a good night out and a great stay. Brilliant location, free dinner and breakfast and the bar crawls are epic.

-June 30th, 2014 Hostelbookers review

gregandtom
Via gregtomhostel.com

8. Carnival Court Backpackers, Cape Town, South Africa

Located in the heart of the action on Long street, near bars, clubs and restaurants. The hostel is on top of a bar, so most guests complain that it’s too noisy to get some sleep. It’s always a wild night here and you don’t come here to relax.

A brilliant place in the heart of cape town. it has a nice bar and is so a good option for solo-travellers. it can be loud at night, but well.. were young aren’t we!!

-Moritz Heise (2013-01-13) Hostelbookers review

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Via: Carnival Court Backpackers

9. X Hostel Varna, Varna, Bulgaria

As well as being cheap as chips this hostel really knows how to party. Epic parties in Varna or Golden Sands, unforgettable dinner parties, foam parties and pub crawls with around 400 people!

Ohhh X hostel Varna, how I love you so, where the golden Balkansko rivers flow. Definitely the greatest hostel on our planet earth. The staff seem like they were created in a rock and roll laboratory; they just cant stop the party. You walk through the gate and meet total strangers that you feel like you’ve known for years. Incredible parties, incredible atmosphere. Great tasting food that will even make your grandmother’s head explode. . I’ll be back without a doubt; see you there!

-Anonymous (2014-09-13) Hosteworld review

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Via: X Hostel Varna FB page

10. El Viajero Hostel – Cartagena, Colombia

This Party Hostel in Colombia has a fun and relaxing atmosphere, with a colonial patio & garden outside, a bar with the best music & cheapest drinks in town, a common TV area with DVD & Netflix, and a well-equipped kitchen.

El Viajero was the first “party” hostel I’ve ever stayed at and to be honest, I’m glad I did. I didn’t think that the noise was too loud & boisterous at night (as others have said in their reviews), since the hostel bartender would close the bar around midnight and usher everyone to partake in a bar/club crawl outside the city walls. Decor was super cute & colorful, staff was friendly, nightly group events were plentiful – overall a great place to meet people & maximize your time in the city!

-drobles7856005 (November 1, 2014) Hostelworld review

elviajero
Via: El Viajero Hostel Facebook Page

11. The Pink Palace – Corfu, Greece

Located on a beautiful beach in Corfu, this is both a hotel and hostel that is a great place to meet others when solo travelling. Go kayaking, set sail on the booze cruise, drink at the 24 hour bar or just chill out on the private beach. With 368 beds, you’re sure to find someone to party with.

Great place to party with different themed parties each night, and they seat everyone together at dinner which was a good way to meet people. They run activities during the day which everyone seemed to enjoy. Rooms had AC which is all we really cared about when it came to bed time.

– Anonymous (2014-08-15) Hostelworld review

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http://thepinkpalace.com/galleries/

12. The Cambie Hostel, Vancouver, Canada

One of Vancouvers best hostels, the pub downstairs is always full with daily drink deals. It’s a great place to meet people and party, so don’t come here if you expect to get some R & R like this guest:

I understand that hostels tend to be party locations, but the groups partying in the upstairs common areas were out of control the Friday night I stayed there. In addition, the bathrooms were disgusting – pipes were leaking over the shower, there was a bandaid by the sink, empty bottles everywhere… and my comforter had a burn hole in it. Very unpleasant place to sleep (actually, not much sleep happened, to be honest). Would not recommend.

-Anonymous Female from the USA, Hostelworld review

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Via: The Cambie FB Page

 13. Couzi-Couji Party Hostel, Penang, Malaysia

Renown for it’s food, who knew Penang had a party hostel? Turns out this is the only one, and you’ll have a great time here with organized events, pub crawls and some of the cheapest beer in Penang.

Great place for partying! Met lots of new people and Alex the owner is a very cool and a funny party owner. I appreciate for the experience that I’ve had and made new friends not just travelers but also locals! Awesome bar experience and the activities that Alex organizes is just phenomenal! Definetely would like to come back! Long live Couzi Couji!

-Anonymous (July 26, 2014) Hostelworld review

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Via: Couzi-Couji FB Page

The world is huge, with lots of places and parties to explore. This is definitely not a list of all the best party hostels in the world, as there are too many to mention in one list. Feel free to mention your favourites in the comments below.

20 Epic Places to Watch the Sun go Down

The Great Pyramids, Egypt

If you are lucky enough to see the Great Pyramids up close and personal, you might as well stick around for a stunning sunset.

3. The Great Pyramids, Egypt - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

Thanks to the Colorado River the Grand Canyon was carved in all of its beautiful glory. Research shows over 17 million years ago the river first established its route through the towering canyon walls, since then it has continued to erode the area into a breathtaking masterpiece that boasts some seriously stellar sunsets.

6. Grand Canyon, Arizona USA - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Sahara Desert

Endless miles of sand and sunset, just don’t forget your sunscreen!

10. Sahara Desert - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Mount Bromo is an active volcano located in East Java, Indonesia. While it is not the highest peak in the area, it is the most popular.

9. Mount Bromo, Indonesia - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Famous for it’s early morning sunrise, watching the sunset is the best alternative for those lazy backpackers.

4. Angkor Wat, Cambodia - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Krabi, Thailand

sunset-beach-krabi-thailand

Grundarfjordur, Iceland

Not only does this small Icelandic town have the most amazing sunsets, it’s a pretty private destination as well with only 974 inhabitants as of 2005.

15. Grundarfjordur, Iceland - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Mount Haleakala, Hawaii

13. Mount Haleakala, Hawaii - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Bora Bora, Tahiti

beautiful-sunset-Bora-Bora-Tahiti

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan Myanmar Sunset

Ayers Rock, Australia

Known as one of the most impressive landmarks found throughout all of Australia, the Ayers Rock is a giant sandstone formation located in central Australia.

19. Ayers Rock, Australia - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Florida Keys, USA

12. Florida Keys - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Taj Mahal, India

While many people have heard of the Taj Mahal, not everyone knows that it was originally built back in 1648 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a dedication to his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Sunsets viewed from here are full of cultural charm.

18. Taj Mahal, India - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

The Serengeti, Tanzania

beautiful-sunset-Serengeti-Tanzania

Stonehenge, England

Located in Wiltshire, this prehistoric monument was constructed back in 2600 BC and completed in 2000 BC. It was built for unknown purposes using stones brought from Wales.

20. Stonehenge, England - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Lake Annecy, French Alps

Lake Annecy is the third largest lake in France, offering plenty of day and night time activities, including sunset watching.

16. Lake Annecy, French Alps - 20 of The Best Places To Watch The Sunset

Niagara Falls, Canada

niagarafallssunset

Chamonix, France

chamonix
http://bentibbettsphotography.com/pictures/show/511

Mount Fuji, Japan

MountFujiSunset
https://www.flickr.com/photos/14591708@N00/8550299349

Li River, China

http://mikedavidphotos.com/wp-content/gallery/china/Li%20River%20Sunset.jpg
http://mikedavidphotos.com/wp-content/gallery/china/Li%20River%20Sunset.jpg

 

Via: AmazingOasis

Featured Image: Flickr

10 Ways to Meet People Travelling Solo

We’ve seen blog posts on this topic before but since the purpose of our app is meeting people we thought fuck it, we’ll make our own. We know this may be really basic and common knowledge for the seasoned traveller, however this is aimed at the first-timer-solo-travel-virgins. I sure remember how nervous I was the first time I went travelling alone so hopefully this helps.

1. Bars

Hostel bars or bars in general are a great way to meet travellers. Make sure you hang around the backpacker/travellers part of town, that way you’re guaranteed to find other solo travellers just like you.

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Via: Samesun Backpackers

2. Hostels

This is pretty obvious, but most people don’t realize how easy it can be to meet other travellers at a hostel. If you’re staying in a dorm room with other people, eventually you’re going to have to talk or interact with them in one way or another. Here are our top 3 favourite conversation starters.

“Hey dude can I borrow your towel? Someone jizzed in mine.”

“Who was the asshole snoring all night?”

“Anyone want to go get a drink?”

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If you end up alone in your 12 bed dorm room (it does happen and it sucks ass) just head to the common room where you’ll usually find people hanging out. Sometimes you’ll find people are a little too preoccupied with their smartphones which brings us to our next solution.

3. Websites/Apps

Living in a rapidly growing world of technology, the previous suggestions may not always work as people are now constantly on their smartphones. You may also find yourself alone in the hostel with no other travellers in sight.

Every month new apps designed to help people meet other travellers are popping up all over the place, struggling to fill an ever growing market. This is why we created backpackr. If you feel like hooking up with some locals tramps or travellers, we recommend Tinder or OKCupid.

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Via: Reddit

4. Pub Crawls

Joining a pub crawl is one of the easiest ways to meet people. Everyone is already pretty loose thanks to the alcohol, so making new friends should be no problem. You can find them in most cities all over the world, just look for people handing out flyers or ads on hostel notice boards.

pubcrawl
Via: Koh Tao Pub Crawl

5. Drinking

This go’s hand in hand with pub-crawls. There’s nothing quite like a bit of liquid courage to open you up and get you talking/partying with strangers.

Via Traveller.me
Via Traveller.me

6. Locals

The most authentic experience you can have travelling is meeting locals. If you’re getting sick of running into people from your own country with nothing else on their itinerary but getting completed wasted – finding a local to hang out with who can show you the ins and outs of the city and hidden gems that other travellers will simply miss, is priceless.

If you stick to the non-touristy part of town and hang out in a coffee shop or local bar where no other foreigners frequent, you’re sure to attract a few glances and locals can be easily approached, or may even come talk to you.

Khao San Road
Khao San Road, an example of a very touristy part of Bangkok.

7. On The Street

If you see someone with a large backpack, or a cute girl/guy that seems lost, it’s easy approach them and ask where they’re going. Maybe they’re headed to the same place as you and you can tag along. Remember, like you, they are also travelling alone and possibly looking for a travel partner.

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8. Transport

Meeting other travellers during one of those gruelling 24 hour bus rides across a country in order to save $100 is almost inevitable and one of the best ways to meet people on your trip. I’ve made friends for life on buses and trains.

Epic-Bus-Ride-Vietnam

9. Tour Groups

Going on a group tour with companies like Contiki, Intrepid, G Adventures or STA Travel will ensure you have people to travel with even before you leave home for your trip.

backpackr

10. Couchsurfing

What better way to meet someone than to crash on their couch and hopefully take advantage of them so they’ll show you the city for free? Sleaze your way from city to city without spending anything on accommodation.

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Via: Flickr

This is a very basic list and every opportunity to meet people is unique for the city you find yourself in. Your mood and outlook will affect how easily you meet people so stay positive and have an awesome time!

Have any more tips for meeting other travellers? Feel free to leave a comment.

5 Locations that Show why Santiago is the Most Underrated City in South America

When people think of Chile, what comes to mind are usually the breathtaking views of Atacama, treacherous hikes through Patagonia, and the stunning beaches along the coast. I’m not saying these three extremes are anything short of amazing, or else I’d be lying.  However, Santiago, a metropolitan city of more than 6 million people that sits in the center of these marvels, is an amazing city itself and here are five must-see locations.

1. La Vega Market

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From recent memory, the last 4 clementines I’ve eaten from different regions around the world were in the California, Brazil, Argentina, and here in Chile. What’s the commonality? They all had a Chile sticker on it.

After visiting the top market in Spanish-speaking Latin American according to various sources including The Daily Meal and National Geographic, it was obvious why Chile’s produce is so prevalent and why La Vega is so highly-viewed.

First, the produce section and value is of course, amazing. You can easily find a kilo of fresh apples or grapes for 500 Chilean Pesos ($1 USD), a third of the price at any local supermarket. You can spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour roaming around.

However, it’s not just the produce- the restaurants are great value as well, serving local chilean cuisine, as well as dishes from Peru, Colombia, and more, almost always under 4000 Chilean pesos, or ~8 USD.

My favorite parts of La Vega can be seen in the below map. Point 1 is the family that’s known to have the freshest fruit, Point 2 is where you can find fresh Ceviche plates for 2.5k CLP each, and Point 3 has palta (avocado) that takes the term buttery pear to a whole ‘nother level.

However, the hustle can get a bit hectic, and for a bit tamer shopping experience you can try Mercado de Abastos Tirso del Molina right in front of La Vega. The produce prices are similar, and on the second floor there’s about 20 restaurants serving the same food. My personal favorite is a Chilean/Colombian restaurant that overlooks the bridge (bridge is point number 4).

If seafood is more your style, across the river, you’ll find a seafood market, Mercado Central, that boasts similar low pricing and quantities, A kilo of clams or fresh reinta for 1000 CLP, and some good great meals under 4000 CLP.

La Vega opens at 6am daily, and closes at around 2pm on Sundays, 7pm every other day.

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San Cristobal Hill

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Although a very popular tourist attraction, ‘Cerro San Cristobal,’ is a must see and deserves it’s reputation. Many do not know, that the cerro is the largest urban park in Spanish-speaking South America outside of Parque Provincial Pereyra Iraola in Buenos Aires. With amazing views day or night, it is accessible by Funicular, a cable railway that goes directly up the mountain in 10 minutes, or also a great easy-moderate 45 minutes hike.  Upon the climb, you’ll have great panorama views of all of Santiago where you will truly realize the sheer size of Santiago’s population of  6.3 million. There’s also multiple vendors who sell Mote con Huesillos, a summer-time non-alcoholic drink made from peaches and wheat cooked in cinnamon- a must-try!

Other sites within the park include a zoo, two huge public swimming pools (Piscina Tupahue Antiléna) a botanical garden (Jardín Botánico Mapulemu) a Japanese Garden, and a child’s play area, Plaza de Juegos Infantiles Gabriela Mistral.

The main entrance to the park is at Pío Nono 450, Barrio Bellavista; Baquedano.

The Big 3 Bohemian Neighborhoods

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Santiago also has quite a bit of bohemian neighborhoods which are very safe relative to other Latin American cities with great nightlife. My favorites are Bellavista, LaStarria, and Barrio Italia. To take a quick glance at their exact locations, scroll to the map on this page.

Bellavista is the most popular of the three, and is where the main entrance of San Cristobal lies. There’s no shortage of restaurants, bars, cafes, and souvenir shops. My favorite dinner/snack spot is La Casa en el Aire, with a great mix of Chilean/Colombian food at very fair prices with live local music every night from Tuesdays-Saturdays. My favorite date-type spots to grab a drink are Etniko who makes great non-traditional drinks and has some tasty sushi, and the Aubrey Piano Lounge which has live music Thursdays and Fridays. A cool, lesser known place to grab coffee is a small contemporary museum/cafe called Cian that’s free to enter. It’s open from 11am to 9pm Monday to Fridays, and Saturdays noon-midnight on Saturdays. Stay updated with Patio Bellavista’s events which are listed on their website.

LaStarria is similar to Bellavista, with a bit less tourists and larger bars and clubs, with a cool, European vibe right by the Bellas Artes metro stop. There are a few great museums, most notably the GAM, but also the Museo de Artes Visuales and Museo Arqueológico de Santiago which all have very reasonable prices to enter. Two places off the main street that I enjoy are a flat-crust Pizza joint, Verace, and a Resto-bar, Bajo Llave. BL features one of the largest open patios in Providencia to sip some wine on a warm summer night that brings me back to evenings in Granada, Spain studying abroad. Liz Caskey has a more in-depth guide to LaStarria in her blog, EatWineBlog.

Barrio Italia is easiest accessible via Metro at the Santa Isabel metro stop. This barrio is the lesser-known and visited of the three, but does have the most boutique shops featuring unique art, clothing, and seemingly has an ice cream shop every 20 meters (not that that’s a bad thing!). Standout spots include an Argentinian Tango resto-bar, Masa Tango, an Italian restaurant that also sells fresh pasta separately, Da Noi, and Santa Bohemia which has great drink specials. Check out Barrio Italia’s Facebook page for events going on!

La Piojera

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La Piojera is not for the faint of heart. The home of the “terremoto”, or the earthquake drink, will do exactly as it’s name suggests. While known to foreigners as the place where many of the longest nights in Santiago begin, it’s one of the most if not the most famous restaurant in Chile. Read a bit about the long history of La Piojera in this translated Wikipedia article. While not the safest place to hang out and not an idea date location, it’s a great place to meet with a group of friends and really see a different side of Santiago.

Transportation

After being in metro’s everywhere from Chicago, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, etc, I can honestly say Santiago’s metro has the best combination of cleanliness, easiness to navigate, and speediness that I’ve seen in the world. Trains run between roughly 6.00AM and 11.00PM. The bus system is also awesome, and from using Google Maps Public Transit over the last year and visiting new destinations on a weekly basis, I think it’s only been incorrect once or twice. If you are staying in town more than a few days, get a Bip! card at any subway station 1350 CLP which you can recharge to pay for the fares, or you can just pay with cash/change (efectivo). Feel free to get this Metro map on your phone as well.

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In addition, it is extremely easy to navigate Santiago by bike and in fact named as HostelBookers number 1 bike-friendly city in Latin America. If you go all the way from La Vega (the “Central” part of Santiago), through Providencia where the 3 neighborhoods and the Cerro are, past Constanera Center (tallest building in Latin America), all the way to to the skyscrapers of Las Condes up until Parque Bicentenario, there is a nicely paved dirt path the entire way if you just follow the river. I personally have not gone through Bicicleta Verde, but they’ve received a 5 star rating over 500 reviews on Tripadvisor if you’d like to rent a bike.

 

About the Author

Nick is an Industrial Engineering student originally from Los Gatos, California. He’s been in Chile a bit over a year, and is taking time off to work on his startup, Medko, a platform that allows travelers, study abroad students, and expats to find a doctor that speaks their language all over the world with a focus in Latin America. In his free time, he loves playing basketball and cooking up some tasty latin-chinese fusion meals. To contact Nick with any questions, you can email him or check him out on Twitter.

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