Category: Travel tips (page 1 of 21)

5 Amenities To Look For In A Hostel

game room at hostelBudget-minded travelers looking for a safe, affordable trip frequently flock to hostels for their journeys. Hostels offer convenient and inexpensive options for cost-conscious globetrotters, while still providing a safe spot for visitors. However, these savings are sometimes easy to notice by the lack of amenities. Hostels are still seen by some travelers as dorm rooms for travelers, with some even featuring shared showers and rooms for guests.

This isn’t always the case, nor should it be. Affordable accommodations can still offer top-notch amenities for travelers to enjoy as they experience all the world has to offer. Hostels with great amenities still offer visitors a comfortable stay without breaking the bank, leaving their guests with more money to enjoy the sights and sounds of their destination.

Here are five amenities travelers should look for in a hostel:

1. Private Rooms

For many travelers, hostels conjure an image of crowded, shared rooms with shared bathrooms among a large group of strangers; this isn’t always the case. For a slight increase in cost, though still lower than most hotel rooms, many hostels are now offering private rooms and bathrooms for travelers. This offers privacy for travelers under budget. This is a great amenity for families looking to see the world on a budget.

2. Group Activities

Many travelers choose hostels not only for the savings but to enjoy the company of other travelers. Solo travelers meet others on their journeys and build a sense of camaraderie during their travels. Hostels help facilitate these new friendships and sense of family by having group activities for their guests to enjoy. Travelers staying at hostels are offered certain amenities, such as group tours and outings for guests. These activities bring people from across the world, and throughout all different cultures, together. This is a great experience for solo travelers and helps facilitate friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Take advantage of opportunities like these during your stay if you can.

3. Table Games

Group activities for guests are great, but that’s not all hostels can provide for their visitors. Having activities available for guests on-site, such as foosball and pool tables, is a great way for hostels to ensure everyone enjoys their stay while bringing travelers together in a safe, relaxing environment. Nightlife tours and group outings aren’t for everyone, but many guests still want a chance to mix and mingle with their fellow travelers. Through on-site activities, such as table games, guests have more opportunities to interact with their fellow travelers without loud bars and clubs or long walking tours. This is just another way for you to interact with the other guests and make friends during your stay.

4. Home-Cooked Meals

For hostel-goers on longer trips, homesickness can begin to set in. This, along with a desire to save money, has many travelers looking for ways to save money on food costs during their trip. Luckily, if you fall into this category during your trip, an amenity frequently offered to guests are home-cooked meals. This offers you and other guests the chance to not only save money on meals but also to experience part of the culture through meals and camaraderie in the comfort of the hostel.

5. Free, Reliable Wi-fi

We now live in a time where everyone wants to be connected to the rest of the world, no matter where they are. However, international travelers are also wary of outrageous fees for using their data in foreign countries. Hostels frequently offer free wi-fi to guests as a way to ensure they can remain connected to family and friends back home. This isn’t a new amenity and is a simple one to provide. However, reliability and speed are still necessary for guests. Chain hotels still struggle to get this simple amenity right. Hostels, however, often provide higher quality internet access for their guests for no additional cost, keeping visitors connected throughout their stay.

How To Plan A Relaxing Fishing Trip To An Exotic Location

There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as sitting back, relaxing, and waiting for your lure to haul in your next catch. Fishing is one of the most popular pastimes that men of all ages enjoy, and it doesn’t matter whether you have thousands of dollars worth of high-end equipment or a make-do fishing rod because you can still go home feeling like a winner at the end of the day. The experience of fishing in an exotic location is one that can’t be beat!

There are so many great adventures to be had outdoors, but only if you’re looking to seize the day. Here are some things to take into consideration when planning your next fishing trip:

The Right Location

The first step is of course to find a location you’re interested in. Your budget does have an important role to play, so if you’re strapped for cash currently, you can still enjoy having fun at a nearby lake or river. However, if you have ample budget for travel, you can even make it to South America!

The Right Lodgings

During your trip, you will need a safe place to stay. You may not require all of the creature comforts out there, so investing in a basic motel room may be more than enough. If you’re going to be traveling within your state, perhaps renting an RV and camping outdoors may be more your style. There are plenty of options out there, and when all else fails, turn it into a camping trip that the entire family can enjoy.

Get Your Gear In Check

Of course, you’ll need a vessel for fishing – a kayak, canoe or boat. If you have your own small boat or canoe, you should by all means take it with you. However, all fishing destination hotspots will allow you to rent boats, so it’s important to factor the rental costs into your budget.

The next step is to equip yourself with the right gear. You will need fishing lures, bait, rods as well as appropriate seasonal clothing for the climate. If you’re going to be outdoors in the summer or early spring, make sure to put on plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin in the sun.

Lastly, many places require fishing permits and licensing in order to fish outdoors. Make sure you secure permission before you get into trouble for trespassing!

Helpful Tips When Traveling By Air With A Laptop

Traveling, whether it is a way of life or an enjoyable experience is something that happens every single day. As you travel, there are likely items you choose to take with you and some of them are a little more challenging to bring along than others. One of the items that many people choose to travel with is a laptop. In order to keep your digital device safe and make the most of your trip, there are some things that you should do. Read on to learn more.

When you travel by air, traveling with a laptop can be quite lucrative. More and more flights are adding wi-fi service and bring a laptop along is a great way to work, watch a movie, or catch up with friends. The computer allows you to have an easier and more productive flight.

As you plan your travel, make sure that you do not back your laptop in your checked baggage. A laptop is a delicate machine and baggage handlers aren’t always gentle with luggage. Instead, pack your laptop in your carry on bag, such as one of the TSA approved laptop backpacks. If you are a frequent traveler, you may prefer to choose one of these “checkpoint friendly” bags that can save you a lot of time as you go through the security checkpoints as laptops are required to be removed from bags. This type of bag makes it simple to take the computer out as required.

If you are an occasional traveler, you can use a regular laptop bag. Before placing your computer in your luggage, turn it off. Then, make sure it is properly protected to keep it safe.

Once you reach the security checkpoint, you will be required to place your computer in a screening bin. Stay with the bin to assure you know where it is at all times.

As you enter the plane, keep your laptop with you. Placing it in an overhead compartment is not the safest option. Items can fall and move around in the compartment. If you can, place your laptop and bag under the seat in front of you. This is the most comfortable and safest option. When you are ready to use your laptop, follow the airline’s instructions for logging onto their wi-fi.

In conclusion, traveling with a laptop takes some planning on your part. This allows you more productive travel and a properly protected computer.

Airlines That DON’T Allow Pets In Cabin

If you’re anything like me, then you dread seeing someone get on a plane with a cat or small dog. Personally, I have allergies to pets and the thought of spending hours trapped in a small space with one or more of them is not a pleasant one. No one wants to end up at their destination with allergy issues.

An airline will remove peanuts for a peanut allergy but do nothing for the people with pet allergies. In fact, it seems like more and more airlines are becoming pet friendly. If you want to avoid pet friendly airlines, here are the airlines I’ve found that do not allow pets in the cabin.

The list below is in alphabetical order so that you can easily search for an airline.

Pet-Free Airlines

Aer Lingus – only allows pets in the cargo hold

Aerolíneas Argentinas – only allows pets in the cargo hold

Air CanadaONLY flights to/from Hawaii have pet-free cabins

Air MaltaONLY flights to/from UK have pet-free cabins

Air New Zealand – only allows pets in the cargo hold

AlitaliaONLY flights to/from UK and Ireland have pet-free cabins

American AirlinesONLY flights to/from Hawaii, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela have pet-free cabins

British Airways – only allows pets in the cargo hold

Cathay Pacific – only allows pets in the cargo hold

Delta AirlinesONLY flights to/from Hawaii, the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong have pet-free cabins

El Al AirlinesONLY flights to London, Johannesburg, Hong Kong and Australia have pet-free cabins

Hawaiian AirlinesONLY flights to/from JFK airport have pet-free cabins

Japan Airlines – only allows pets in the cargo hold

LAN Airlines – only allows pets in the cargo hold

QantasONLY international flights have pet-free cabins

Singapore Airlines – only allows pets in cargo hold

SWISS AirONLY flights to Ireland, the UK, Kenya, South Africa, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates have pet-free cabins

US AirwaysONLY flights to/from Europe, South America, the Middle East, Antigua, Bridgetown Barbados, Montego Bay, Jamaica or St. Lucia have pet-free cabins

United AirlinesONLY flights to/from Australia, Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Italy and the UK have pet-free cabins

Virgin AmericaONLY the First Class cabin is pet-free

Virgin Atlantic – only allows pets in the cargo hold

Note: Service animals are generally exempt from pet-free cabin rules, so you may still find yourself on a flight with an animal in such an instance.

***Keep in mind that this info can change at any time – so if you have an allergy please confirm with the airline***

Each airline has pet travel information on their website, which you can confirm prior to booking.

If you see any airlines that I’ve missed, please let me know!

Some Of The Best iOS Apps For Hotel Deals


The fun thing about choosing hotel apps for the iOS is that they are remarkably similar to looking at search results for hotels on a search engine. The big boys in the hotel search industry are still topping rankings, and their companion apps are a good reason why. There really isn’t a huge difference in the prices found between the apps, so the big winner is always going to be which one is easiest to use.


The free Orbitz app in addition to hotels handles flights, cars and cruises. Repeated users can earn Orbitz rewards that can be anywhere from 2-5% of a discount. It has the ability to find discounted last minute deals, and has an easy pre-fill in system with single screen booking. To take advantage of a lot of the advanced features, signing up for free is necessary but well worth the effort.


This is the most commercially successful app due to the genius character the Priceline Negotiator. This app features the patented ‘Name your own price’ system that works for hotels, flights, and cars. The Priceline app is one of the earliest travel apps to adopt integration with the Apple Watch. It’s free and easy to sign up, and is just about the most trusted app on the list.


Whether it is flight, car, or hotel, the Kayak app is a very underappreciated system that uses an up to date and surprisingly effective search algorithm. It does much of the same as the other apps, but separates itself with one of the better designs and booking systems. Everything is in your face and easy to understand, with the Mytrips page being a gorgeous display of effective touch screen use. Stability improvements have made this recent version rock solid, and there is a newer version in the works that will make great use of a new notification system.

The popular website has an equally popular free app, with the infamous rewards deal still in effect. For every 10 nights you book with, you get 1 free. This is a great deal that blows away even what Orbitz offers as far as rewards. Options available including paying when you book or when you stay at a hotel, passbook storage, 24/7 customer support within the app, and a great storage system for your payment details. The information stored is encrypted well, better than any other app on this list.


Lastly is Expedia, which not only incorporates hotels, cars, and flight all into one app-they include activities as well. Through the easy to use interface, users can pretty much plan their entire trip from top to bottom without ever leaving the app. For heavy users, a point system is in effect called Expedia+, in which users can earn triple the points. Hotel check out notifications and other alarms are set automatically or manually at your leisure. If used properly, Expedia is the only travel app that is needed on any of your devices.

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