Pros of staying at Hostels (and promotions)

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Saving in accomodation when you travel? Sure! Although when I travel I prefer staying with my fellow couchsurfers, sometimes having a good time at hostels is a nice adventure to discover by yourself and other travelers the best places of the city you are visiting!

I read in a blog that if you want to travel in May to Athens, Barcelona, Krakov, Dublin, Edimburgh, Lisbon, London,  Los Angeles, Melbourne or Rome  and you book your hostel at Hostelbookers, beds are 20 cents (not all of them, check the conditions)!! (don’t book them at HostelWorld if you want this deal).

Other promotions can be found on the chains like Hostelling International, where you can get free nights if you are travelling and staying at their places.

But…why a hostel? here are my reasons to stay in a hostel better than a hotel:

Pros of statying at hostels:

  1. Hostels usually are budget-oriented (check it before you go there because sometimes you can find cheap rooms for 2 in hotels, but rates are lower than hotels).
  2. Hostels also have private rooms like the hotels and private bathrooms too (usually you sleep in dorms with shared bathroom: girls separate from boys).
  3. Hostels have computers with internet connection or free WIFI for its travelers (I’ve never seen a hotel with free internet yet, they usually charge you 😦 )
  4. Hostels usually have more common areas and opportunities to socialize. The dormitory aspect of hostels also increases the social factor of meeting new people.
  5. Hostels have different activities every day: contests, parties, and other programs to share books, DVDs and other items. Sometimes they have agreements with gyms or other activities in the city  for free or cheaply.
  6. Hostels do not usually have the same level of formality as hotels, you can find young people at the office desk with piercings, tatoos or just part time workers that are at university and it’s always good vibes.
  7. Almost all the hostels provide you with breakfast, although it’s a self-catering action: they provide you the food and you organize your breakfast. For lunch and dinner, you cook the food you buy using the recipy your mom teach ;). Usually hostels have one kitchen or more.
  8. Some hostels offers you the opportunity to stay there for a while, you can deal a better price for your staying, and some of them offer you the option to work over there if you want, like the one in Flagstaff, AZ.

Cons of staying at hostels:

  1. It depens on your life style, maybe the reasons above are not for you, but if everyone is clean and we use hostels facilities and we leave them as we find them , I just think there’s no reason on having cons and enjoy some nights at the hostel 😉

And you guys, do you think there’s more cons? more pros? help me to settle the list up!!! Safe travels!

Keep Austin Weird!

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For me, Austin is one of the best cities in the United States, my last time in the city, I said to myself I would come back. Yes, Austin is  a mix between cowboys and country, but the city and its citiziens have an aternative and liberal behaviour! Austin has something special, has a perfect mix and I recomend y’all visiting it !!

Austin is the capital of Texas, one of the southern states from the United States of America and also one of the biggest ones (after Alaska), also called the Lone Star State

Families, kids, professors, students, immigrants, politicians, musicians, state employees, high-tech workers, a large gay community and hippies are living in this city and all of them are sharing the mentality of the slogan “Keep Austin Weird“, this slogan refers to the eclectic and liberal lifestyle of many Austin residents but is also the slogan for a campaign to preserve smaller local businesses to keep them safe against the big corporations.

My favourite place is the SoCo,  an amazing district stretching down South Congress Avenue from Downtown. This area is the home to coffee shops, eccentric and old stores, restaurants and festivals.  First Thrusdays (every month) are the best days to go and enjoy life music on the streets.

Austin City Limits is also an amazing opportunity to enjoy the music in one of the biggest music festivals in the US, ACL Festival brings together more than 130 acts from all over the world to play rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and more on eight different stages. Thousands of people attend the festival each day.

There are so many things to visit and do in Austin, dartying near or 4th street, visiting the capitol, walking along the river… so many things to do and now SXSW festival is held over there (South By Southwest Music & Media Conference) (another recomendation you guys should attend if you can). As Lonely Planet is on everything, they offer Austin city guide for free as they did during the mobile web congress in Barcelona or the free city guide promotion,

So, don’t forget to download here the city guide to enjoy one of the best cities of the USA 😉 you will enjoy tips from Lonely Planet authors, offline maps, and everything you need to navigate Austin and find your way to a good time (for example a nice big breakfast after you had a bit too much of a good time the night before).

Enjoy it and hurry up! it’s available until March 15th!!!


City guides with your smartphone for free

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Before going to travel to a city, you have different options to get the information for a better exploration of the new place you are. That options are infinitive, depending on your relationship with locals (a lot of people have a lot of contacts everywhere in the world, or use sites like couchsurfing or hospitality club), or forums online, libraries,  bookstores for a Lonely Planet (my favourite guide) …so many places to get that information for really cheap and just  to take the best for their days in the new city.

But today, there’s another option also for free for having the information on your mobile device!

If you have a smartphone and want to travel to the major cities in the United States and Canada, this is the perfect time to download for free the 13 Lonely Planet city guides! The apps are available for free until tomorrow, February 4th (they are usually 5,99 USD) and they include: Hundreds of places to explore and points of interest of real interest, the maps work offline and all the information is in detail of the following cities:

Also available the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel

Yes, as you can see, they are only available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod, and I’m an android user 😦 !!

Tip: they are almost 20MG, so download from the Itunes or with a Wifi connection, the 3G connection can take forever!