Hostel / Hotel / Camping Question

Not_Crazy_Yet

Not_Crazy_Yet

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#1
So if you have read my EU vacation thread you know I am planning a trip to EU/UK this year. So I have been liking at reviews of hostels and hotels along my course of travel. I have had an idea also. I know lots of people backpackers across Europe and it made me think. Are there campgrounds that may be cheaper to stay in? But I also think surely there are no campgrounds in large cities like London, but I could be wrong. I don't plan on going very far off the beaten path though, at least not for this trip.

Hostels are something we don't have in the US. In fact I'm certain that the only reason your average American knows they exist is due to the "Hostel" horror movie. That being said I'm ignorant of how they work. I know you pay for your night/nights stay in advance (which is different than a lot of American hotels) I know you have a bunk in a dormitory which may or may not be coed with up to 32 bunks in that dorm. The bathrooms and showers are sort of communal. And that's about the bulk of my knowledge of hostels. Many hostels have a bar on the premises and some are age restricted and may or may not have a curfew. What I'm curious about particularly in London is do hostels normally have an area with a cooktop/microwave for preparing food? If I swing by tesco I could pick up some groceries and save money on food.

For my stay in Amsterdam I think I'm going to try and book the flying pig-downtown location. I'm still researching hostels in Paris and London. Its amazing to me that lodging can be as affordable as $12 USD in non peak times. As a scale I bought a sandwich at a sit down restaurant yesterday and my bill was $12.28 plus the tip. So for the price I paid for 1 meal is more than the cost of a room for the night in one of the worlds largest cities. Crazy. Of course those $12 places are prob dirty and loud and fill up fast but still. They seem to be an average of $20 thru the week. A stay in a crack whore motel in Georgia is like $60-70 and higher on weekends. A stay at a decent hotel is easily $100 a night, that's in the suburbs in Atlanta it could easily be double or more.

So any pointers about hostel living? Things to watch out for, or general safety tips/ dos and donts?

Thanks.
 
tiltawhirl

tiltawhirl

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#2
a bit off topic, but consider the locations. you are going to be doing a lot of walking. People in Amsterdam don't use cars the way we do in the US, more bike traffic and walking. So you will do most of your sight seeing walking. You can take a canal boat tour which would be better than a taxi and that would be the only transportation other than your own 2 feet. There are plenty of places to sit, people watch and take a break.

In all the cities you mention, there are local street vendors for quick eats. I would do that before any american fast food chain. and much more affordable. I would do that before I would return to cook something myself, that's not really very efficient. We did carry homemade sandwiches for long drives (or
bus for you).
 
Not_Crazy_Yet

Not_Crazy_Yet

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#3
Im not afraid to do a little walking. I walk prob 10 miles a week. I don't have a car at the moment so I go grocery shopping quite often because I can only carry so much. If I walk to walmart and back that's about 5 miles round trip.

I know there will be plenty of street vendors and I'm sure I'll eat my share, but if I could trim down here and there I could stay for a bit longer.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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#4
The Youth Hostel website shows cheap hostels around the UK, and also links in to international hostels.
YHA Youth Hostels January Sale | 25% Off Stays | Online Only

Contrary to the name of the organisation, you don't have to be a young person to book a stay.
Depending on the hostel, you can book a bed in a shared dorm or a private room - all at a pretty reasonable rate.
 
Not_Crazy_Yet

Not_Crazy_Yet

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#5
The Youth Hostel website shows cheap hostels around the UK, and also links in to international hostels.
YHA Youth Hostels January Sale | 25% Off Stays | Online Only

Contrary to the name of the organisation, you don't have to be a young person to book a stay.
Depending on the hostel, you can book a bed in a shared dorm or a private room - all at a pretty reasonable rate.
Thanks for that. I've been googling various services. Maybe this is more inclusive of places to stay.

I have had a thought. Its a little sneaky. I wonder if I were to buy a piece of land in England with the intention of building a "tiny house" on it would the US govt find out about it? As a disabled person you're only allowed to own $2K in assets. I found a piece of wooded land for £15K. A "tiny house" in America is hard to get approved as a domicile as building codes are very strict. I'd like to eventually expatriate to either the Uk or Mexico. My first choice was the Netherlands but if you intend to naturalize there you have to give up your citizenship in all other countries. This would mean I would lose my US benefits. As far as Mexico is concerned the area I'm interested has recently been in the news as cartel violence there is at an all time high. People getting shot on the beaches of the million dollar resorts. How safe could the neighborhood be in the affordable areas when the RESORTS are fraught with gun violence?
 
Not_Crazy_Yet

Not_Crazy_Yet

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#6
I'll have to try and launch that in another browser. It doesn't work properly on my main browser. I was able to find a good selection of places I hadn't found on other sites. St pancras I believe it was called really stuck out for me due to 24hr access and the fact that its literally across the street from the train station that takes you into Paris. It seemed really affordable given the location. I also like that site as well as you can search without having to enter a date. That was the biggest hangup with the other services I was using. Recommended for anyone planning a stay in a hostel. I think it was from £16 a night. Of course busy seasons and weekends would be more but that's with any hostel I have found. Here in the States large hotels have varying prices like that but smaller chains often times have one set price. I'm gonna see if I can get it working in another browser. Since I busted my newer tablet I'm using a 7 year old tablet and it struggles to do much. I'd like to see what's in the neighborhood maybe I'll try google maps for that.
 
C

Coast2

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#7
Hi NCY,

I've stayed in hostels in Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Barcelona, Toronto, Vancouver, Barcelona to name a few. When I was in Amsterdam I stayed in Hostelle, an all female hostel. I love staying in hostels, the ones I've stayed in have been clean and safe. I really like meeting people from all over the world. Do your research and you'll be fine.

Buying a plot of land in the UK is not a good idea, you'll never get planning permission.
 
Not_Crazy_Yet

Not_Crazy_Yet

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#8
Hi NCY,


Buying a plot of land in the UK is not a good idea, you'll never get planning permission.
Drat. I figured that. Oh well. I could always rent a flat I suppose. I found some cool places on craigslist. According to the UK website I can live visa free in the Uk for 6 months, BUT I'd need to bring the same documents needed to apply for a visa. But that's a long term goal. This trip I just want to meet people and explore other cultures. And upon further thought I'd like to visit WW2 memorials and or museums while in Uk/Europe. It would be a shame to miss those.