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43

Many phones have a silent, vibration only mode as part of the regular alarms. A cheap Fitbit Flex band will do that too. If a vibrating alarm isn't enough, you can get a wristband that delivers electric shocks to wake up, such as the Pavlok wristband (store): At first, it will act like any other alarm clock, with a gentle vibration to get you up. But if ...


33

I worked in a variety of hotels and hostels when I was a young backpacker and student. The simple answer is that it comes down to availability of rooms (or beds if you're staying in a dormitory). Most hotels will post a check-in time of around noon to give them time to get at least some some rooms ready for the earlier arrivals, but even that should never ...


25

Well I'm a bit of a sub-expert on this, having worked nine years in the hostelling industry and encountering them as a traveller once in India. There's a bit of a dirty little secret in the hospitality industry about just how bad the bed bug problem has been for the past few years. Apparently all the big/expensive hotel chains have been having problems - ...


24

Towels are 50/50 possible, depening on country and hostel. More hostels will rent towels, sometimes at a nominal price. One hostel I worked in in Australia used to provide free towels but we discovered we were often paying overtime to our laundry staff because people would use many towels just because they were free! We introduced a $1 fee per towel, ...


23

Immediately turn off your alarm after you're awake. So, keep the alarm very close to your ears, under or next to your cushion, or perhaps above your head, if your hostel bed allows for that. And find the lowest sound level that wakes you.


21

You should not feel self conscious about having to wake up early. We've all had to do this at some point during our (backpacking) travels, hence you can expect people to be tolerant about your early bird alarm. Having said this there are a few unwritten rules you should respect when having to get up early in the morning in a shared hostel room: Place your ...


20

Liking a hostel experience for a first-timer depends a lot on being prepared for what you're getting into. Whenever I've stayed with friends who are novice travellers or seen bad reviews from newbie hostellers for otherwise-great hostels, it has often been a case of them expecting something and then finding their preconceptions incorrect. Hostelling gets a ...


16

Almost always, you bring your own, however... Hostel sites like Hostelbookers often indicate whether or not items like towels are available for rent, or provided. Some I've seen will sell toothpaste and deodorant and the like. Personally, I bring a towel and toiletries, and almost always I've needed them. It's generally a surprise when I don't.


16

Practically every hotel I've had experience with (and the vast majority are budget hotels or hostels) permit an early check in if the room is ready. If it's not, they'll usually have no problem holding your bags for you until the room is ready, so you can drop off your things and go get lunch or see the town in the mean time. If you're ever in a situation ...


16

You can also get a vibrating alarm, which you can find in stores selling goods for hearing-impaired people.


15

It occurs to me that I've only ever stayed in one hostel in the US, and it was a 17 bed dorm of hell with a Russian snoring in it. Which is pretty much like every other hostel around the world ;) To be fair, I've been in a lot of hostels, some are good, some are bad, but for the most part they follow a similar pattern - dorms with bunks and a basic ...


15

As someone who travelled a lot and stayed in many hostels let me say I also saw similar behaviour in many places, not only hostels but also on buses and at tourist sites. This is not limited to South America, but also happens in South East Asia and India. When speaking to Israelis who travel alone and are usually a little bit older they confirmed my ...


15

Heck, if I arrive in my destination, I'm checking in. Hostel, B&B, hotel, never had a problem. Generally the only issue is that the room may not be ready. No problem, most of them have a place to store your bags, and then I'm free to explore the city or do whatever I wanted to do, and then come back later on and go to my room. The only time it was ...


14

30 Pounds are just 38 Swiss Franks. This isn't really a lot of money in Switzerland, so I don't think you will find anything that is really a lot of cheaper. Additionally, Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in Switzerland if not in the whole World. To make it worse, Geneva is the domicile of a lot of big organizations like for example UNO, CERN, ...


13

It very much depends on the hostel. Some provide amazing kitchens with multiple ovens, fridges and every utensil you can imagine. Others require a cash deposit to use pots, cutlery etc. Generally, no, you don't need to bring if it's a highly rated hostel on hostelbookers or hostelworld - read the reviews and if there's a "great kitchen" comment, it's a ...


13

Yes and no. Yes, because the 10% deposit they charge indeed goes to Hostelbookers.com, not the hotel. (See this thread.) No, because you, the backpacker, don't pay any extra. You can pay (say) $20 to book via HW, in which case HW takes $2 and the hostel keeps $18, or you can pay $20 to the hostel directly and they keep all of it. I presume HW insists on ...


12

Well one website did an investigation into this, and found: Garden Village Guesthouse in Siem Reap, Cambodia Which has beds for US$1 per night. To quote: But, there’s a catch… The $1 dorm beds are in a thatched-roof hut that is partially open to the elements. It appears that you do get a mattress, pillow, towel, and even a mosquito net, but ...


11

There's little you can do, apart from the obvious, depending how thorough you want to be: Check the photos - see if it shows the dorms and the layout Check the reviews, hopefully you left a review about it, and others may have too. Email them - ask the layout of the room and any other suitable questions. Or even call them - a friendly chat will also let ...


11

OK, some time, so I've found the three best candidates that I can, although not all are entire planes...or in planes... First up, we have the Floridian Fly-in home + aircraft - you can rent a home, which comes WITH a plane and pool! Next, Hughes' Cosmic Muffin. This is a plane that was owned by Howard Hughes, now converted into ... a house boat. The ...


11

You're confused: requiring the expiration date and the 3- or 4-digit code at the back has nothing to do with being a “US credit card”. Girocard is a German payment network. It can only be used to pay for things in Germany. You can't use it in other countries, European or otherwise. Many Girocard cards are simultaneously Maestro or V PAY cards. Those are ...


11

Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your stomach might also work. Avoid sleeping on your back at any rate. Sometimes if I sleep on my stomach I get circulation problems to various areas of my body that I don't seem to get any other time. This never happens when sleeping on my side however. Also keep an eye on yourself. If you notice at any point that you've ...


10

When I was traveling in Switzerland and wanted to see Geneva, I would actually stay at a small hotel in Lausanne, some 45 minutes away, but along the main railroad line. At a much lower rate than Geneva itself. Geneva is a "destination," city, hence expensive. Anything "outside" of it would be far cheaper. But Switzerland is a small country, so "outside" of ...


10

I went to university in Burnaby. It's not hard to get to, but it's also not central and you miss out on a lot of the benefits of staying in central Vancouver. Plus the skytrain doesn't run much later than midnight so if you want to experience the Vancouver night life you're going to be spending a lot on taxis. Even though my commute to school was over ...


10

No, there are no nudist hostels, but [Yes @user10134 has pointed to a clothes optional hostel] you can easily find some nudist campsites in Europe or even some nudist hotels. Note that some naturist campsites only allow you to camp there if you are a couple to prevent voyeurs.


10

I contacted the Guernsey Information Centre, North Plantation, St Peter Port, GY1 2LQ Email: info.centre@cultureleisure.gov.gg There response was simply: "Sorry we do not have hostels in Guernsey only normal camp sites"


10

Typical "earliest checkin" times are between 12:00 and 16:00 - but if your concern is luggage, it's not really relevant as pretty much all hostels and hotels offer to safely store your luggage for you before checkin and after checkout. Some Hostels additionally have personal lockers, since dormitories are more or less publically accessible, so you don't ...


10

Hotel/Hostel Late Check-in Most hostels and hotels don't care what time you check-in, simply because they have staff manning the reception 24h. Nevertheless, it is good policy to warn them in advance if you plan on arriving late, to avoid them considering you as a no-show and cancelling your booking. In your case, I would say that midnight is not really a ...


10

I've slept in Orly airport (Paris's other international airport) - we connected a few rows of chairs together and were able to stretch out across them, slept remarkably well until the morning passengers started arriving around 4.30-5am. I would presume CDG would be similar. My go-to resource for this is usually SleepinginAirports. Their page on CDG ...


9

Would you believe, there's a website called BedBugSigns? From the site: It can be hard to tell if you've got them or not, because they are pretty small, only come out for very short periods, and because they are pretty good at hiding. First off, you should look for some key signs. Waste - Bed bugs create a lot of waste, and that is harder to hide than ...


9

The Gazebo Golden Bay Backpackers in Takaka, New Zealand is clothing-optional, open December through March each year. Close to the nude beaches and a promoter of the local Naked Bike Ride. Quote: All levels of dress are acceptable.



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