When we started to plan our 6 month backpacking trip last year we knew we had to hop on a train to travel around Europe. Every blog, every article, people we have talked to, all of them have said that traveling Europe by train is a must. So we purchased our Eurail passes from Rail Europe and set off to explore the European continent.
When we first set off on the road we were nervous about staying in hostels. The first thing people would say to us when they heard that we would be staying in hostels was "Really? Be safe!". Not too many Americans have stayed in hostels and the first thing that comes to mind is the movie "Hostel" where Jay Hernandez' character gets drugged and dragged to a place where members of a underground society get to kill people. I can put that to rest right now; no one tried to drug us and our kidneys are still intact.
After our first couple of stays and meeting some colorful people, Laurie and I actually came to really enjoy staying in hostels. Read 6 Months Backpacking: Light Wallet, Rich Heart where I discuss the pros of staying in hostels. We met some great people and had great conversations with other travelers. The sense of community is the reason we will continue to stay in hostels on future trips.
Of course, there are some hostels that are better than others (just like hotels). Whether it's the staff, cleanliness, amenities, etc. there are things that will make your stay better or worse. I crafted a list of our favorite hostels that we stayed in on our 6 month backpacking trip. We hope on your next trip you'll give them a try.
When we first started to plan our backpacking journey, travel insurance was the last thing on our minds. We were too busy thinking about our passports, visas, leaving our jobs, selling our house and everything else you could think of when you decide to leave the country for 6 months. We still have the mentalities of young millennials who don't really think about going to the doctor until they are coughing up blood. Now having purchased travel insurance I can say it is probably the most important item we purchased for our trip.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope you haven't started drinking yet. In celebration of the holiday I've decided to write about 4 reasons why you should visit the Emerald Isle. I've always wanted to visit Ireland since I was a kid. I blame it on my mom's previous boss who was from Ireland; my mom would always bring me to her job after school and I used to love the way her boss spoke, telling us about her homeland. Finally being able to visit Ireland was an amazing experience and one I would like to repeat. So grab a Guinness and enjoy the read!
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Traveler. Blogger. Amateur Photographer. "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." - Helen Keller.