Sunday, April 20th, 2014

How to Use Airbnb and Have a Great Experience

Airbnb has quickly become one of my favorite ways to find a place to stay around the world. This unusual lodging site has saved me a lot of money and led to some of my most memorable stays. While Airbnb was founded in 2008, it absolutely exploded in the past few years. I had my [...]

Visiting the Burj al Arab: The World’s Most Luxurious Hotel

I’m not a girl who dreams about hotels. I have some friends who work in the luxury hotel industry and they wax poetic about hotels they dream of visiting someday — hotels with plunge pools overlooking mountains, glass-bottomed overwater bungalows and 50,000 thread count sheets. Me? I get their fascination, but hotels aren’t my thing, [...]

The Sweet Sliema Life

When Mario and I first arrived in Sliema, he told me to keep my expectations low: “Don’t judge Malta until you see Valletta tomorrow.” I could see what he meant — Sliema didn’t look overtly appealing during our evening arrival. Traffic raced along the water’s edge; the sidewalks were filled with kiosks. Pubs catered to [...]

Why Don’t More Backpackers Come to Malta?

Is Malta a great country for backpackers? Absolutely. It’s fun, it’s cheap, it’s got nice hostels, it’s easy to get to and get around. But are there backpackers here? Very few. I was shocked at how few people I saw actually backpacking Malta. Sure, there are lots of young people with backpacks, but they tend [...]

Ask Kate: How Do I Find Cool Hostels (Not Party Hostels)?

Though I used to be all about the party hostels, today I’m all about the cool hostels — ones that aren’t about partying but relaxing, socializing, and having a great time. In this week’s question, I show a reader how to find those hostels. Hi Kate (or Kate community), I was reading your blog post [...]

Sweet Digs and Artsy Days in Vienna

Every now and then, I come across a unique hotel or hostel that I love so much, I can’t stop raving about it to everyone I know. Sometimes they’re places I discover on my own, like Monkey Republic. Sometimes they come highly recommended from friends, like Gallery Hostel. And on occasion, they are places that [...]

Living it Up in Hip Kreuzberg, Berlin

Long before arriving in Berlin, I knew it was a city for hipsters.  But Berlin is a gargantuan place — several times the size of Paris.  Just where was the hippest neighborhood of all? I started researching and saw people say that both Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg were very cool places to live.  But they [...]

My Favorite Hostels

Hostels have played such a huge role in my travels and my life — especially party hostels.  If I added up the happiest memories of my travels, hostels would be responsible for quite a few of them.  Most of my closest travel friendships began in hostels as well. At the same time, though, I’m getting [...]

Living the Parisian Life in Saint-Germain-des-Pres

When I first landed in Paris at age 16, my favorite neighborhood was Montmartre.  The artists, the views, the hills — it just captivated me. But as I grew up, I found myself falling for an entirely new neighborhood.  Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the sixth arrondissement. Saint-Germain is located on the Left Bank of the Seine, just southwest [...]

Ask Kate: Affordable Accommodation that Isn’t Hostels

This week, we have a question about long-term travel for people done with the hostel scene. Hi Kate, I am hoping to travel through England, Ireland, and Scotland this year around July-October, but with limited money.  My biggest cost will be accommodation.  I will be 53 years old, travelling alone, and not really wanting the backpacker [...]