All Posts by Lily

1 How To: Stay in Hostels

In a previous post, I talked about couchsurfing as a great way to eliminate lodging costs while traveling.  When couchsurfers aren’t available or I want to do my own thing without worrying about my host’s schedule, hostels are my next best resource for reducing my travel costs considerably.  Hostels are wonderful places to connect with other travelers and learn some great tips for things to see and do in the area or places to visit in the future. 

Hostel Kitchen

Many hostels have kitchens which will help you save on food costs. (Image credit: Brian)

Most hostels have kitchen areas, so you can make your own meals and save a lot of money that way, rather than eating out several times per day.  Often hostels offer other amenities as well, such as computer/internet access, free breakfasts, airport shuttle service, cheap tours, and lots of information about the area.  Some have pools, hot tubs, or barbeque grills.  Many offer a common area full of games, books, movies, and other things to do.

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1 How To: Couchsurf

Image credit: ChazWags

Image credit: ChazWags

I was first introduced to the concept in late 2005, just months before a planned trip to West Africa, with a multi-day stopover in Paris on the way home. 

“Have you ever heard of Global Freeloaders?” a friend asked me.

I laughed.  “No…what is it?”

“It’s a community of travelers that host other travelers for free in their homes, all over the world.”

I was instantly in love with the idea and quickly signed on.  I filled out a profile and listed myself as a host.

I then began scanning the profiles of members in Paris, France, Continue reading


How To: Earn Frequent Flyer Miles

I have literally flown all over the world on Frequent Flyer Miles, including to Benin (in West Africa), France, Ecuador, Mexico, Hawaii, and all over the continental U.S.  I have also used my miles to get plane tickets for friends and family members.  When I went to Ecuador, I had enough miles for two other people.  I got their tickets for them, and in exchange they covered some of my expenses for a trip to the Galapagos Islands.  As a result, I spent a mere $600 for two weeks on the islands, which are notoriously expensive!    Continue reading