I toured around the US with a bunch of my friends and to make bill paying easier we set up a weekly kitty to pay for hotels, petrol (sorry, gas) bottled water and chocolate.
This seems obvious but lots of people divide as they're going along. We were putting 350 dollars a week into the kitty and then just paid for the bills out of that. No adding or dividing to do. No "I owe you" dramas. Hotel clerks loved us.
Keep the money in an envelope in the glove compartment. When you're not in the car, whoever was sitting in the front passenger seat last is responsible for safeguarding the envelope.
Recycle the envelope at the end of the trip.
Two summers ago I went with my partner to the Isle of Mull in Scotland
for our summer holiday. We camped on a wildly beautiful beach for a
week (I feel guilty to say where - to spoil the secret - but there are
plenty to choose from) and then we treated ourselves to two nights in
a little luxurious hotel. There are also loads of beautiful bed and
breakfasts and little hotels and we have never eaten so well in our
lives - always fresh local produce, lots of fish and home grown
We had such an amazing time that last Summer we decided to
go to Scotland again - this time to the Isle of Skye and then across
to Harris. Again I feel guilty to tell the secrets of this place but
the beaches on Harris in particular are mindblowingly beautiful. When
we show people our holiday pictures, they don't believe it is Scotland
- white white sand beach - all to ourselves, with turquoise blue sea
and the most serene mountain backdrop.
We had two days of horrible
rain but the rest of the time it was blazing sun- we both came home
with deep tans after 10 days. On the 2 days that it rained we went sea
The Yosemite Bug is a holiday resort for backpackers as well as people wanting a bit more luxury. You can stay there for as long as you want. They have a variety of accommodation including tents, cabins and dormitories. I stayed in the dorms on a 2.5 day package. The beds are much bigger than you normal hostel style beds and the everything is very clean.
Food is served three times a day at the Bug Bar which does very lovely and more importantly fresh food for a great price. The Bug offers guided tours of Yosemite which can be as easy or demanding as you want them to be. All staff live in the park and know everything you ever wanted to know about the geology, people and animals in this amazing place.
After a day of hiking you can relax in the resorts Spa which has a Jacuzzi and Sauna and offers massages and reiki.
I spent 2.5 days there an thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish I could have stayed longer. The atmosphere is very chilled and relaxed and the people who work there are friendly and helpful. Yosemite is an awesome place for hikers, climbers and people who just want to get away from it all.
The Bug is great because it is very informal but the service is great and it doesn't have the 'touristy' feel some of the bigger hotel chains have in the Yosemite Valley like Curry Village.
YARTS is a bus which caters for hikers wanting to get in and out of the park. It stops about 100 meters for the resorts' entrance: www.yarts.com/
Both Greyhound and AMTRAK Services go to Yosemite as well.
Glenelg Beach is a pretty beachfront suburb, about 20 minutes from the centre of Adelaide, popular with locals who want to escape at the weekend. The golden sandy beach, quaint jetty and side-walk cafes are paired with coastal reserves, nature trails and boats off on dolphin cruises.
The Glenelg Beach Hostel is like much of Glenelg beach, modern and funky with a kitsch seaside feel. The hostel is housed in Alexander Terrace, a Victorian house that has been converted into dormitories and private rooms. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and refreshingly bunk-bed free. You also get a free breakfast served alongside brilliant beach views, and with a brand-spanking new lounge bar and beer garden (complete with DJs!), you can return home to a pint of Pale Ale after a day's sightseeing.
A hostel, or more specifically an apartment, with three rooms and 10 beds. It was 15 Euro per night and provides a comfortable base to explore the beautiful villages and surrounds of Le Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riomaggiore Between La Spezia and Genova
Extremely relaxed B&B/hotel, far enough from Duval to be out of noise range, close enough to still be in walking/staggering distance. Named after a former resident cat, it has an excellent pool, clothing optional sun deck, and semi-private balcony if you take the top room (though taller people may have slight problems with the size of the bed in that room, it really is worth it for the views.)
709 Truman Avenue, Key West, FL 33040
Couple of miles away from Portugese-Spanish border in a remote mountainous corner. Well laid and not expensive rooms. Owners very welcoming and helpful and can help you up to get to the hot springs on the Spanish side.
Off the village of Lindoso on the way to the lake
In the 1930's a Norwegian immigrant called Helmuth Deetjen and his wife went to Big Sur, California. They bought 120 acres of land in the Castro Canyon and started to build their home. Before the famous highway One coastal road was built in 1937 Castro Canyon was a stopover for travellers. The Deetjens welcomed overnight guests and thus The Big Sur Inn was created. Over years Deetjen built Norwegian-style rooms, each with different names. They were all built by Deetjen and friends using locally milled scavenged redwood. Rooms are rustic and are still the way they were built by Deetjen. There are no TV's or phones and the rooms have wood burning stoves and the doors have no locks. The restaurant serves amazing food and has cosy jolly piano fuelled evenings with locals and guests. We stayed in the 13th Room which was out of this world!
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
48865 Highway One
+1 (831) 667-2377
If you fancy escaping from the frenetic pace of Phuket's beach-and-bar tourism, this little oasis of yogic calm situated off the beaten track is pretty, welcoming and comfortable.
Family-owned, the place attracts a more laid-back tourist, with many long-term visitors and repeat guests available to offer tips on the best beaches and spots to watch the sunset, for the as-yet uninitiated. There's a small pool, a sociable lounge/dining area and an in-house masseuse, plus a morning yoga class available to book if that takes your fancy.
There's also absolutely fantastic food, freshly cooked to order all day. Try the Shanti Delight, and I challenge you to be able to order anything else for the rest of your stay - you'll be hooked!
Shanti Lodge, near Wat Chalong temple. You can print a map from the website and show it to taxi drivers from Phuket airport.
I just spent a week back in my old town Cork. Stayed here and could not believe the value. Got a room for just €69 a night. For a 4-star hotel with a leisure centre and good location I was more than pleased. Will be back.
I spent two weeks in Asha Cottage and I can confirm it's really an incredibly beautiful place owned by a very nice family. John, Dominique and Anthony Owen, their cute little boy, are the type of people who are not easy to find. I spent days snorkelling (the reef is wonderful with a lot of incredible fish) having massages, drinking fresh fruit juices on the nice beach terrace watching the beach. The food is good and the location is wonderful, very romantic during the night with candle light. In Diani the beach is white and very long and wide, and I was able to take long walks every day.
There are loads of backpacker hostels in Brisbane, especially in the Fortitude Valley with its buzzing nightlife.
But this award-winning hostel really goes the extra mile, with free pick up from the train station and a 'travel agency' for booking tours and surfing trips at cheap rates. The super-friendly staff will even help with finding a job on your travels!
The private rooms are like trendy loft apartments, but the amazing bar and cafe 'Birdee Num Num' comes as standard, with Sunday BBQ 'sessions', live music most nights, and an outdoor heated pool for late-night pool parties.
The best bit about this hostel? The on-site spa for a spot of pampering - a welcome to weary backpackers everywhere after weeks on the road.
Best place to book your accommodation in Lisbon. Their website allows you to search and book from their vast array of apartments all situated around the city centre. They suit all budgets and needs and also have lots of photos of each apartment so you can choose the perfect one for you.
They will also send someone to meet you on arrival who will give you the lowdown on what to do, where to go and how to get there. A truly excellent service.
They go out of their way to please, from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
Slottsskogens Vandrarhem is the greatest youth hostel I've ever been to. It's pretty much central to Gothenburg, and it's immaculately clean - from the huge, friendly communal kitchen to the airy, wood-furnished bedrooms. The staff are an absolute pleasure (and handily all speak perfect English), there's free internet and free bike hire, perfect for exploring the city and its glorious coastline. Although we didn't try it, there was a spectacular looking traditional Swedish breakfast on offer for a few Kronor. The atmosphere inside was brilliant too - we went as two girls just visiting for fun, and we met Erasmus students waiting for term to start, people backpacking across the world, and most days and nights we ended up doing stuff with them too. Honestly, I can't recommend it enough. It's also really near the Haga district of the city, the traditional old beautiful town with gorgeous cafes, and it's across the road from a frequent main tram line.
Just on the road to Humahuaca Gorge, Yala is a small village, famous for its lagoons, surrounded by the amazing landscapes of Las Yungas.
By the Yala River, La Casona del Camino Real offers lodging in comfortable private rooms and the services of Gourmet restaurant.
Adress: Pedro Ortiz de Zarate sn , Yala, Jujuy .
+54 388 4909263
13 kms fron San Salvador de Jujuy
Riad Maizie is a friendly, relaxed and comfortable place to stay. Although it's only a few minutes walk from all the bustle it's beautiful, calm and quiet. We were made so welcome by James, Abdulillah and Amal and would love to go back.
95 Derb al Kadi
This is the real thing - an authentic traditional riyad beautifully presented with courtyards orange trees fountains and tiling and best of all tranquil even though it is in the heart of the old city. The staff were the most attentive and friendly we have ever encountered and nothing was too much trouble and their advice on trips was excellent. The breakfast and lunch were unmissable and yes they really were included in the price as was the afternoon tea properly made in a china pot. Try the mint tea.
This is definitely a memorable place to stay.
This is a great auberge (hotel-restaurant) just above Nice in a cute little provincial village just one hours drive. But it's worth it. The view is magnificent and so is the food. The french chef really makes you feel how he loves what he does. Everything is homemade with fresh produce, which in the summer, comes from the organic farm which he runs with his english wife. Good value too! Menu 31 and 36 euros. But you must reserve as they're very popular on the weekend and during the summer.
Take the RN202 Route de Digne to Puget Theniers and then turn right across a new suspended bridge. In the centre of the village of La Penne just 13kms from Puget Theniers
This is a very old castle, with beautiful frescoes, enormous wrought iron chandeliers hanging by ropes from the ceiling, stone staircases and shutters on the windows that you can wander in and out of as though it were your own home. You don't need to take a book, you'll discover a new writer in the library or a classic you always meant to read or something someone once told you about, then you can take it and settle in a hammock under the magnolia trees with a glass of something delicious that will have appeared as if by magic. Or, if you're feeling more energetic, Clark might let you help him in the garden, weeding, planting, trimming and designing. After dinner, if you are not still in the thrall of the good company you have shared it with, you can take a walk round the gardens lit by candles in the trees, see the owls swooping overhead and identify plants by their smell.
Castello di Galeazza, Via Provanone, 8585, 40010 Galeazza di Crevalcore, Bologna, Italy
Tel. (+39) 051 985 170
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