The top 16 hostels in Europe for the traveler on a budget

Most people think staying in a hostel means having nightmares in terribly shabby rooms that resemble

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Stand Alone

index

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Carrying On

Ah, Wednesday, the morning I focus on my interwebs interactions. Web Wednesdays, if you will. Since my return to self-employment I’ve had trouble keeping track of the passage of time [they’re ALL work days now] and have taken to using alliteration as a pnemonic device in order to keep to some semblance of a schedule – Money Mondays, Travel Tuesdays, Web Wednesdays, etc. Which means today I am due to upload my newest blog post, stunning you all with my essential, earth-shattering, life-changing words of wisdom.
Yeah, I got nothin’.
But, seeing as I’m currently held hostage by wet nail polish, typing is about the only thing I can accomplish. Which reminds me, I need to pack that colour. Yes, I’m a girl, we wear makeup. We even take it travelling, we just need to remember to pack it in a zip-lock bag and make sure each item is under 100mL or they’ll throw it out at the security check, no matter how expensive it is. Shi… sugar. I haven’t packed my carry-on yet.
Pro Tip #1: You’re not totally helpless while your nails dry. It turns out you can also eat brownies with ganache and cream, as long as someone else brings it to you.IMG_1306
 Turns out the housemates could hear, from the other end of the house, the sound of me smacking the nail polish bottle against the palm of my hand, understood this as the universal signal for ‘she’s going to be functionally useless for a while’,  and took pity on me. [Girls, it also means I won’t be able to do the dishes for… the rest of the day, at least. Maybe a week. Soz.]
So, with three weeks until I depart for my long anticipated European adventure, it’s time to gather the last-minute essentials. In addition to a clothing bag [which was packed last week and has been *so* much fun to live out of], I pre-pack the carry on as well and use only what’s in those bags until I leave, in order to make sure I won’t forget anything I need. Because, you know, it’s totally possible to anticipate everything you’ll require on the other side of the world and simulate said location from the comfort of your own bedroom.
I did have some success in obtaining a few of the last items on my pre-travel shopping list this week, with a trip to the discount chemist. Not my local haunt, but when you need bulk antihistimine it’s a necessary pitstop [for some reason I’m allergic to a lot of foreign flora, but have never had allergy issues in my home country – has anyone else had that problem? Let me know in the comments.] Walking in, I turned a corner headed for the prescription counter and ran into this wall of awesome:
2016-04-29 09.46.07.jpeg
Normally I avoid the pre-selected travel ‘essentials’ because I’m trying to be a greenie, dammit, and they’re usually just smaller packages at the same price as the bigger ones -but not this time. 2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner, hand sanitiser, moisturisers, dry shampoos, lip balms, toothpaste, facial wipes, earplugs etc., all travel size, all at a couple of dollars each. And see the little orange things at the bottom left-hand corner? They’re compact shopping bags in a little drawstring pouch shaped like a carrot. For A DOLLAR. I made out like a bandit. [I also emailed this pic to the group I’m organising travel for. I’m nothing if not a sharing, giving, lovely, nice pers-STOP LAUGHING].
Pro Tip #2: If you’re going away for longer than a few weeks and you’ve got more than half a head of hair, take a decent sized 2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner in your checked luggage. Just trust me. Travel size isn’t gonna cut it.
And just because I love these, Here’s What’s In My Bag:Untitled-1
-Phone [not pictured. Was taking photos with it] and charger
-Passport and travel docs [also not pictured. Just because.]
-Wallet, sunglasses, driving glasses [am hella short-sighted]
-Filter water bottle [empty. You can’t take more than 100mL of liquid onto a plane. The hosties will fill it for you if you ask nicely]
-Neck pillow, eye mask, earplugs
-Watch [I put it on after going through security]
-Moisturiser, face mist, lip balm, facial wipes [it gets dry up there] and hand sanitiser [it gets gross up there]. Also bandaids. I’m a klutz.
-Hair ties [essential]
-Versatile scarf [can be worn around neck, head or shoulders, many different ways. Also as a pillow, blanket or shawl]
-Notebook and pens
-European adaptor
-Camera, lenses, battery packs, chargers, any camera accessories
-Kindle and charger
-Laptop and charger. Yes, that’s a 15-inch MacBook Pro. Yes, it’s heavy as shit. No, I will not leave it at home. No, I will not check it. This is what happens when you pack anything resembling electronics in your checked luggage:
2014-09-27 23.26.19.jpgThis happened at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris a few years ago [oh, I will name and shame. CDG, you’ve got a bad reputation for this. People were surprised this happened, until I told them where. Might want to work on that]. When they couldn’t cut through my TSA-standard locks they busted the zips themselves, making the bag unusable for travel. They didn’t steal anything, even placed the locks in the front pouch before zipping it all back up. The electronics they detected? Nothing but charger cables and battery packs. So yeah, now I have to stash those in my carry on as well. Sigh. The damn thing will be heavier that I am.
Well, my nails are dry. Time to find something productive to do, like making a playlist for my upcoming birthday celebrations, or trying on all my travel clothes and taking photos of all the possible combinations, or watching an Indiana Jones movie. Decisions, decision.
See you next Web Wednesday :) and May The Fourth Be With You!!!
Abby xx
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