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Here’s the thing: Living the American Dream is expensive.
If your income is unpredictable or fixed, as it is for self-employed and retired Americans like my husband Hank and me, the financial weight of home ownership and a rising cost-of-living can feel overwhelming and render travel an unaffordable luxury you once enjoyed.
I asked my 22-year-old niece, just back from summer travels in Europe, to give us the inside scoop on hosteling. Learn her list of myth-busting tips and packing must-haves.
AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO HOSTELING
by Madeleine Clute
My first foray into hosteling was at the end of high school when some friends and I took a road trip to Quebec, Canada, and it’s been my preferred method of seeing new places since. Most recently, my friend Elizabeth and I traveled on students’ budgets for 30-days in Europe, spanning 10 cities and 8 countries, primarily staying in hostels.
For me, hosteling has been a lot of fun. But when I talk to friends about it, they seem apprehensive. The resistance I’ve encountered has ranged from the normal “but I’d be sleeping in a room with strangers!” to the absurd ,“but what if they’re after my organs?!” (this was after said friend watched the movie 2005 horror movie, Hostel, one too many times).
I’m going to be honest with you: I would have never guessed that at the age of fifty I’d be a nomad.
Here’s the thing: I’m a homebody at heart and up until a few years ago I viewed the contentment of home and the thrill of exploration as mutually exclusive destinations.
Then my husband, Hank, and I set off on a multi-year journey with a vague plan of temporarily inhabiting Latin America and the adventure opened my eyes and heart to new truths about myself and the world around me.