MEININGER Hotel & Hostel, Salzburg – photos

Stunning budget accommodation in Austria, part of a chain

Stunning budget accommodation in Austria, part of a chain

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Traverse Brighton, April 2013


Finally – I booked to go to this travel blogging conference in the UK… this weekend!

Very last minute, but as I live in London and it’s in Brighton… I can definitely squeeze it in  🙂

Would have loved to have stayed for the full three days, but I am off to Athens for a work trip on Sunday. At least the main conference day (Saturday) I will be able to attend.

Traverse 2013 bills itself as being:

‘a brand new conference designed for travel bloggers who lead busy lifestyles and want to gain real hands on knowledge that they can apply to their own work. The conference aims to bring together travel bloggers, PR’s, tourist boards and travel companies to experience an alternative conference’.

There will be excellent speakers giving sound advice and great tips on how to really improve your blog and promote yourself. Speakers include professional bloggers, photographers, marketing and social media whizzes, freelance journalists and travel editors for major publications!

Of course, majority of the other attendees will be fellow bloggers of all ages and at all stages with their blogs. The purpose is to learn, network and hopefully exchange lots of info and support each other in our similar quests. I have met a few bloggers at other major travel conferences before. This time is different though, as I am not there to represent the OTA I work for, but for myself! Ryan Bennett of RyansAirAdventures! See the world for less.

Hopefully it will be easy enough to book some 1:1 time with the professionals (Pro Bars) who are holding personal chats with us bloggers. There are even competitions to win while at this event. The first includes a seven day ship cruise around Italy, Spain & France courtesy of MSC Cruises (a sponsor). The second is courtesy of Visit Denmark and includes a few weekend packages to Copenhagen for multiple winners – with the aim for one of the bloggers to win the title of “Visit Denmark’s Blogger of the Year”.

The following people will be on panels or invited as guest speakers:

  • Steve Keenan

» Travel Perspective

  • Tom Robinson

» Tom Robinson Photography

  • Kirsten Alana

» Aviators and a Camera

  • Greg Brand

» Travizeo

  • Adrian Land

» My Destination

  • Julie Falconer

» A Lady In London

  • Kevin May

» Tnooz

  • Matt Preston

» Places To Go
» Travel with a mate

  • Frankie Thompson

» As The Bird Flies Blog

  • Jayne Gorman


  • Jodi Ettenberg


  • Ruth Haffenden

» Four bgb

  • Will Peach

» The Gonzo Traveller

  • Liz Scarff


  • Carol Driver


  • Chris & Hannah Alford


I’m really excited now… flying by the seat of my pants! If you read this and are attending – please let me know.

Check out the full details on the Traverse website

Happy travels!


BASE Backpackers St.Kilda – photos

Great brand, very cool in a premier beach location

Great brand, very cool in a premier beach location

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Big hostel brands set for European expansion in 2013

Awesome, modern hostel accommodation done properly by the big brands! Opening now!


Hostel chains expanding in 2013: News keeps on breaking of big, well-known, award-winning chains expanding to all parts of the globe.  This is especially true in Europe – where student, family and budget travel for business and independent travellers shows no signs of slowing down.  A demand for trusted and cool budget accommodation is literally hitting new highs!

This is possibly fueled by the global financial crisis that we still find ourselves in…. ironically, somewhat complimenting our budget accommodation industry who are left asking ‘What GFC?!’ People still travel and it seems that what was not an option for some previously, now is… the rise of the hostel, or the concept of what a hostel should be and offer, keeps on adapting in these hard times and is reaping the benefits. People from hotel backgrounds are cashing in on the hostel product, bringing their expertise to the market.

For most…

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ACATUR tackles illegal hostels in Barcelona

Barcelona’s illegal accommodations targeted for closures


Barcelona is booming. Tourism levels are at an all-time high… and everyone wants a piece of the Catalan pie! Unfortunately, it’s only natural with so many properties on offer to tourists that some are going to be ‘illegal’…. Times are tough in Spain – people want to make money… but at what cost? At who’s detriment?

As Product Manager of HostelBookers, I have learned that especially over the past few years there has been an alarming influx of these ‘illegal’ properties trying to infiltrate the market. This may mean that they:

A. operate without a business license altogether OR

B. operate without a valid business license IE – not a true representation of the type of license they should hold, in comparison to what they are

While a lot of these licenses are legible in the various languages they are submitted in, it is also quite common that they…

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25 Cool Hostel chains worth staying in

Backpacking your way around the world?! Check out these reputable hostel chains and organisations


…… in no particular order

1. Generator – founded in London, soon to open its tenth EU hostel – a juggernaut! Check them out

2. St.Christopher’s– teamed up with the ‘Beds & Bars’ group, funky, chilled, food and drink, good EU locations

3. Oasis – Lisbon, Malaga, Seville, Granada…. all very cool

4. Base– Australian & Kiwi hospitality at its best

5. Sant Jordi– an incredible 6 locations in Barcelona

6. Equity Point – great quality properties in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and USA

7. Flying Pig – Amsterdam, Uptown & Downtown… and by the beach in Noordwijk

8. Home– two central in Valencia, one in Barcelona… chilled

9. Dizzy Daisy – cool, four Polish locations and one Prague

10. Nest– funky Spanish, a favourite for travellers in Granada, Valencia, Barcelona, San Sebastian

11. Hatters – UK: Liverpool, Birmingham & Manchester

12. Smart – UK: multiple…

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St.Christopher’s Bahaus hostel – photos

Bruge hostel institution - a jewel in he Belgium budget accommodation crown

Bruges hostel institution – a jewel in the Belgium budget accommodation crown

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