Two weeks in to our adventure and we have of course discovered this out. We of course were not expecting that everything would all be the same, but there are definitely differences and Sam and I definitely have different “quality” standards especially when it comes to places to sleep and put our stuff down. It is definitely something that we are learning about each other :-), but we are glad we are learning it now instead of 10 years down the road when we are traveling. By then I am sure our tastes will have changed again. We will try to keep updating this post as we go along in our journey and stay in various places.
We are traveling with two backpacks, one that is a DSLR camera bag and pack combined and two rolling duffel bags….
You don’t get to pick your roommates…
Beds you actually sleep on vary a lot as well as the cleanliness of sheets and blankets. I have been grateful for my sleeping bag at times.
For the most part we have stayed in hostels on our trip. Some hostels have been excellent, even when sharing a room with 4-6 people while others have not been. So here is a Hostel by hostel redux of our experiences. First thing to note… all those ratings on websites (hostelworld.com, trip advisor, and in travel books) are not quite accurate at times.
Iceland: Our House
Breakfast: yes (lots of decent options including a fancy coffee maker)
This has been the best hostel thus far we have stayed in. It was a cozy iceland home that had been converted into a Hostel. Bedda the owner/operator totally makes you feel like home as well as the other guests. She even gives out hugs of welcome and goodbye. A perk at this hostel was free laundry and a sauna which was awesome to go in at 2am when we were freezing from our excellent northern lights tour. I would also like to note that this hostel probably sleeps 20ish people and there are only 2 showers and 2 toilets but it all works out just fine and everyone is happy.
England: Palmers Lodge @ Swiss cottage
Breakfast: yes (breakfast of carbs: smashed croissants, bread, cornflakes and ghetto super sweet “juice”)
Palmers Lodge was our first voyage into a big hostel and overall it was decent stay. There were dorm like showers/toilets (female only and co-ed) and our narrow twin beds were decent to sleep on. It was nice that they had curtains you could draw around them so you could make it dark when needed. We had big wooden bins to lock our stuff in under our bunks provided you had a lock (which we did) and our roommates for fortunately older than 25 so our room of 5 that could sleep 6 got along well. This hostel houses many age groups from younger teen touring groups to older people.
England: Travel Joy at Chelsea
Breakfest: yes (of mainly white things, but there were also warm hard boiledish eggs and muesli and healthier juice)
After being spoiled staying in the countryside at my friends home for the night, this hostel came as a shock. First off, you may have booked beds in a multi story hostel, but that doesn’t mean there is an elevator or decent sized hallways to go up and through. We arrived in the evening and only were staying a night as we were departing the next afternoon to Belgium. When we checked in we were greeted by a worker whose English was rather rough and we were just trying to convey that we were checking in, we were also handed concert style wrist bands to wear so we could get drinks in the morning with our breakfast. We just thanked the worker and put them in our pockets for the morning. Our room was a 6 person dorm, made maybe for 4. The beds were jammed together so tightly that I am sure that if there was an emergency we would have trouble getting out. The door barely opened wide enough and our stuff barely fit through it and between the beds. There are two small lockers to store things in, in the bedroom and then the other 4 lockers are in the bathroom as that is where they would only fit, but it makes it really hard to get to your stuff if someone is in the bathroom. Sam and I actually resorted to just sleeping in our clothes, brushing our teeth quickly and heading to bed. We were getting up early to return the rental car and see a few sights of London before we departed.
Belgium: Churchhill B& B
France: Le Village
France: Villa Saint Exbury
Germany: Gasthaus Bailer-Genther
Austria: YOHO Youth Hostel Salzburg