Traveling Cheap – Making New Friends – Step VIII

In my previous post, I shared that my all time favorite place to spend the night is outdoors in a small tent. There’s nothing quite like getting away from the crowds and noise, sitting under the big sky looking at the stars. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and the weather can be a factor for sure.

My second favorite place to stay on my travels and definitely adds to the amazing adventure are hostels. In the 80’s, I traveled across the US for over 6 months and stayed at a wide variety of hostels. One in Monterrey, California was a high school gym that converted into sleeping quarters every evening. 20131115_142140.jpg

In the past few years I’ve stayed at hostels from New York City to San Francisco and Seattle. You can choose to bunk in a room with other people or reserve a private room, although those are more expensive. It’s a great way to get insights on places to go, things to see and even group activities. You meet people from all over the world and all ages.

Most hostels offer free WiFi, breakfast and maybe one other meal during the week. You don’t have to mingle and if you wake up early it’s easy to grab a shower before the rush.

If you want to travel for a longer period, there are opportunities to stay free in exchange for work. This is a great option for reducing travel expenses while exploring the country. Check out work exchange programs and hostel work exchange options. Did you know there are work exchange programs at organic farms as well? Learn while you roam.

Step 8: Expand your community. Connect with new friends. Be sure to look for options that fit with your purpose and personality. Happy exploring!