Archive by Author

YHA considering mixed dormitories

A recent article in the Guardian says that the Youth Hostel Association in England and Wales is considering changing their out-dated policy of single-sex dorms. Most YHA hostels in England and Wales have got rid of most of their old-fashioned rules such as curfews, chores and bans on alcohol, but they continue to stick to […]

Phillip Island gets a new hostel

Backpackers in Australia are spoilt for choice. For instance Sydney has almost 100 hostels, Melbourne has over 50 hostels, Cairns has over 30 hostels,  and even Mildura (population 30,000) has 15 hostels. Sure some backpackers visit Mildura to find work, but honestly there’s nothing to see in the town. Compare this with big cities like […]

Qualmark skews its star ratings too high

Qualmark is New Zealand’s main star rating agency which is the ‘official’ star rating used by Tourism New Zealand. It was established in partnership with Tourism New Zealand and as such it has an interest in promoting tourism rather than providing travellers with impartial advice. Furthermore, like many other – so called, official – ratings agencies, they […]

Some hostel managers need to grow up and treat their guests with respect?

We recently had a review submitted to hostelcritic.com complaining of petty and childish treatment by a hostel manager. A guest booked the Lyons House Hostel in Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada)  through Hostelworld and after an enjoyable stay she posted this positive review on Hostelworld. Afterwards, she recieved a rude email from Patrick, the manager of Lyons House, […]

New Zealand’s top 10 small hostels

The latest BUG New Zealand guidebook reviews of around 500 hostels throughout New Zealand. New Zealand’s hostels range from small intimate places to large modern multi-storey hostels with hundreds of beds although compared with Australia the emphasis is mostly on smaller hostels. When I asked the authors working on the travel guide, their favourites were […]

Australia’s top 10 small hostels

The latest BUG Australia guidebook reviews over 600 hostels throughout Australia. Australia’s hostels range from small intimate places to large modern multi-storey hostels with hundreds of beds. The large hostels like Beaches of Broome, Gilligan’s Backpackers in Cairns plus Sydney Central YHA and Wake Up! in Sydney are world class with hundreds of beds plus top […]

The Secret Life of Us

I recently finished reading The Secret Life of Backpackers by Barry Divola. It’s a great read if you’re planning a trip to Australia and an interesting insight into backpacking culture. Barry is an Australian journalist who had previously written an article about backpackers after spending a week in a hostel at Bondi Beach. This time […]

Stockholm to get a unique new hostel

Last Thursday, the world’s first hostel housed inside a Boeing 747 jumbo jet progressed a step closer as the unused aeroplane was towed to a spot near Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. The Swedish news website, The Local, reports that the plane, which had been resting on Arlanda’s third runway since 2002, has been purchased by Swedish entrepreneur […]