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More tips for backpackers to enjoy


She goes hostelling in USA...

The perfect active vacation doesn’t have to mean shelling out the platinum card for a resort stay. For your next domestic trip consider catching your winks at a hostel to defray costs (averaging $45 for a private room and $20 dorm-style) and enjoy the camaraderie of communal living. Let Colleen Norwine’s Great Hostels USA (Sedobe Travel Guides) be your guide to nearly 100 inviting hostels across the country—most near national parks and other active travel destinations. Cost is $18.95 on

Genessa Poth is the Assistant Editor of the U.S.-based, Her Sports magazine. Website:

Solo backpacker? Just do it! ...

I love travelling on my own. Not just because it is a time to clear my head of all the day-to-day living stuff that crowds it, but because alone you really see, experience and feel your travelling. Staying in backpacker hostels, I'm never totally alone anyway. I cook in the kitchens and chat to fellow travellers, or catch up with the staff on what is good to see and do. There's always someone interesting around who shares a bit of their travelling experience with me. But I also get to go where I want, see the things I like and change my mind as many times as suits me.

Janet McGarry is a travel journalist living in Australia. She is the Managing Editor of Backpacker Essentials. Website:

Pack a diaper...

Travelling for an extended period of time? Backpacking? My travel tip is for those women who are staying in hostels, which, I have found, are often out of towels. In order to be prepared and since towels take up a lot of space in a backpack, I carry a cloth diaper with me to use as an emergency towel. They're light weight, very absorbent, and dry very quickly.

Diana, Austin, Texas, USA

Pack tennis footies...

The brand, "Smartwool" makes great, comfy, breathable socks. They're a bit expensive, but they dry quickly, will save you blisters and they last for years. Buy black silk liner socks for your European city wear, then use them as liners inside your cushier socks for hiking, etc. An added thought - it's frequently colder in hostels so if that's where you will be staying, bring those little running and tennis footies to wear in bed. They make a world of difference.

Kerry, Minneapolis, USA

Youth hostel in Beijing...

The youth hostel in Beijing (for all ages) is highly recommended. It became my home away from home when I was there - such wonderful people! It was cheap, clean, safe and very secure. Many young Chinese women will live there while studying or working in Beijing. You can even exchange an hour of English lessons for Chinese writing lessons. Very informative and helpful!

The hostel I stayed at was in Chaoyang district - It's called the Zhaolong International Youth Hostel (behind the Zhaolong Hotel) - address from Lonely Planet is: Zhaolong Fandian Guoji Qingnian Binguan 6597 2299. It's on the corner of the third ring road and Nongzhanguan Nanlu Street. Y50 per night (about £4.50 or US$7.00). I liked staying there better than any of the Western Hotels (had a few days in the Marriott when I landed). The hostel has a kitchen if you want to make your own meals, a few tables and chairs sitting outside, and an indoor sitting room as well. They also had basic supplies you could buy - beer, tea, biscuits, etc at the main desk (on a hot July day - great to buy a beer for 10Y and sit outside at the tables with other travellers and Chinese students.) The rooms were very clean, kettles, hot showers, air conditioning, lockers for valuables, etc. And a free storage room where you could leave your large backpack for a few days - which I did regularly - and just carried my day-pack for 2-3 day trips outside Beijing. It's within walking distance to the bars/restaurants in the Chaoyang district, as well as walkable (long walk) to Pearl market, Silk Market, Tiatan park, etc.

An added bonus -- The hostel has an agreement with the Zhaolong Hotel - you could use the pool and facilities for about 3Y. The Hotel Concierge desk arranged most of my train tickets from Beijing to wherever... for a small fee of about 10Y (about £1). Much more convenient than going all the way over to the train station!

Robin, Brighton, United Kingdom

Passport Policies in Greece...

Don't be alarmed when smaller hotels and hostels in Greece ask for your passport during the duration of your stay. This is a very common practice as I learned over and over again when I was travelling.

Shasta, Winnipeg, Canada

Editor's note: Here's a short bit we'd like to add to Shasta's tip. Always carry a photocopy of the front page of your passport as well as a list of your country's consulates and embassies in the countries you are visiting. Then, if your passport is lost or stolen, it will be far easier to replace your documents.

Kyoto bike rentals...

Living here in Japan, I'd like other JourneyWomen to know that Kyoto is a very easy city to get around in. The subways and buses are simple, but I also recommend (if you are physically fit) renting a bike to move about. You see so much more this way! Most hostels have rental bikes or depending on how long you plan to stay in this city, you can buy a second-hand bicycle for about $30 US. Think of all the fun you'll have.

Alex, Kyoto, Japan

If you enjoyed this article, you'll be interested in:

OrangutanAussie Backpacking -- a woman's point of view
Bandana -- Her Forty Uses
I Packed My Backpack -- And in it I put
36 Tips From a Gal Backpacker
Backpacking With a Belly in Indonesia

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