My Love-Hate Relationship With Hostels

Fellow Bristolian and lovely editor of Bristolian Backpacker, Mitchell Labiak, shares his love-hate relationship with hostels.  Hostels are the bread and butter of backpacking. Staying in a hostel as opposed to a hotel is the difference between telling people you are “going travelling” and telling people you are “going on holiday”. At the best of times, they are cheap, friendly, and helpful places where you can meet other travellers, feel somewhat at home, and save money on your trip. And at the worst of times? To paraphrase Tolstoy, “All good hostels are alike; each shit hostel is shit in its own way.” …

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Don’t Panic: How to Deal with the Most Common Travelling Issues

*Collaborative Post With travelling comes the opportunity to slip up and make mistakes. It happens – and it happens often, with nearly every tourist running into an issue shared by thousands of others across the world. Fear not, as there are ways to avoid common problems, as outlined below. Overpacking One of the most common issues with travellers crops up before they’ve even left home. You need to be strategic with your packing. Otherwise, you could find yourself overloaded once you’re abroad, especially when travelling long-term. There’s nothing worse than having to lug a huge, heavy suitcase around. Remind yourself …

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Why I Love Sending Postcards

Anybody who knows me well will know how much I love postcards. So, you can imagine how sad I was to learn that the oldest UK Postcard company closing. Mitch understands that on all of our trips some of my time will be spent browsing and buying postcards. This is followed by finding a post office and learning how to say “stamps” in a new language. I love writing and sending postcards. Here’s why. Postcards are Personable When I post a status on Facebook, 559 people can read it. I am (effectively) talking to 559 at one time. Giving them …

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Helen’s 5 Best Things to Do in Sofia

We’ve spent two weeks in Sofia now. We have five more days to before closing our laptops and officially starting our holiday! Despite working Monday to Friday, we’ve managed to fit a lot into our time in Sofia. Here are my five best things to do in Sofia. 1. Free Walking Tour The free Sofia walking tour is brilliant. For two hours, our guide showed us all the main highlights and shared some stories that you could never find in books. As with all free tours, you can give a tip at the end. If you only have limited time in …

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From Bristol to Bulgaria

“We’re not going away again for a while,” we said “going to settle down now,” we said. Well, it is true – somewhat. As of mid-October, Mitch and I will be officially living in Bristol together and I’m so excited. Until then, however, we thought, “let’s go because we can.” We’re lucky enough to be able to book a flight for three weeks time and it not be an issue for our jobs. We also have no September commitments. We saw a window of opportunity and took it. Why Bulgaria? It’s not far from home and it’s cheap. It’s a country small …

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How Travelling Makes Me Feel British

What should they know of England who only England know? Originally written by Rudyard Kipling but Mitch has quoted this to me on numerous occasions. Only now do I appreciate the sentiment. When you travel a lot, you learn about other countries. However, the more you travel, the more you also learn about your home country. While in Merida, Mexico, we frequently visited the same cafe to do work. On the third occasion, I ordered my regular black tea with milk. The barrister asked me, “where are you from?” “England” I replied. “I knew it. All the people who order …

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