The monthly numbers are in for April and I did end up with some extra -- to the tune of $1440.95. As with most bonuses, my half will be tucked away for the next travelling adventure. I'm thinking of going to Maine at the end of the summer.
I was talking to someone I casually know yesterday about travelling as he is planning a trip to Ireland. He and his girlfriend are hoping to do that trip "budget" by staying in youth hostels.
Youth hostels can be a great savings but it depends on the country and city. Sometimes 2 people in a hostel can add up to a what a hotel charges. A solo traveller will often do better than a group travelling together but paying separately. It is worth looking into and to not assume it is always the cheapest option.
Personally, I like my quiet, my own washroom and a good night's sleep so group dorm rooms don't appeal to me anymore. They appealed much more when I was on a limited budget. Why go on vacation and be cranky all day when I know my tolerance isn't that great? I also prefer to come home somewhat rested and not sleep deprived. Nowadays, I will save up more for a trip so I wouldn't have to be.
I've stayed at youth hostels on 2 occasions in my life. Back 15 yrs ago when I was in New York to see the US open. Believe it or not, I took my mother for the first part of trip as a gift to her and it was all I could afford as a student. I saved up my earnings from teaching piano all summer to be able to pay for it.
Let's just say she didn't much care for the hosteling experience! There was a lady in our dorm who was a lawyer and my mother made me promise her that I will be successful enough that I wouldn't ever have to stay in hostels again. She didn't realize that some people chose to stay there, rather than be forced by circumstance.
The second time was on a road trip with a girlfriend about 13 yrs ago. We met in Las Vegas. I arrived earlier so I could see the Cirque du Soleil show that just opened "O" before embarking on a journey that would take us through Yellowstone, San Francisco, Napa Valley, down the Pacific Coast highway to Santa Monica before returning to Las Vegas.
Our friendship almost went away on that trip but that's another story...