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Old 09-22-2005, 06:34 PM   #1
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Ciao, y'all. Need some sage and not-so-sage advice:

I'm no slouch at traveling but my previous experiences have all been relatively brief trips through Third World countries. Well, aside from the living in Hong Kong part, and the growing up in the Philippines part, but that's quite different from traveling.

I'm planning a one-month trek through Europe for summer 2006, late May into June or all of June. Not exactly the cheapest time to hit Europe, I know, but it all kind of depends on my traveling companion -- my 16-year-old little bro. For a kid his age he's got a good head on his shoulders, and I'm kind of sadistic so he's already been warned about being forced to spend one day all by himself in a random European city where he doesn't speak the language (he sucks; I'm so-so in several).

This isn't going to be his, my, or our last trip abroad by any means, so 'seeing everything' isn't really a priority. I like architecture and art and he's mostly about the architecture and the, you know, being able to travel sans parents for the first time. We're budgeting about 2,000USD per person, not including flight.

My main concern is lodging. I can do dormitory-style, but it gets on my nerves after a while, especially when I'm going to be traveling with someone I'm looking out for. I'll try to reserve private rooms in advance as much as possible. I'm not looking for luxury but I like to have my own space -- which is the greatest luxury, I know.

So if anyone's got any ideas for interesting, clean, close-to-the-sights and quiet (read: non-party-oriented) hostels throughout France (Paris, Toulouse, Marseille), Benelux, Switzerland, northern Italy, and southern England, I'd really appreciate it.

And any advice in general is always cool. Cheers!
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Old 09-22-2005, 08:09 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard!

Well, I can only recommend a hostel for one place out of your list, and that'd be Paris. I typically recommend the BVJ Louvre, since it's insanely central, relatively cheap, very clean, and also has reasonably priced double rooms if you don't wanna do the dorm thing. As a bonus (well, in this case) the summer months see a lot of high school kids coming in, so your little brother would have plenty of people his own age to meet and be sans-parents with. Overall, Paris' hostels aren't too party-hearty, save for the oft-maligned, dirty 3 Ducks. Almost all of them have a curfew, lockout, etc. that's another plus of the BVJ - they have neither - but not much of a party atmosphere either. Technically, drinking's not allowed other than in the lobby area downstairs.
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Old 09-22-2005, 09:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by omisan@Sep 22 2005, 08:09 PM
I typically recommend the BVJ Louvre, since it's insanely central, relatively cheap, very clean, and also has reasonably priced double rooms if you don't wanna do the dorm thing. As a bonus (well, in this case) the summer months see a lot of high school kids coming in, so your little brother would have plenty of people his own age to meet and be sans-parents with.
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This is excellent! Thank you so much.
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Old 09-23-2005, 06:11 AM   #4
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I would recommend the hostels that are YHA/Hostelling International affiliated. They tend to be more catered towards children (be more kids his age) going on school trips and less to backpackers. As a result they are less party orientated, cleaner and have curfews.

ev
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Old 09-23-2005, 03:06 PM   #5
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Oy, curfews...

I've tried HI hostels before but I quite didn't put that together. Muchas gracias.
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Old 09-25-2005, 08:52 AM   #6
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Welcome aboard, Eunike!

How about using Bed & Breakfasts while you're in England? I bought a guide to Britain's B&B's while over here and used it to pick out my places to stay when I was in Cornwall, Wales and other parts of England. Some can be pricey, but there are enough that were reasonable -- not too much more than a hostel.

And of course, you can always stay in cheaper hotels, too. Remember: In a hostel, you are EACH paying that rate...while in a hotel, you will have the "rate" divided by two. So, the difference may not be as big as you'd initially think. You can do online searches for hotels and come up with tons. What I like to do is check out several guidebooks from the library (Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Let's Go, Fodors) and see if there are a handful of places that are recommended by all (or several) of them. Then, if I find that one online, I'll go ahead and book it.

Of course, this strategy works just as well for hostels as hotels...

Good luck! And let us know how things go...

Funny, I just met a woman who is also Phillipino who lives in San Diego on my last trip...!

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