Eli Roth's Hostel movie is a real gore-o-rama portraying backpacker life as a hedonistic adventure, which it sometimes can be, ending in torture and death, which it usually doesn't. See Hostel, the movie, if you like misadventures with chainsaws - Hostel is also worth seeing for the sheer humor value. Was hostel life ever anything like this movie? Spas? Breakfast buffets? Murderers hunting backpackers in the basement?
Melbourne, Australia's city of the arts, is home to a fine strain of nightlife and a way welcoming atmosphere which the Nomads Industry hostel exemplifies. You need to sample Melbourne's scene as part of any backpacking trip to Australia, and you should stay at Nomads Industry -- it's clean, it's comfortable, it's a good enough value and the staff puts out some effort to make it feel friendly. Check out some Nomads Industry hostel photos or read more below.
With the usual unerring knack for choosing the right stuff, Wallaroo has picked a beauty with this packable women's "straw" travel hat. The price is decent, it's attractive and functional -- overall, the crushable, packable hat's a great travel accessory. Read the review...
Smartwool socks are what's for travel. They last until loss do you part. They don't itch, like those shapeless, scratchy blobs you normally associate with wool sock world, and they'll never show you a stinky side. They're warm, cool, cushy, comfy. Every traveler should have Smartwool socks coddling cobblestone-sore and trail-battered tootsies -- hot and sore or cold and wet feet can derail a trip fast. Get 'em. Love 'em. Never lose 'em.
Baby Phat cargo pocket, camo capri pants are great for travel because of the six pockets - plenty of places to stash stuff. The fabric doesn't breathe and they wrinkle easily, but the cuteness factor may outweight those travel negatives.
The Timbuk2 Detour 2.0 laptop backpack earns the Best Laptop Backpack 2005 award because it pads plus-size laptops. Because it's comfy to haul in multiple ways. Because it has multiple personalities. Because it's rough and tough. Because somebody designed it who's dragged a laptop around: great daypack / laptop backpacks spring from those who've used them -- kudos to the Timbuk2 designers. Check it out. Read the review.
Red Oxx's "Gator" travel shoulder bag isn't inhabiting the same planet as other travel bags. It's that superior. As Red Oxx advises, write it into your will... it will outlive you. Provided you survive the airlift.
Brave Soldier antiseptic ointment is the best. A mix of 4% lidocaine soothes a travel sore and comfrey promotes healing. I've used Brave Soldier healing goo on road rash, burns, and cuts -- made ouchies feel better fast and helped prevent scarring. I've also walked in comfort despite some serious blisters after slavering 'em with Brave Soldier. I never travel without it and I've never had an infected wound while using it. Read the Brave Soldier review.
The LL Bean passport organizer is a seemingly small affair that opens into a virtual travel toolkit. As a passport holder only, it's a little expensive because it's a lot more than that. Using this multi-featured travel accessory solely for passpor and tickets is impossible, anyway; no sooner will you decide in which of the seven pockets to put your passport then you'll be filling the rest.
Cabelas Guidewear® men's zip off pants are great for travel -- zip off the legs when the sun gets hot, and pack the many pockets with everything from guidebooks to sunscreen and a sacklunch. The shorts run a little short and the waist can gather on a skinny guy, but they're very handy travelers. Read the review
Student travelers will love this irreverent guide book that gives advice on everything from best place to party worldwide to how to crash without cash.
This international electrical adapter with surge protector has four kinds of international electrical plugs built into one small box, with each set of plugs being good for a different part of the world. Great adaptor!
Good smelling natural insect repellent that works without DEET -- what a concept! Crocodile is a DEET-less all natural insect repellent guide-tested on mosquitoes and sand fleas -- this DEET-less natural insect repellent works almost as well as DEET but has a better bouquet. Read the review of Crocodile natural insect repellent without DEET.
YHA's Railway Square hostel is the place for quiet nights in central Sydney. The hostel is modern, though partially in a historic building, the folks are friendly and the joint is secure while being largely on a ground level. Sydney Central train station is next door, meaning Sydney's bar scene (take the subway) or the Blue Mountains (take the train) are a five minute walk, essentially. If you're looking for calm, clean comfort, this is the place to be in central Sydney.
The YHA Sydney Central hostel is a dyno place to hang your backpack in a triangle of mega hostels near the Sydney Central train station that includes the Wake Up Sydney and the YHA Railway Square Hostel. A sweet swimming pool and decks rule from the roof, travel desks abound, and lots o'comfy common areas, a real dining room and a real smoking area (that's not on the roof) round out this giant joint. Check out some photos, or read more about the YHA Sydney Central hostel.
Wake Up Sydney is a ginormous hostel very close to Sydney Central train station and part of a mega hostel triangle -- YHA has two hostels in the neighborhood, too. A Global Gossip communication shop and several backpacker travel businesses nearby make this neck of Sydney a good hang for travelers -- you're bound to meet some folks. It's clean, comfy, good value and a mirror in many ways of the Wake Up London, though a little fresher and more happening.
Sleeping bag pads vary widely, from foam to self inflating air mattresses. This review checks out the Thermarest Z-lite with warm egg carton construction. Light and compact for backpackers. Read the review.
The Adelaide is a great San Francisco hostel -- very central, near Union Square and easy public transportation. San Francisco has a passel of hostels, and my favorite in this backpacker-friendly California town is the Adelaide. Close to the action, inexpensive, rampant free wifi, and a fantastically friendly staff make this San Francisco hostel a winner. Read a review and see writer-taken photos of this San Francisco hostel.
The Bunk Brisbane is an exceedingly great hostel -- a good-sized place with clean dorms, perfectly reasonable rates and unbelievable private rooms (sweeter than your apartment). Views of Brisbane, awesome art including some great art graffiti and Barbie chandeliers, Brisbane's most happening bar and the friendliest staff in Australia make the Bunk Brisbane a spot to hang your backpack while you check out the Australian state of Queensland. Read a review of the Bunk Brisbane hostel.
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A deceptively simple look characterizes the "Lazy" Chica, feature-ful flip flops from Sanuk: anatomical design makes feet feel fine. Good-looking strap raises theses flip flops to shoe style status. A great walking sandal. Read the review.
LL Bean's leather travel shoulder bag boasts a silky lining and powerful snap-plus-zip outer pockets, a roomy outer zip sleeve and interior zip pocket and pen / credit card pockets. Modeled after World War II bomber jackets, the distressed leather looks great while being tough as nails. Padded and adjustable shoulder strap is comfy and carry handles turn it into a briefcase. Classic campus companion and practical lifelong travel bag. Read the review.
Cabela's Supplex® Guidewear® men's travel shirt is a sweet traveler. Features provide practical travel solutions; it's a good looking hard worker by land or sea. Read the review.
Who woulda thunk to combine flip flops and walking shoes? Travelers, that's who. Somebody at Teva has faced the traveling shoes dilemma, and Teva Flipsoles shoes are the brainchild. Wear shoes on earth surfaces. Wear flip flops on hostel surfaces. Worry not about sore feet. Go forth in comfort and style. Read the review.
CDC's Yellow Book: travelers' health and safety tips - immunizations, vaccinations, travel hazards, wild animal attacks, disease prevention - mad cow disease, river blindness, plague, yellow fever, malaria - and travelers' health risks and diseases by country or world area.