When travelling on a long journey my first choice for independence is backpacker hostels. I am quite selective, but usually I am amazed by the value they offer. The features that I find most inviting are the unique buildings that you can find, the amenities -especially the kitchen, proximity to the centre of cities or wilderness and the companionship. I find that the YHA hostels are particularly clean and comfortable, but my choices aren't limited to those.
Some of the places I've stayed have been old mansions that looked like castles, old railway carriages, adobes, teepees, old ships, windmills, floating huts and quaint cottages. The options tend to be endless.
Amenities can vary between the hostels so it's always good to check what's on offer. I found that kitchens weren't so prevalent in South American hostels because eating out can be so inexpensive. It's great when you can catch up with washing and have a nice lounge room to hangout in if you're having a 'chill out' day.
Location is a major attraction. This saves a lot in costs if you're able to catch public transport. You can even find a place in the middle of New York, Sydney, London, or alternatively in the wilderness that can only be reached by car.
Independence is a big thing when you're travelling and I love the way that I can choose if I'm going to have a 'me' day or a 'social' day when I stay at a hostel. I've paid my own way so I don't owe anyone anything. My time is my own when I stay in a backpackers. Companionship is usually close at hand when you want to have a chat.
The internet is providing all sorts of new options so these can change rapidly. I'll try to keep this up to date.
- Hotels, luxurious or otherwise, can be lonely and expensive, but sometimes it's nice to have your privacy.
- Cruise ships offer a different type of accommodation that can be quite inexpensive.
- Find a Crew website allows you to hook up with boats and other crew to include a floating component to your travels
- Couch surfing offers free accommodation, but there's no such thing as a free lunch. Mostly, people enjoy meeting others from around the world.
- Air B&B is a great option for inexpensive and unique experiences.
- Camping is great if there are amenities around and countries such as USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia offer great campsites and national parks.
- Camper vans or RVs are a bit like sailing but on land. You get to explore without having to pack and repack.
- Sailing on your own boat or hiring one takes a bit of skill, but most people are capable of learning these. Join another boat on Find a Crew if you want to give this a try.