Posted May 31, 2009 in Travel | 0 Comments

SKY Whores Unite

Where to STAY?

Now that you know how to deal with jet lag, let’s figure out where you should be staying on arrival.

When I was a kid my parents only traveled to 3 places, NY every 2 weeks till I was in my late teens, church, and the local supermarket. Yes believe it or not, the latter 2 were considered field trips. I told my mom that my dream was to visit 2 places, London and Tokyo. Who would have known I would have lived in Tokyo and have a sister, whom I visit often living in London. My mom laughed at me (no she wasn’t an abusive parent who never supported her kids dreams). My mom came from a very simple background where if her kids had a family and a goat then they led a good life. Go figure.

Anyways, I knew I had an extensive family all over the world, but nowhere of interest. First thing I did was joining every student association I could join at university. Yes, I was the only black guy in the Vietnamese Student Association. I can go to Ho Chi Mihn and be called uncle by my friend’s kids. This does have its downfalls; you always show up with presents.

If you’re looking for cheap accommodations, look no further then these sites:

Hostel Club

Hostel Bookers

Hostels

Hostel World

For those of you wondering why would I send you to a place in Eastern Europe to be part of some S&M exploitation like the movie, get your head ‘outta’ your ass. Before that movie came out, ‘hostels’ were the most inexpensive respectful way of accommodations shy of escorting.

Scarification

Def: “Hostels provide dormitory-style budget accommodation to travelers, with anywhere from two to dozens of guests sharing a room, depending on its size. Many hostels also provide private single and double rooms in addition to dormitory accommodation. Shared bathrooms are still the norm. For many hostellers, the opportunity to meet other travelers is part of their appeal.”

Taiwan Dormitory

Hostels can range from $5 (ghetto or cheap country) to $100 (boutique or NY/Tokyo/London). The more people you have the cheaper it gets. The ideal situation is that you have 4 people splitting a room. If not there are single rooms available at most hostels or dormitory styles.

Yes sleeping with strangers disgusted me too. But when push comes to shove, your broke, but you have the time to travel, put up with smelly feet or snoring. I’ve dealt with all the negatives of hostel life and came up with a strong positive.

Osaka

I was in Osaka, Japan with no transport back to Tokyo to catch my flight back home, as my train ticket was ‘lost’ in the street. 3 of my roommates who spoke Japanese accompanied to the train station and translated my every word to the authorities. To make a long story short they managed to lend me, a complete stranger with no cash, $150 for a long over night bus ride back to Tokyo. I will never forget their act of kindness. To this day almost 10 years later these are people I speak with often. I’ve visited them in their respective cities of Melbourne, Singapore, and Amsterdam. In fact I’ve even convinced one into a career change, no regrets.

On with my sermon.

The dorms can be split into gender and most have lockers or storing facilities. The owners tend to be avid fans of travelling themselves so know what you need and usually try their best to help you, but don’t try pulling a fast one on them. Internet is usually available as well so are international outgoing phones ($). Maps and places of interest are fully at your fingertip. However, remember this is a business so make sure to check on the prices of their field trips.

When looking for a destination, my advice to you is trying booking on all 4 sites; you’d be surprise at the price difference of these sites. If able, find your hostel then call them directly, you might be able to save about 5$. You laugh? I am not a cheap bitch; I’m a smart bitch. $5 per day for a week saves you $35 which buys you some spanking new runners in Bangkok your friends will gag over or a round of drinks for your ‘new’ friends. Trust me they’ll remember you and $35 goes along way when travelling on a budget.

Y’all can’t be living the high life like me. Keep trying grasshopper!

If you’re not convinced, I’ve stayed in a clean $5/night room in Athens with my own toilet at the foot of the Acropolis, that was owned by the local ‘don’, Mr.Snufalopikos who by coincidence had a sister working at the same hospital I worked at during college (couldn’t tell him she was a c%*t!). I also stayed at a $20/night boutique hostel near Khaosan road in Bangkok with my own private waterfall, balcony, hammock, air conditioning, etc…

Acropolis

Still hard up for cash? Fine I got an option even cheaper for your tight ass.

Couch Surfing

If you haven’t heard of it listen to me now. This is a service where you enlist via profile and offer your couch (any sleeping option) to a member of this service. It’s free but you do pay for a verification service (check on it yourself, I’m not here to hold your hand) which is optional to use. I will tell you this, there are 1,143,189 members in 58,954 cities.

Paris, FRance - Trocadero

Ex) so imagine your going to Paris on a budget.

  1. Plan your dates
  2. Search for a room on said dates
  3. Inquire to the owner if its availability
  4. He’ll check if your honest via recommendations or blindly trust you
  5. a) He agrees and you have a place to stay

b) Tells you no and your begging for change at Gare du Nord

c) He tells you no and you’re pulling tricks in heels and makeup at Bois de Boulogne (wasn’t so bad)

Crazy Lady

If your still not satisfied then the cheapest I can think of is you going to the library and searching slide projections. Nuff said.

So that’s a wrap…I think next one I’m going to have to write about some destinations or you’ll think I’m faking the funk.

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