I have always been one to save a dollar if possible. Traveling for so many years I have learned to save money so I could stay away from home longer. As I have grown older the days of cleap sleeps have ended for mid-priced hotels but here are a few of the more memorable places that I have stayed in.
“My Home” in Amsterdam has to be one of the nicest cheap sleeps that I have slept in. We stumbled upon it by complete accident. Often traveling not knowing what day we would land in what city we opted to find accommodations upon arriving to new destinations. There is always somewhere to stay. This was just the case as we arrived to the train station in Amsterdam. A nice gentleman was handing out flyers and we took the short walk there. For less than an additional $10 we upgraded from the hostel and ended up with our own small apartment just a short walk from the main building. We would walk over to the hostel, and then up 30 steps for a nice breakfast before starting our day. I’ll have to blog about my favorite things, and the interesting things people do, in Amsterdam one day.
“3 Ducks Hostel” in Paris is a place I stayed in for a few weeks before relocating to other accommodations. It is located in the 15th arrondissement of the city and is a short walk from the Eiffel Tower. For a young person this was a great place to stay. Like all hostels there was always a great mix of people to meet from around the world. This place had a great bar with cheap beers on-site and a nice courtyard. The staff was always friendly and at the time they offered a weekly rate.
“Foyer Tolbiac“ in Paris was another place that I stayed in for about a month. I opted for the single room option. This place was a residence for young women between the ages of 18-30 at the time of my stay. Men were not allowed in rooms and only in the common areas on the main floor. It was like a college dormitory and had great rates with breakfast included. There was a gym, library, cafeteria, laundry room and garden on the property. You could pay daily, weekly or monthly. I met a few nice people living here, but no long lasting friends. The one thing I remember most about living here was the hall phone. We all had to answer it and take messages for whomever it was for on our floor if they weren’t in their room. When my friends called it was great, but when someone else would call when I dared to answer I would always wonder can I understand everything these people are saying??!!! People were mostly speaking French. Somehow it all worked out.
I did stay in a random hostel in midtown Manhattan, New York City, with a friend once. That place was called “The Gershwin Hotel”. This property had a small section of hotel with dorm beds, hostel style at a budget cost. That’s where we stayed to save money. It was great for two girls in their early 20’s. It wasn’t the cleanest spot though and the common bathroom was a little scary. I still remember the handles for the bathtub not being a match and an old shower loofah hanging from one of them. One night we came home at 3:00am or so and someone was sleeping in my friend’s bed. It was so funny, the person couldn’t even speak English, but we got him out to another bunk quickly. Eww!
I also spent time volunteering for “Hosteling International” here in Santa Monica in my 20’s. That was a fun job. I worked the concierge desk for a few hours on Sundays for about 6 months. It was my way of connecting with foreigners when I couldn’t get away and travel. I have to say that although I never stayed in one of these properties personally they were always very clean and organized. One of their nicest looking properties up in San Francisco, the Fisherman’s Wharf hostel, which is on the grounds of Fort Mason, has always been a spot I wanted to stay in, but it never happened.
Looking back I had many memorable travels in my youth and how I have loved cheap sleeps here and abroad.