Hi –

If you’re following this up and coming travel blog, please keep following it at www.GloboTreks.com where you can find lots of information related to backpacking and independent travel!

See you there!!

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Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica’s environment is world-renowned as one of nature’s most diverse, vibrant and healthy.  And who would want to miss that?… Definitely not me!!! Thats why, I’ll be doing my own Costa Rican escapade in a couple weeks.  It will be short, nothing fancy; just a fresh breathe of air out of the city.  So, in the next couple weeks I’ll be posting some stuff related to Costa Rica, tips and info on their local travel, and of course… my own experience!

Lets get ready for this tropical adventure!!

Keep you posted,

Norbert

I just came across this unusual hostel and it immediately grabbed my attention!  It can simply be described as the placebo solution for your fear of flying…  Here you can spend the night onboard a real jumbo jet – on the ground!

Jumbo Hostel

Located at Arlanda (near Stockholm, Sweden), this retired 747 Jumbo Jet will definitely give you a memorable experience.  This 1976 vintage plane was creatively converted into a hostel, containing a total of 27 rooms and 76 beds. You can choose between a couple of en-suite rooms, budget dormitory, twin and three-bed combo rooms with shared shower and toilet in the corridor or the luxury suite in the converted cockpit with its panoramic view of the airport. (I would love to see that one!!)

Although marketed towards an adult and family audience, I’m sure everyone can have a good time here. At least it will be different!! 🙂

I NEVER sleep when I’m on an airplane, even if it is a 14 hours flight! ugh… so, I don’t know how I will respond to this one.  But I bet that if I get a comfy bed, I will have no problem sleeping here!!

Check it out… and check in!


Jumbo Hostel

Jumbo Hostel

Jumbo Hostel

Unless you have been living under a rock, you must have heard about Iceland’s impressive volcanic eruption that has made news all over the world for the past few weeks.  The volcano in southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull glacier has been sending nonstop huge amounts of ash into the air.  Thick drifts of volcanic ash blanketed parts of rural Iceland as a vast invisible plume of grit drifted over Europe, emptying the skies of planes and sending hundreds of thousands in search of hotel rooms, train tickets or rental cars.  Here are some pictures that show the magnitude of this natural phenomena.

Iceland VolcanoSatellite Image taken the week of April 17, 2010.

Iceland's Volcano(AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)

Iceland's Volcano(HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images)

Iceland's Volcano

Lightning, smoke, and lava above Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano on April 17, 2010.

Airline Ticket

We all know that almost every single mayor airline has a loyalty or frequent flyer program.  Even if you’re not traveling as often as you would want, you should sign up for these.  They are free, easy to set up, and the rewards are really worth it (in most of them).

Usually, I travel with the airline that has the cheapest ticket, but I have found that (depending on destination) some airlines tend to keep their airfares lower than their competition on a constant basis; so, those are good airlines to sign up on their miles/points program.

Every time I travel with a new airline I sign up for their frequent flyer program, even if I know there is a chance that I will “lose” my miles due to expiration or just because there is a huge probability that I wont travel with them again.  But, you never know how the world turns around!

I have been a “loyal” flyer with JetBlue (within US), American Airlines (US and EU), and a couple more airlines worldwide.  Even though I always look for the cheapest ticket and most convenient flight, I have to say that sometimes I’m willing to spare a few more dollars on a slightly more expensive ticket IF that ticket is with one of my most used airlines.  This way I will accrue more mile where I know I will use them eventually and those few extra bucks will pay off when I change my miles/points for that free roundtrip ticket.

So far, I have changed my miles/points for a total of 5 roundtrip tickets going from New York to destinations like Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Belgium, and Frankfurt.  Who doesn’t love a free roundtrip airfare?!!  Well, I do!!  So, the miles/points DEFINITELY pay up!!

It’s good to have in mind that airlines are not the only ones giving miles/points for your travels and purchases.  Credit cards, hotels, banks, and other companies do also reward you for using their services.

One good site I stumbled upon a few years ago is points.com.  This site gives you the opportunity to swap and redeem miles/points between participating companies.  So, if you have miles/points on one airline you don’t use often, you can transfer your miles (according to their conversion rate) to your preferred airline (if participating).

So, there you have it, sign up on those programs to start earning miles/points, and you’ll be a step closer to that free airfare/upgrade/hotel that you really wish for.

Prague, Czech Republic

View of the beautiful Old Town from Prague Castle.

Prague, Czech Republic

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

There are so many options when it comes to travel, that basically you can assign several niches to it. Backpacking is a well-known travel niche that is clearly distinguished from the regular family, tourist, and business traveling. But even backpackers have their own sub-niches that differentiate them even further. So, in which niche do you fit in?

The City Hoppers – These are the ones that travel from city to city spending just a couple of day on each one. Their trips are based on main tourist areas and easy to get spots. Sometimes they venture the “off the beaten path”.

The Wild Ones – These travel only to wild and remote locations with the sole purpose of camping. They carry in their backpack EVERYTHING and NOTHING at the same time. You will be surprised on how they can pack everything for their own survival on a single 35 liter (or whatever size) backpack. Their main key is to travel light and only with the essentials.

Climbing Krabi

The Adventurers – These go to places to experience the adrenaline of different activities like rock climbing, rafting, canyoning, spelunking, and more.

The Early Retirees (Gap Years) – These are mostly college students or young professionals. They usually take a year or so to travel around the world. Their main purpose is to have a good time and to detach themselves from the daily routine of their lives. They tend to stay in cities for some time and even work there to fund their travels. There is no set schedule for them, so anything can happen. Some of the favorite places are in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Central America. Most of the time they travel to any destination an around the world ticket will take them. They normally travel cheap to extend the money for a long period of time.

Thai Monks

The Spirituals – Usually are young travelers looking to find a higher purpose in their life, reconnect with the world, or just to find themselves. These are mostly concentrated in Asia, where there are a wide variety of ancient religions and spiritual retreats. They spend their time away meditating and studying the religion.

The Vagrants – These are the ones that don’t mind spending the night sleeping on a street bench, eating only cheap local food, and spending a couple of days without a single shower.

Thai Temple Ruin

The Culture Junkies – They spend their time learning the culture and uniqueness of the place. They love spending time visiting museums, monuments, and sightseeing very touristy places.

The Stickies – These backpackers tend to travel to the same destination over and over again. They tend to relive their past experiences of their previous travels and complain on how “this place” has been beaten down through the years.

Party

The Party Monsters – The name says it all… They travel to find the best parties around the world. And when there’s no party, they make the party. They use every opportunity they have to get drunk. They roam places like Europe and Southeast Asia.

The “Upgraders” – These backpackers like to travel on budget but they won’t lower their living standards. So, no cheap mixed rooms for them… They usually carry all their electronics and tend to hang near wi-fi spots. They spend most of the time in or around tourist areas. They like to keep connected and still feel the attachment of their social life back at home. Normally, their travels are based more on checking a “to do” list than experiencing the place and culture.

So, these niches, and so many more, are ways for us to see how people experience travel differently. It’s good to experience some of these niches and see how they influence your travel experience. I have personally experienced some of them and they have definitely influenced my trips.

Backpacker

As a backpacker, the norm of packing is to pack light.  But even backpackers can over pack like if they were rewarded by the pound.  And even when you pack light, as your trip progresses, it is sometimes difficult to manage keeping that load as light as possible.  So, here are some of the benefits on keeping that light load.

1.  You’ll have better control of what you have (inventory) when you move from place to place or are constantly on the move.

2.  It’s easier to carry for longer distances and lets you maintain an agile pace without draining your energy.

3.  It is less likely you will hit someone with your backpack as you turn around on crowded spaces or run like crazy to catch that train or flight.

4.  It’s so much easier to pack your stuff back or find something in your backpack on a dark hostel room or sleeper train compartment at 4am, without waking up everyone.

5.  You can take it as a carry-on on your flights.  This takes away the worries about lost luggage or waste of time at baggage claim.

6.  It is easier (and cheaper) to store on train station lockers.

7.  You will have extra space for souvenirs.

8.  You pack only the essentials.  When you over pack, you usually take stuff that you will never use. So, why carry all that dead load?

9.  You’ll get compliment from other backpackers (who carry a lot of dead load) on how light you are traveling.

10.  Your back and feet will appreciate it!!

Happy Earth Day! This year marks the 40th anniversary of this environmental initiative that has become a global movement.  This movement addresses all those big environmental issues that our planet is facing and encourages us to make a personal commitment on being sustainable with our everyday life.  So, lets help Mama Terra and lets join the over 31 million people around the world that have pledge to take action.  After all, Mama Terra is the one that supplies us with all the natural wonders.

Like they say, Think Globally, Act Locally!

Backpacks

So, you’ve been to places and still want to see more of what’s out there and experience more of that adventure also known as backpacking. Or maybe you haven’t experienced this way of traveling but are hoping to do it some day. Then, why not do it?!

Well, since we are on the same page, let’s try to make all of those travel daydreams more accessible and achievable. Backpacking is not just a way of traveling; it’s a nomad lifestyle. It’s an alternate and more in-depth way of learning and experiencing different places and cultures. And let me tell you… You WILL learn those cultures in such interesting ways!!

This blog will run trough many topics related to backpacking, independent travel, destination reviews, travel chronicles, tips, travel news, and what not…

Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive nor complicated; it just has to be fun and smart. Lets hope this blog can inspire you and put you a step closer to that trip that you’ve been thinking about for so long… so, STOP DREAMING IT… START LIVING IT!!