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IS HOSTELING FOR YOU? Myth-Busting Tips and Packing Must-Haves.

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IS HOSTELING FOR YOU? Myth-Busting Tips and Packing Must-Haves.

I asked my 22-year-old niece, just back from summer travels in Europe, to give us the inside scoop on hosteling. Learn her list of myth-busting tips and packing must-haves.

AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO HOSTELING 

by Madeleine Clute 

My first foray into hosteling was at the end of high school when some friends and I took a road trip to Quebec, Canada, and it’s been my preferred method of seeing new places since. Most recently, my friend Elizabeth and I traveled on students’ budgets for 30-days in Europe, spanning 10 cities and 8 countries,  primarily staying in hostels

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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ROOM WITH A VIEW: 10 Inns for Laid-Back Leaf Peeping

Wondering where you can go to enjoy autumn’s finest hues without leaving the comforts of an inn’s porch or the privacy of your room’s deck (or Jacuzzi tub)? To help you make the most of the season, here are 10 inns where laid-back leaf peepers can sit back, relax and take in the foliage from the best seat in the house.  

Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn & Spa —Sautee Nacoochee, GA: Sitting atop a mountain does have its advantages. This 10-room inn boasts 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. Admire the canopy of color from a rocker on the wide deck before taking in a game of badminton or croquet on the lawn with the foliage as your scenic background. 

Wildberry Lodge — Leicester, NC: This rustic log cabin lodge is situated on 45 acres in the Great Smokey Mountainsand a short drive to downtown Asheville. You can step out onto their sundeck or flagstone patio to admire the foliage or soak up the views from the private porch off the Blackberry Suite. 

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn —Hot Springs, AR: Indulge in deep relaxation at this retreat situated in the Ouachita Mountains overlooking placid Lake Hamilton. Enjoy your morning coffee and the foliage view from your private deck before taking a walk along the labyrinth waterfront trail. 

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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ECO ELEGANCE: Kurà Design Villas, Costa Rica's Stunning New Rainforest Retreat

When does a trip to the rainforest become a luxurious escape? At the new (opening November 2012) 12-guest Kurà Design Villas set in the Osa Peninsula rainforest of Costa Rica, it’s the moment you arrive to one of the hillside villas, sink into the cozy sling of a patio hammock—Mojito in hand, of course—and watch the sun set over the Pacific from a private terrace. 

As the newest retreat in the Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality collection, a company that manages Earth-friendly lodges, hotels and small inns in Central America, interiors are all stylish eco-elegance, full of natural materials such as teak, bamboo and glass.

Kurà features six private guest villas, including luxurious amenities such as a king-sized bed with quality linens, plush towels and bathrobes, double rainfall-style shower, private minibar and wine cellar, espresso coffeemaker, iPod docking station, and free wireless internet, in addition to a full-service spa. 

And with a 19-metre (62-foot) saltwater infinity pool; outdoor lounge, bar and spa areas; and 360-degree view Sky Lounge for watching a star-glittered nightsky, even lodge lizards can enjoy the great outdoors while waiting for their massage.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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Five Quirky B&Bs for Unusual Summer Stays

Stay in a luxury treehouse in Oregon this summer.Instead of the usual summer vacation, why not try something different this year? Bed and breakfasts are the definition of unique. Of the estimated 17,000 inns in the U.S., no two inns are exactly the same. From Victorian, Queen Anne and Italianate architecture to rustic and urban styles, B&Bs come in all shapes and sizes. 

Not only will you enjoy wallet-friendly amenities like free Wi-Fi, guest pantries stocked with complimentary snacks and breakfast included in your rate, but also a one-of-a-kind travel experience. 

Prepare yourself for a summer of surprises with these five BnBFinder inns:  

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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GREEN TRAVEL: Two Costa Rica landscapes. One awesome vacation.

The problem with choosing a vacation? Too many choices. He wants the mountains. She wants the beach. 

Why choose? Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, a company that manages Earth-friendly lodges, hotels and small inns in Central America, serves up a new surf and turf Costa Rica vacation combo that makes it easy to explore the famed Santa Teresa beaches and lesser-known Turrialba mountains – all in one visit.

SURF: Feel the hot sand between your toes at Latitude 10 in Santa Teresa

Located just steps away from the pristine, white-sand Santa Teresa beach, Latitude 10 Exclusive Beach Resort is a romantic and private eco-getaway that contains just five guest casitas. As a hub for adventure and complete mind and body wellness getaway, spend your days kayaking and snorkeling the clear blue waters, surfing on some of Costa Rica’s finest breaks, rebalancing with a private yoga class or indulging in a deep-tissue massage.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".