Leavenworth Washington - The Bavarian Village That Makes The Perfect Weekend Getaway!

Leavenworth Washington - The Bavarian Village That Makes The Perfect Weekend Getaway!

It seems like everywhere lately there are videos popping up of people enjoying a beer while gazing out at the grandeur of the Swiss Alps giving all of us FOMO. But did you know that you don’t need to go all the way to Europe to enjoy this Bavarian experience? Just two hours outside of Seattle Washington, is the Alpine-Style town of Leavenworth; surrounded by the cascade mountains and complete with German beers and lederhosen.

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Mountain Mike and One Serious Canadian Adventure

Mountain Mike and One Serious Canadian Adventure

Reaching the summit that day was unlike any other hike I’ve ever done. Not only were the views epic all around, but the quickly formed group felt like friends from another lifetime. And seeing an “influencer” have REAL influence and impact and change people’s lives was a lesson I will take with me everywhere I go.

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5 Reasons Hostels Add Value to Your Travels (and life!)

Guest Blog from hostelgeeks.com

We are Hostelgeeks, the world’s leading network of upscale 5-Star Hostels. We are a team of young creative travelers with a deep passion for, well, hostels. And we believe staying in Hostels can add a lot of value to your travels and here’s why.

1. You’ll build awesome friendships

Certainly the main thing that differentiates hostels from hotels are that they’re super sociable! Yet, this is always optional.

Opt for a shared dorm and join an event if you’re keen to meet people. It has never been easier for solo travelers thanks to incredible hostels around the world!

In Italy we once met a couple on a beach. We got talking. This couple was about to travel for 2 full months in Europe - exciting, right?! We told them we have been traveling almost 3 years non-stop. They asked us with big eyes ”What do you do not to get bored?!”

That question blew my mind in so many ways. Long story short, one thing we told them was to choose hostels over hotels or Airbnb when they feel bored. A hostel is a place to meet and greet.

Hostels are a great way to build lifelong friendships. Give it a try! Oh, and in case you need to get a conversation started, a good start is usually “hello”.

2. You share, you care

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Staying in a hostel ultimately leads to meeting like-minded people that have many stories to share. And so will you!

This shared love of travel and upscale hostels leads to enthusiastic conversations with people that want to share and care to listen in return. Forget blank faces as you re-tell your epic adventure - hostels are THE place to meet people who just, well, get it.

3. Your next destination may be discovered thanks to insider tips

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One thing’s for sure; staff at epic hostels across the world are passionate about the area and know it well.

Unlike other accommodations, hostel staff have plenty of time to dedicate to their guests. They love to share insider tips, secret locations and local knowledge. Heck, in a lot of hostels they’re on hand 24/7.

Not only that, but you’re bound to meet world travelers that can give you awesome info about a destination somewhere exotic. Your list will be ever increasing!

Sometimes, travelers who just met in the hostel even choose to travel together to the next places.

4. Unique tours & activities by the hostel

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By far one of the best reasons to stay in a hostel is to take advantage of the many free, social and unique tours and activities.

This can be anything from a local pub crawl, to group yoga and cooking classes.

Party hostels usually always have something happening. It’s best to be familiar with the hostel type and check out a hostel’s website to see what kind of activities they have on offer before you book.

For example, the wonderful Ecomama in Amsterdam runs their very own red-light district tours. Super fun, on a budget, and a great way to tour the famous red light district with your hostel mates.
We wrote about it in our guide to best hostels in Amsterdam.

5. You learn a variety of new things

Travel is education and it can teach us so many things.

Hostels are a place to develop new skills and learn new things. Hostels around the world encourage socializing and personal development.

Learn about yourself, try your hand at a new hobby, discover cultures and enjoy the ultimate freedom to be who you want to be.

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A few Disadvantages of Hostels

Of course, we like to stay in hostels. They come with a lot of great advantages. Yet, there are a few downsides.

1. Not all hostels are awesome

The majority of hostels out there are not high-standard. For obvious reasons: They are budget accommodations. Pay close attention to reviews and websites like ours at Hostelgeeks.com to see if a hostel is actually worth it.

2. Not all hostels are social

That goes in the same direction. Some hostels just offer dorms for sleeping, but there is no social component. Again, always read reviews to get a better idea.

3. Snoring in dorms

When choosing a dorm, you cannot choose your roommates. Sometimes, you may end up in a room with a snorer. NOT COOL!

While snorers are actually encouraged not to choose a dorm, few don’t seem to care. Female travelers also have the option of going for a female-only dorm. Chances are lower that girls snore.

4. Privacy

When staying in a hostel, you give up a bit of your privacy. You share the room, the common area, the toilet, and the kitchen. You cannot behave like you own the place, and you have to clean your dishes and such. That one is pretty obvious, right?!

So what do you think? Do you want to give hostels a try.

We are Hostelgeeks, an independent platform delivering the world’s greatest hostels; the 5 Star Hostels. Our mission is to deliver 1 upscale hostel per destination, based on transparent criteria. We can relax in peace knowing your hostel research is made easier.

Find all our official 5 Star Hostels and go around the world with Hostelgeeks. Also for more Check out One Week In for European travel guides.

Premium Hostels - And Why You’ll NEVER Go Back To Hotels!

Guest Blog from hostelgeeks.com

Not sure if you would ever stay in a hostel? Welcome to the new reality. Hostels have gone through a major development. In this article, we will share with you mind-blowing places that you won’t believe are actually hostels. You may never want to stay in boring places ever again.


First, a few words about us. Who are we? And why do we talk about hostels?

Hostelgeeks is the world’s leading network of upscale hostels and your shortcut to finding the best, 5-Star Hostels. These 5-Star Hostels are based on transparent criteria, ensuring safety, cleanliness, and a unique stay that you will enjoy.

We are a team of young creative travelers with a deep passion for, well, hostels....yes, okay...what can we say: We are Hostel Geeks.

So, let’s jump in and talk about 3 EPIC Hostels you had no idea are Hostels

  1. Forget boutique hotels - Stay at The Passenger Hostel in Porto

If it’s eye-popping design and luxurious rooms you’re after, you needn’t look further than The Passenger Hostel in Porto, Portugal.

Besides well thought out details, the Passenger team has created a social space that naturally allows the friendly vibes to flow. Kick-off your shoes and let this become more than a hostel; it has everything needed for a cozy, fun home-away-from-home.

You might say “Alright, the Passenger Hostel looks cool, but I don’t want to share a room, I want my privacy“.

Okay, fair enough. Let us introduce you to their Luxury Suite and Private Rooms. You won’t find many hotels with that quality even!

Also, if in doubt if you would ever want to stay in a dorm, The Passenger Hostel would be a great hostel to test out your comfort zone. Enjoy ultimate privacy with curtain-clad bunks and climb up the stylish ladder to your bed. No shaky or squeaking bed like in old-school hostels or cheap hotels for that matter. And the dorms are massive.

Last but not least, make new friends easily at the in-house bar. After all, it is a hostel.

Check out our guide of the best hostels in Porto.

2. Caveland in Santorini - Pure luxury sleeping in an actual cave!

Once a winery, now an upscale accommodation for the event lover out there. Think yoga, BBQ and hot springs tour. Those are just some of the options available here at Caveland.

Yet the best bit obviously has to be the cave rooms. Combine the novelty with 18th-century design and soft lighting and you have yourself one seriously unique stay.

Oh and there’s an outdoor pool and living area to relax in. Are you convinced yet?

3. Revel in Family Backpacker Vibes at Ani Haakien Hostel in Rotterdam


A hostel is more than its layout. Slow down and get to know Ani Haakien. Once you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.

And why would you when delicious food, cold drinks, great music and a cuddly cat is all within the walls of this artsy hostel?

There are ample chill spaces which makes it impossible not to get chatting. We personally love the long kitchen dining table.

Ani Haakien stands out thanks to the super-duper staff. Join one of their organized events - pasta night, please! - or ask them about Rotterdam and learn their secrets to a truly local experience.

Ani Haakien hostel is an incredible feel-home-never-want-to-leave hostel. It comes with an artsy heart and design.


Hostels are a fantastic option for solo-travelers as well as couples, older travelers and even families. Go with a 5 Star Hostel and you cannot go wrong.

Eager for more epic upscale hostels and have a destination in mind?

We are Hostelgeeks, an independent platform delivering the world’s greatest hostels; the 5 Star Hostels. Our mission is to deliver 1 upscale hostel per destination, based on transparent criteria. We can relax in peace knowing your hostel research is made easier. Find all official 5 Star Hostels around the world with Hostelgeeks.

Best Places to Eat and Drink in Billings, Montana

Best Places to Eat and Drink in Billings, Montana

Billings, Montana blew me away with their food scene. Between classic western diners, to modern martini bars, to the only walkable beer trail in the state, there was so much happening here it needed a separate blog! Here are just a few of the incredible places to stop when you visit Billings.

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The Best Place To Eat On Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey California

The Best Place To Eat On Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey California

Lunchtime at Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey can feel like a busy Saturday flea market with shops and restaurants clamoring for your attention and business. There’s one restaurant that isn’t begging for business and shying customers away with their cat calling (chowder calling?)

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10 Amazing Hikes Around Southern California

10 Amazing Hikes Around Southern California

There are SO many hiking trails around Southern California that this list could be endless! And I have only explored a small section in my eight years living in Los Angeles. Going off of the many places I’ve had the pleasure of hiking, here are my top 10 favorite hikes around Southern (and a couple in Central) California!

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10 Tips for Beginner Hikers

10 Tips for Beginner Hikers

One of the big reasons that I started Monica Goes was because I saw so many amazing blogs and vlogs of experts going on epic adventures but I kept thinking “What about the rest of us? What about the people like me who loved the outdoors but had NO clue where to start or what I needed? The ones who are scared of the unknown and intimidated by the adrenaline junkies but want to give it a go?”

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How to Rent and Travel by RV Anywhere You Want To Go

How to Rent and Travel by RV Anywhere You Want To Go

No matter where you want to travel, renting and traveling with an RV can be a great and memorable experience. Whether you decide that you want to vacation overseas or somewhere in the country, there are ways to rent and travel by RV anywhere you want to go. 

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10 Things To Do In Tempe Arizona

10 Things To Do In Tempe Arizona

Man, every time I go to or through Arizona I just fall more in love with that state! From the desert wilderness, to the red rocks, to the mountaintops, it just gets more and more beautiful! But when I had the chance to visit Tempe last month I wasn’t sure what to expect other than a fun little college town.

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