Since the first hostel opened its doors in Germany in 1909, there have been over 1.2 billion overnight stays in hostels by travelers worldwide. Last year alone, travelers from more than 100 countries spent nearly one million nights in Hostelling International USA's 75 hostels. Now, with the international hostelling movement gearing up for it’s centennial in 2009, HI-USA members, alumni, supporters, and travel enthusiasts alike are coming together to propose a U.S. postage stamp to honor this history.
The year may be coming to a close, but you can still catch the Hawaiki Nui Canoe Race in Tahiti or Tulcea Winter Carnival in Romania… or simply read about them in Lonely Planet's Blue List 2007 while curled up on your couch. Get your own copy of the Blue List, and start planning your trips for the new year ahead!
Although best known for its raucous costume parties and outrageous street fairs, San Francisco is also a rich ground for those seeking the more spirited side of the Halloween season. Ghost hunters have plenty of historical sites to haunt in their search for the paranormal, while people of all cultural backgrounds can share in the honoring of loved ones past at Dia de los Muertos festivals around the city. The best part is, all you need to attend many of these haunted gatherings is a comfortable pair of shoes and warm jacket.