budget travel

Stay at a Hostel, Meet the World

HI USA Marin view

In the past, hostels have generally been associated with over-zealous, boozed-up young adults; dingy, dodgy dorm rooms with ultra-thin mattresses and far-flung European destinations à la the movie Hostel. But at HI USA, we believe hostelling can be a real force for good. And as more and more people are opening their eyes to the joys of travel, this form of social, budget-friendly accommodation is fast becoming the popular choice for young and old who are looking to explore the United States and beyond.

Get Your Fall Digital Detox in Point Reyes

Hi Point Reyes View

Summer is officially over: you’ve spent the months liking and sharing on Facebook, hitting reply-all and taking endless calls, and now you’re gearing up for winter festivities and the kind of chaos that the holidays bring. But before you go back to the office or enter another season of heavy social media activity, what about a mini escape to unplug, unwind and recharge your own battery while giving your overworked iPhone a break too? Our suggestion: The secluded hills and beaches of the Point Reyes National Seashore.

5 Spots for Big-Money Views On the Cheap

Corona Heights Park

By Marguerite Richards 

Visitors often arrive to the Golden Gate City with visions of lovely Lombard Street, its steep hairpin turns dominating the mind’s eye. Navigating newcomers can be surprised by less-than-foot-friendly mini mountains to summit on their tours. But here’s the skinny on those hills: they’ll lead you to dozens of vistas all across the city, many with 360-degree panoramas. Locals pay millions for postcard-perfect picture windows to get these same views, but you don’t have to.

Exploring Sausalito, Tech-Free and on a Budget

Sausalito Herring Festival

By Marian Schembari

I first traveled through Europe with nothing but a few torn pages from Lonely Planet, meaning I spent a lot of time getting lost and discovering hidden gems. But Today, whenever I travel, "fear of missing out" requires I bring a smartphone so I don't "miss anything."

But instead, I end up navigating, nose to the screen, missing everything.

Get a Taste of California Wine Country Without a Car

Bluxome St. winery glass

Robert Louis Stevenson called it "bottled poetry." Ben Franklin called it "proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy." But in here Northern California, we just call good wine "a way of life." The region immediately surrounding San Francisco is blessed with endless rows of lush vineyards, innumerable wineries, and plenty of friendly folks ready to share their knowledge of local viticulture with visitors.