the world's smartest travel social network
“Backpackers and Flashpackers in Western Europe: 500 Hostels in 100 Cities in 25 Countries,” (Hypertravel Books) is available now at www.amazon.com and elsewhere online. The first book to document and catalog the recent dramatic increase in the number of hostels and their evolution and acceptance worldwide, “Backpackers and Flashpackers” is more than just a guide to hostels for backpackers. For one thing, it’s aimed at any and all independent travelers, not just backpackers, since many backpackers have now upgraded to “flashpackers,” a more modern and more tech-savvy version of the original concept. For another, it also combines the directory with “how-to” information and geographical/historical abstracts of all the places where hostels are found, which is a LOT… and this is just the beginning.
“Travel widely and travel wisely,” Karges advises, and that’s his travel philosophy in a nutshell. That’s what he’s done, in one hundred fifty countries over the course of forty years, much of it described in intimate detail and vivid prose in his previous travel book, “Hypertravel: 100 Countries in 2 Years,” which got good reviews among the online travel community. He’s published poetry, lived overseas, speaks a handful of languages and traded in folk art with indigenous peoples in a dozen countries. He knows his stuff, and he writes it up concisely, with a mind informed by a degree in philosophy, and feet informed by a million plus miles of travel.
There’s more, too; more books, that is, first and foremost the companion guide to Europe’s other half, Eastern Europe, with exotic locales and services similar to the West, all at half the price. Yes, now you can travel by bus, train and plane all over Eastern Europe with scarcely so much as an entry stamp to clutter up your passport, and even fewer visas; and there will be hostels to stay in once you get there. When advance booking is not possible, these hostel guides can come in very handy, with full specs and contact info. The second book of the series is named and patterned after the first: “Backpackers and Flashpackers in Eastern Europe: 500 Hostels in 100 Cities in 25 Countries.” The book is currently being finalized for publication.
“A happy accident of these projects is that it suggests a new paradigm for travel guides, one that I would use—just the facts, and just the best places,” says Karges. After all, these books are at their best when used in advance, to facilitate a hostel-based trip. If there aren’t any hostels there, then a place just may not be worth visiting. “These are all ‘real’ hostels, too,” Karges emphasizes, “not just cheap rooms.” There’s a difference, and that’s a difference most booking sites don’t make.
Like your approach! This is my kind of travel and I'll want the eastern Europe book too when it comes out. And like you say, you don't have to be a 20 year old kid to travel this way.
Thanks for your positive response. The new gap year is 55, ha! East Europe edition should be out in 2-3 weeks, stay tuned. C U in Sarajevo!