Gunnison’s Wanderlust Hostel Offers $35 Crested Butte Lift Tickets

skiingWhile I was enjoying a few days of Nordic (read: free) activities in Crested Butte last week, a local let me in on a secret. “You can get deals on lift tickets everywhere. You just need to know where to look.” And then she passed on some intel to me.

In that spirit, I’d like to present to you what is perhaps the most insane ski deal I’ve ever come across. Gunnison’s groovy Wanderlust Hostel is offering up $35 lift tickets with a one-night stay.

Located just 30 miles down-valley from Crested Butte, Gunnison is still very much the old-school ranching community it’s always been. Sure, they have a coffee house and some good restaurants now, but it’s still rural Colorado, albeit just outside one of the state’s most enchanting and authentic ski towns.

Wanderlust, which is owned by outdoor guide Amy Stevens and her cat Porkchop (don’t laugh; he’s kind of a badass, and even has his own blog), is the anti-hosteler’s hostel. It’s spotless, homey, peaceful, full of funky style, and caters to outdoorsy folks of all ages (for photos, click here). If the pursuit of powder (or, in summer, slab climbing, fly-fishing, trail-riding, or mountain biking) is more important to you than thread-count, you’ll appreciate Wanderlust.

There are private and shared rooms starting at just $23/night, and a family room that sleeps up to six. You can spend your time off the slopes curled up next to the fireplace, or cooking in the spacious hostel kitchen. No car? There’s a free shuttle to Crested Butte running eight times a day, just a half-block away.

[Photo credit: Tom Stillo]

Inside Sweden’s Jumbo Hostel

Your eyes do not deceive you, that’s a bed in the cockpit of a commercial airliner. Or former commercial airliner, I should say. What you’re looking at is the top front room of Stockholm’s Jumbo Hostel, a converted Boeing 747 jumbo jet that’s been remodeled to form one of the most unique hostels in the entire planet.

Parked just off of the tarmac outside of Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, the Jumbo Hostel features a series of bunked rooms on either side of the “aisle” moving from the center to the back of the aircraft. A few rooms, including that pictured above and the one in the tail cone come with ensuite bathrooms, but in true hostel style, there are scattered, shared bathrooms throughout the craft.

At the nose of the airplane and in the aft of the second floor, the Jumbo Hostel features two common areas, the latter of which is adorned with actual seats from the first class cabin of an airliner. The common area in front also doubles as a place to sit down, grab a few snacks, have a drink and swap a few stories with the other bewildered residents.

As far as comfort, our room in the tail cone featured two narrow beds positioned near each other, a bed stand and a small television mounted to the wall – not lavish by any standards, but quite common and almost cozy for a hostel.

Rooms at the Jumbo start at about $60USD per night. Be forewarned that there aren’t a ton of food options near the property except for the local snacks and the Radisson Blu across the street, so if you’re going to need a meal then plan ahead. You can reach the hostel from Arlanda by taking the 14 bus from the public transit area.

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Note, some logistical help in executing this trip came from the Sweden tourism board. Itineraries and adventures were our own creation.

British backpackers spreading sexually transmitted diseases

“No sex please, we’re British.”

That old joke has been proven wrong by a new medical study that found British backpackers in Australia are picking up more than just short-term partners; they’re picking up infections that they spread around Australia and back home.

A survey of 1,008 backpackers at youth hostels in Sydney and Cairns revealed that 24 percent of British backpackers had unprotected sex with multiple partners, meaning 24 percent of British backpackers are total idiots. About half of those interviewed reported inconsistent condom use. The report found that even those who arrived with a partner were getting in on the act, with almost 20 percent them hopping into bed with someone else.

Australia receives an influx of almost 700,000 Britons a year, many of them backpackers, and while the study did not specifically check for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (called Sexually Transmitted Infections by those randy Brits) it doesn’t take a medical expert to put two and two together. In fact, the UK government last year reported that chlamydia, genital herpes, and genital warts are at an all-time high, with the 16-24 age group being the most affected.

Please, guys, wrap your John Thomas. And ladies, make the guys wrap their John Thomas. If you’re British, why not use a Big Ben condom like the one shown here? It’s a great way to inject some of your national culture into the local population.