Christy and Aaron Tracker

Follow Christy and Aaron on their backpacking trip around the world

Hostelling International Locations on Google Earth

Posted by Aaron in Planning on 11 23rd, 2009

Hostelling International (HI) has hostels all over the world, but their website does not have a way to download all hostel locations into Google Earth. Fortunately, I was able to find the Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files used by the embedded maps on the HI website. The same KML files can be used in Google Earth to map hostel locations. The following files are all owned and maintained by Hostelling International:

Open the files in Google Earth and you will be able to see the hostel locations on a map. This will be a great way for Christy and I to plan travel routes by coordinating hostel locations with landmarks and transportation stations. Also, since the KML files areĀ  saved on our computer, we can find a place to sleep without needing an internet connection.

The man in seat sixty-one

Posted by Aaron in Planning on 11 18th, 2009

I just stumbled upon a great website for traveling by train all over the world. The man in seat sixty-one is a travel website run by a former British railway professional who decided to share his knowledge of train travel. The site has grown into a massive collection of timetables, maps, tips, and links to train and ferry information all over the world.

This site is going to be a big help in planning our travels through Asia. One of the great pages on the site is a suggested way to plan a budget and itinerary for a complex trip. Up until now we have been vaguely outlining where we want to go and how much we will spend. The spreadsheet method should be a great way to organize things a little better. I have always been concerned with ruining the adventure of travel by over organizing the trip, but I think we can build flexibility into the schedule once we identify critical timing points and costs. Some trains only run once a week, so mistiming a train connection can mean spending significant time in the transfer cities instead of more desirable locations.

I cannot wait to start building the spreadsheet and seeing our trip develop more concretely. I hope I can find the man in seat sixty-one on one of our trains so I can thank him in person.