22 Bed Dorm One Night + 5 Star Luxury The Next: Why I Love ‘Mixed Travelling’


When this blog stopped being a hobby and started becoming more of an integral part of my life, I naturally sought out advice on how to grow, how to improve and how to build more of an audience.

One piece of advice that seemed to come up time and time again was that a blogger needs to find their niche, and that you can’t write about both backpacking and luxury travel on the same platform.

I hated this piece of advice.

I didn’t see (and still don’t) why I couldn’t have the best of both worlds. I love roughing it, and I love a little luxury. So, I decided to ignore that advice and continue to write about both, sharing my love of what I like to call ‘mixed travel’ with anyone and everyone.

I wouldn’t change my ‘mixed travel’ life for anything or anyone, so, here a few reasons why I won’t be finding a stereotypical smaller niche anytime soon.

It keeps you on your toes

For me, one of the appealing parts of the travel life is that it is so unpredictable. You could plan everything down to the minute, but that doesn’t mean anything at all! When travelling, things change and life moves at such a fast pace that you never really know how each day is gonna go.

This unpredictability is further enhanced when you bounce around between budget and luxury stays. You never know what you’ll be eating, if you’ll have internet access, whether you’ll sleep well or if you’ll make some amazing new friends.

The magic of travelling is not just about bucket list experiences, such as seeing the Giza Pyramids or trekking the Inca Trail; it is also about random nights out with brand new best friends, drinking 30c beers at 6am simply because the opportunity presented itself or even spending the night binge watching netflix in a bathrobe! It is about never knowing what will happen next – and for me, mixed travel puts that unpredictability on steroids, and I am definitely all about it!

A happy snap from a huge night out on the town in Reykjavik with people I had met in my hostel just a few hours prior. Years on and I still keep in contact with Leigh – the blonde on the left.

No two days are alike

If every day of an adventure you have the comforts of a hotel or the cramped nature of a hostel, the days can kinda blur together a little. When you bounce around between the two types of accommodation, I find that it makes it easier for me to recall and remember details of my trip later on.

It helps me make landmarks in my mind, including details of where I went, what I did, who I met and more. As someone who often doesn’t write about her trips until weeks (or even months) after they’ve been and gone, this is an incredibly useful way of recalling lots of smaller details.

It makes my travel dollarydoos go farther

Sure, if I was constantly in hostels I would save more money than any other way of travelling, but by mixing it up, it means that I save money on hostel days and am left with more money to spend on the really special hotels or experiences than I would if I was always staying in hotels. It means that if I want to go hot air ballooning or skydiving or bungee jumping, I usually can!

Which brings me to the next point…

It really makes you appreciative of the luxuries

I think it can be pretty easy to get complacent with a certain lifestyle, but if you are constantly changing said lifestyle, you are reminded on a regular basis of just how lucky you are. I stay in hotels and at first, I love the towels, the room service and the comfort; but it isn’t long before I start craving the social aspect of hostels, the ability to cook my own food and the nights out on the town with complete strangers.

On the reverse, when I spend too long in hostels I start getting really easily annoyed with snorers, people who hog electrical outlets and the lack of privacy; so then I go back to a hotel and eventually the cycle repeats itself.

It means that I don’t become that traveller who really doesn’t know how great they’ve got it!


Both are unpredictable, just in different ways

Hotels are unpredictable in the sense that you never know when you’ll be sprung with a free upgrade, or when the room will be next level stunning or whether the WiFi will be any good.

Hostels are unpredictable in the sense that you never know who you’ll meet, if you’ll have a top or bottom bunk, if you’ll get hot water when you shower or whether you’ll meet someone who changes your life.

I truly do get the best of both worlds.

I love my mixed travel life, and I won’t be changing it anytime soon.

Looking like an absolute mess, but unbelievably happy

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30-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

18 thoughts on “22 Bed Dorm One Night + 5 Star Luxury The Next: Why I Love ‘Mixed Travelling’

  1. This is your blog, run it as you see fit! I wouldn’t change a thing here. πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸ»β€οΈ

  2. There is tons of perfectly reasonable advice out there that we shouldn’t follow! I like to say that every rule has an exception, and you’ve made a very exceptional blog! Anyway, variety is the spice of life and all that.

  3. You have perfectly explained exactly how I feel about where I stay! Hostels are great for meeting people but hotels are great for peace and quiet and privacy. Love both!

  4. I have always loved that combination of a bit of roughing it combined with extreme luxury. Clearly there is a niche that many of us fall into and that is the need for an immersive experience. I’m equally at home whether drinking an cup of mesala chai from a Mumbai street cart, sipping from a flute of Ruinart on the Champs Elysees or boiling water in the Sumatran jungle. Just give me the experience! πŸ™‚

  5. I think unpredictability goes for life in general. At least, I appreciate unpredictability, and I am not a full time traveler. You never know what opportunities will arise, who you’ll meet, or where life will bring you. I applaud you for not following the blogging advice. You’ve managed to carve a pretty awesome and unique internet space without it. I don’t spend a whole lot of time blogging these days–it’s turned into a “when I feel like it” hobby (again, unpredictability!)–but I used to worry about finding my niche. Then I realized I didn’t care–I’d rather strive to write about my unique perspective with authenticity than try to fit into a niche that I’ll probably grow out of at some point, anyways. And as someone who has traveled on the super cheap and in more luxurious situations, there is definitely value to both, and it’s super cool that your blog provide both of those perspectives.

  6. I also like variety and stay in hostels (sometimes dorms, sometimes private), b&bs, motels or hotels depending on the type of trip I’m having. Variety is refreshing.

  7. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS do what you like and love. The heck with naysayers. I happen to enjoy reading about the way you travel. I might not ever get to the luxury hotels ($$$$ constraints) but it does give me something to dream about.

  8. Good for you. I totally agree with you on how you’ve taken the direction of your blog. Happy travels and keep enjoying πŸ’™

  9. Hi Ellen,
    Who cares what other people think, you obviously really enjoy your travel and I enjoy reading what you post.
    I love being a non conformist too, its very liberating whether I’m travelling or blogging. Keep enjoying what you do and being your individual self.

  10. Hi Ellen,
    Who cares what other people think, you obviously enjoy your travel and I enjoy reading your posts.
    I too am a non conformist when it comes to travel and blogging, not everyone needs a niche.
    Looking forward to reading more of your adventures.

  11. Great post, Ellen! I am personally more of a private person, so too long in a hostel, and I would be bonkers. But your blog is so perfectly you. I don’t know much about this stuff yet, but I know why I follow you. You are very passionate about your travels, and it shows on your work. You are an adventio soul who isn’t afraid to expose her real self, and it shows in your blog. In my humble opinion, you are successful because you work hard, you are passionate and super talented. And most of all, your blog is you. And please don’t change a thing! πŸ‘πŸ‘

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