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Friday, November 28, 2008

Local backpackers flock together

Seasoned travelers tour with novices

It started as a classic 20-something backpacking trip to Europe.

Matt Caskey, then of Atlanta, and a buddy had landed a landscaping gig that paid good money. They decided to use the extra cash to explore Eastern Europe.

It was 1998 and neither Caskey nor his friend had ever left the United States. They struggled with the language, spent way too much money, and slept in more than a few train stations. But in the end, they came home so enamored with the experience that they made a vow to repeat it every year.

Fast forward a decade. Caskey, who now works at MIT and lives in the North End, has trekked across Europe more times than he can count. In 2006, he decided to help travel novices on a limited budget experience what he did. He launched a group called the Budget Backpacker, which leads inexperienced travelers down the same routes he once stumbled along.

"I made a lot of mistakes in a lot of cities," Caskey explained with a rueful grin. "Knowing what hostels to stay at, how to handle lost train tickets - that's priceless!" read more...

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