So you want to stay in a hostel? Excellent! After staying in 8 different hostels on three continents, I am a firm believer that hostels are the way to go, not to mention the best way to travel cheap. Still debating if a hostel is right for you? Then check out 3 Reasons to Stay in a Hostel first to help you make your choice.
As much as I love hostels though, I will be the first to admit it can be a disastrous experience if you don’t chose wisely. Thankfully, if you do your research right, you can avoid any horror story.
Here are some guidelines I follow to ensure my success at finding the right hostel.
Do your Research
I highly recommend Hostel World for viewing and booking all reservations. They offer over 27,000 different budget beds in almost 200 countries complete with fabulous reviews. They display photos, travel directions, and offer a customizable search engine tailored to meet your needs.
Navigating Hostel World is simple. After entering the country and city you are planning on visiting, pick what type of property interests you. The choices include: hostels, bed and breakfasts, hotels, apartments, or campsites and simply check the box beside each one.
After you selected the dates desired and the expected number of guests, the fun can now begin!
Decide the Type of Trip
As the site begins to draw up choices, start thinking about what kind of trip you want and what is most important to you. Are you looking for a place to party? A place to read and relax? A place to meet new people? That’s the great thing about a hostel— you can pick!
If you want a fun place to party in, look for hostels that promote their bars or late night hangouts. If you are looking for a quieter more family-oriented place to stay at find places that advertise being quiet, relaxing, or located off the main street.
Adjust the Filters
The second thing you need to do is to adjust the filters on the left hand side. You can specify your currency, your maximum price, the ratings, and much more.
When I choose a hostel, I try to aim for at least 25 reviews that are 88% or higher. Now that is not always possible, but a good rule of thumb to stick by.
Read the Reviews
I highly recommend looking through the photos and reading the reviews before booking as they are great informational resources. For example when I was in Rome I was hesitant to book a hostel that was 20 minutes outside the main attractions. After reading the reviews, however, I realized I could save money by staying farther away and take the local bus into town which was just a block away. I ended up walking to the main sites instead though because so many advocated that the beautiful park and city ruins along the way would be more enjoyable. Either way I would not have known this except by reading what other guests had posted. Their reviews also helped me find local restaurants that were both cheap and delicious.
Book your Reservation
After carefully examining all of your options, book your reservation, and start packing! I know that sometimes it is not always possible to find hostels in every tourist destination (or even hotels for that matter if your destination is obscure) however, if you follow this simple guide you will be sure to pick the best one when available.
Check out the video to learn more about booking at Hostel World. Happy budget bed hunting!