While you might’ve heard some horror stories about hostels, if you choose the right one, then you can certainly get much more out of it than you would by staying in a hotel. If you haven’t read my last post, or if you don’t believe me then check it out and find out why staying in a hostel is better than a hotel. Read on below to find out how to pick the right hostel for you so that you can certainly get the most out of the experience.
1. Find a good website.
Personally, I like to use Hostelworld when searching for hostels. This seems to be the best one out there, but there are others too. Find one that works for you, and you’ll most certainly be able to find the right place to stay.
2. Search by ratings.
On websites like Hostelworld, one of the best ways to find a hostel is to use their advanced search feature. One thing I always do when looking at hostels is I narrow my search results down to ones that have been rated a 7.0 or higher. Doing this will eliminate any places where you definitely wouldn’t want to stay.
3. Think about what you want.
Think about what you’d want in a hostel – free breakfast, lockers, 24 hour reception, Wi-Fi, etc. and factor this into your search. Hostelworld lets you select items like these when you’re searching for a place to stay. Narrowing your search down to these factors will help you make sure that you get what you want.
4. Study the location.
Definitely study up on the place where you’ll be visiting so that you can make sure you’re staying in a good spot. I always like to find places that are close to everything or at least close to a cool part of the city, like it’s old town. Even if it’s not near places you’d want to go, it’s helpful to see if it’s at least near a metro stop.
5. Consider who you’re traveling with.
Hostels have all sorts of different room options. For example, you can choose to stay in a room with 14 beds that could be filled with both males and females. You could choose to stay in a two person room with you and your significant other, you could choose to stay in a room with four beds only for females. Most hostels have a variety of options, so you’ll want to think about what you want and the size of your group when choosing. For example, most of the time I would choose the cheapest option, which was the large mixed room. Honestly, I always felt the safest in this setting because of the larger group. I was always nervous staying in a smaller sized room, especially if it was mixed. I once had a terrible experience in a hostel because I was staying in a four person mixed room with two of my female friends and a creepy middle-aged Italian man. I would personally avoid staying in a small room with only one or two friends if you’re a female unless your group takes up the whole room. I never once had a problem staying in the larger rooms, and sometimes they were even more fun because I met more people.
6. Read the reviews cautiously.
Certainly read the reviews when looking into a hostel, but also keep in mind that some people will leave scathing reviews because they expect the hostel to have the same service as a top American hotel. First of all, customer service outside of America is completely different in general, but also, you can’t expect to get top-notch service at a hostel. I mean – sometimes you’re only paying $10-15 to stay there per night. Listen to the negative reviews, but keep this in mind. If there are a lot of good reviews, and the hostel has a good rating overall, then it will probably be a great experience!
And there you have it! Those are my tips for choosing a good hostel. It really only takes a little bit of careful searching and planning to find the right hostel for you. And if you find the right hostel, then you’ll most certainly have a great experience!
What are your tips for finding a good hostel? Please share in the comments below!