Travel Blunder: Not knowing what kind of hostel you’re booking.

Posted on September 25, 2011

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Samantha finished a long day of hiking the German countryside and traveling by train, and was ready for a night of rest when she arrived at her hostel in Munich. When she stepped in the door, she was greeted by the sound of a karaoke party/rave going on right next to her room. Unprepared for the raucous noise, she didn’t sleep much that night — and was too groggy to enjoy sight-seeing the city.

Samantha made a common travel mistake:

Not knowing what kind of hostel you’re booking.

Every hostel has a different flavor. Some can be a non-stop party. Some are austere and quiet. Some are a mix in between. Whatever kind of hostel you’re seeking for your weekend adventure, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Here’s how to avoid this mistake.

  • Read your hostel’s reviews on Hostelworld.com or Hostelbookers.com. Not only are these websites great for making your hostel reservation, but the live reviews will let you know everything from the “atmosphere” of the hostel to whether or not the hot water broke last weekend. You can also find out if your hostel includes breakfast — which can save you money and keep you eating healthy while you travel.
  • Bring ear plugs. These can ensure you get a great night’s sleep. Even if your hostel isn’t a nonstop party, the bunk bed above yours might be terribly creaky. Bring ear-plugs to make sure you sleep soundly.
  • Request a quieter room. If you find yourself stuck in a noisy co-ed dormitory and that really isn’t what you want, don’t be afraid to ask your hostel staff for a room in a quieter dorm away from the party — or, you can always upgrade to a single-sex dorm, a smaller dorm, or a private room (but please don’t isolate yourself from your fellow backpackers — you should definitely still make new friends.)

Happy travels!

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