6 Tips to Picking the Perfect Hostel

Posted on September 30, 2011

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Hostels run the full spectrum of quality, personality and price. Choosing the right one can be a daunting task. This article provides 6 tips that will help you sort through the chaos and pick the right hostel every time you travel.

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To start your search, go to Hostelworld.com. Select your destination city and travel dates and then search. This will reveal a list of accommodations, including hostels, budget hotels, bed & breakfasts and campsites. Next use the following 6 steps to quickly find the best hostel from the list.

(1)  Sort list by rating. All hostels are rated by past guests on a 100% scale. We advise that you choose a hostel with at least 85%. There’s a dropdown at the top of the list that allows you to sort the hostels by price, rating, and other filters. By sorting the list by rating, the top rated hostels will move up to the top, so you don’t waste your time looking at hostels other backpackers have already found to be sub par.

(2)  Read the reviews. If you want to dig a bit deeper, you can read reviews from past guests. They will reveal more specific info about something that wasn’t right with their stay (excessive noise, dirty bathrooms, unfriendly staff, etc.). And of course, happy guests will tell you why they loved the place.

(3)  Be smart about price. Don’t make a decision based on price alone. It’s worthwhile to spend an additional 5-6 Euros a night for a hostel with a high rating. Your experience will be vastly better than if you simply choose the cheapest available bed.

(4)  Note the Location. Sometimes Hostelworld lists accommodations that are far away from the city center or in an adjacent town. Don’t get stuck dealing with long bus rides, especially if you plan to go out at night. Public transport generally stops running before you finish a night on the town, leaving taxis as your only option to get home.

(5)  Check out the extras. For every accommodation, there is a list of “facilities,” including the various services offered by the hostel.  These may include free breakfast, internet, luggage storage, towels and others. Look for common areas like bars, terraces or lounges, which are great places to meet other travelers.

(6)  Rooms. Take note of the number of people staying in your room. Also note whether it’s a mixed or single sex room and whether it has an en-suite (in-room) or shared bathroom.

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