Thursday, 17 September 2015

Things to consider when booking a hostel

So when booking a hostel I always start my search on Hostelworld or Hostelbookers. I search for the city I'm planning to stay in, and select the dates on which I want to arrive and leave. I set the price range to as much I am happy to spend (usually quite little), and limit the search to hostels with ratings between 75% and 100%. From here I switch to map view and in most circumstances I pick the hostel closest to the city centre. Easy. 

Picture of 2GO4 Hostel in Brussels
2GO4 Hostel in Brussels
The Golden Rule - I have never found a nice hostel with an elevator. I've stayed in many hostels with and without, but I've come to realise that as soon as an elevator is present, all hope of great atmosphere is lost. Now perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic, but I think there's no way a hostel can have an elevator and also feel cozy. 

Push Button Showers - I know it's rarely posted online, but avoid push button showers if you can. They're inconvenient and annoying. My shower time is sacred.

Bars - Bars are great! I always liked finding bars in hostels while on the road solo. They give the hostel a place for people to socialise when they're not in the mood to play tourist. 

Triple Bunks - I've only come across these dreadful contraptions 2 or 3 times but swipe through the hostel's pictures and down vote it as soon as you see bunkbeds with three levels. There's no vibe worse than a hamster cage vibe.

Internet - I was surprised in New Zealand that lots of hostels were still trying to charge for wifi. For me, I like it but it's not essential. If you require wifi to manage a blog or website, or even to maintain relationships, you can usually filter by hostels that have wifi by ticking 'internet/wifi' in the sidebar of all major booking websites.

Location - There's nothing like stepping out onto the street and feeling like you're in the heart of the city. If possible, never book a hostel so far from the city centre that you wouldn't be happy to walk. It also makes things easy when you're out in Barcelona and only need to navigate around one corner to find your mattress. 

If you liked this post, make sure to check out my guide on booking the cheapest flights.

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