Of all the types of accommodation, hostels are frequently considered to be the least expensive (and the least pretentious as well). Mostly frequented by backpackers and low-budget travellers, hostels are, indeed, a great accommodation option – especially when you are travelling on short or medium-term.
What are the most important things you should know before choosing a hostel, though? We have gathered some tips to help you with this – so read on and find out more.
Money is not everything
You may think that we’re contradicting ourselves here (especially since we just said that hostels are a budget-friendly alternative). However, it is definitely not so. In fact, money should be a criterion if you are running on a tight budget. But it shouldn’t be the first and most important one.
Remember, many of the more expensive hostels (which will still be much cheaper than a hotel room) actually provide their customers with a lot of benefits: such as free Internet, breakfast and a generally cozier atmosphere.
Safety is everything
While money should not be placed as the first criterion, safety should. Not all cheap hostels are less safe than their more expensive counterparts. However, it is better to pay a bit more and to feel like you goods and your own integrity are not at stake in any way. In general, stay away from odd neighborhoods and from any kind of hostel that seems “fishy” in any way.
The type of hostel
Generally speaking, there are two main types of hostels: the relaxation ones and the party ones. Where the first are more chill and they will allow you a good night’s sleep (together with the clean sheets and bathrooms associated with it), the second ones will be more fun-oriented. It is here where you will probably socialize more (and maybe feel a bit more unsafe because of it) – and it is also here where you are more likely to build really fun memories. However, if you expect a good bed and a quiet spot when you get back from a day of exploration, party hostels are not an option for you.
Location is important
As mentioned previously, it is advisable that you stay away from shady neighborhoods. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot get away from the beaten track to save some money and get better quality for your dollars. Location is important, so make sure to research it before you book a room and make sure to know exactly how far away it is from the main attractions.
Do your homework
Aside from the location-related research, please be sure to do your other “homework” as well. Read reviews of the hostel you have chosen, ask people around to see which of the hostels they tried and how satisfied they were of them and keep an open eye and an open ear to everything hostel-related. It is much better to be informed than to be disappointed by your experience later on!