Booking the perfect hostel can seem an impossible task with all the endless options. Nothing beats experience when it comes to getting it just right but for those new to #HostelLife these are the key specifications to look for.
This is crucial, too cheap and you’re living uncomfortably but too expensive and you’re wasting precious travelling money. This is where HostelWorld.com is perfect, as it will organize hostels by price so you can search within your budget range. The more roommates you’re willing to take on will generally mean a cheaper rate.
City center, beachside, walking distance to everything, daily train and/or bus rides to all your must-see locations, excreta. Again, HostelWorld.com can organize by location and you can flip into a map view of the city and check out what’s available in a specific area.
No one wants to stay in dirty and unkept living conditions so cleanliness is usually ranked quite high. Browse the photos and check the cleanliness score on HostelWorld.com but focus on the reviews to find out about daily upkeep and cleaning standards.
A hit or miss with backpackers; some will stay in any size dorm while others insist on smaller or female only rooms. Be sure to check availability beforehand and budget in a little extra for smaller dorms.
Spacious kitchens and large enough lounge areas to accommodate everyone are big factors. Added comforts such as a TV or pool table are always good to look out for as well. Check for on-site laundry services and free Wi-Fi, as they are not always included. Also double check for free perks such as a book exchange shelf or daily breakfast to help save a little on your budget.
Photos on HostelWorld or the hostels website
One absolute requirement when looking to book somewhere new is photos of the hostel, more specifically photos of the dorm rooms. More times then not hostels don’t post photos because they have something to hide. This can be anything from cramped living quarters to outdated kitchens or amenities they have listed that are not available anymore.
Checking HostelWorld.com scores is a must, but browsing reviews left by previous and most recent guests is where you’ll learn the most about the facility and any declining conditions. Everyone is different; you may love a hostel that someone else hated, but weighing the negative reviews in response to the positive ones should give you a good indication of what life in that hostel is like. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut feeling even if the reviews are leaning otherwise. Worst-case scenario, you’ll have to switch hostels, but you’ll gain more know-how on booking for next time.