There’s been a positive shift with hostels all over the world in recent times, mainly due to competition and the high influx of travellers looking for somewhere to stay that is quality and at an affordable price.
Most hostel owners know that if backpackers have bad hostel experience that it can ruin a destination for them, so it is important that the hostel accommodates their needs as well as their own too.
Hostels aren’t going to market themselves as the worst place in the region to stay, unclean, unfriendly and generally rubbish, are they? So, to help you see the wood through the trees, we’ve got some points to consider when thinking about your trip and what sort of hostel you are looking to book in to.
What is your budget?
The spike of ‘flashpacking‘ and the hostels moving to accommodate this type of tourist, it can also mean more costly prices to pay to stay in a hostel.
While this can give reassurance to some people who are nervous about where they are staying, if you’re travelling is focused on a budget bank balance then look for a hostel that’s got those criteria in mind and enjoy the simple way of life while you’re enjoying what’s on offer outside of the hostel!
Have you picked the right location?
If you select a stay in a hostel on the outskirts of the city then you benefit from quiet settings and tranquillity.
On the flip side, this means you’re not in the heart of the action, so if you want to experience the lights, hustle, bustle and blend of all things slightly more eccentric about places on your travels, then booking a city centre-based hostel.
Have you considered your requirements?
Do you want to book a hostel for a couple of days or do you want to pitch up and stay for a while longer? You’re best suited to booking a hostel that offers services such as a travel desk and daily and nightly activities then.
This type of hostel is great for anyone looking to meet other like-minded backpackers, and if you’re a solo traveller it can be a really easy and stress-free way to make new friends.
If, after reading this, the answer is no, and all you’re after is a place to kick back and relax then seek out a hostel that provides a bit of space and won’t have you booked in to share dorm room bunk beds with excited, drunken backpackers.
Do some pre-stay checks
A neat way to make sure you’re happy with the hostel you’re about to book in advance it to give them a call and ask a handful of questions over the phone. If you do this, and the response is welcoming and you get a friendly vibe then you’re one step closer to knowing you picked a good hostel for you.
If you get the impression that you’re burdening them with these inquiries then it might be time to consider another hostel. Poor service is avoidable so don’t settle and risk tainting your travels.
Check the reviews
You can head to review sites such as Trip Advisor to read frank, sincere opinions. A quick search of potential hostels can give you some insight into the place you’re thinking of staying in based on what people who have already stayed there think.
It’s worth remembering that nowhere is perfect so every hostel is likely to have a couple of negative responses, and if there wasn’t any then you would be forgiven for thinking it’s a little suspicious.
Like it? Don’t switch!
If you travel to the southern hemisphere to countries like Australia and New Zealand, you’ll find there are lots of hostels that are part of a brand or are connected to a brand.
This essentially means that you should get the same service and quality in all the hostels you stay in, no matter where they are. For this reason, if you like what you get in one hostel, why change? Stick to what’s good and rest assured you’re getting quality.
Don’t like it? Do switch!
On the other side of what we’ve touched in the previous point, if you’re not too keen on where you’re staying after all, then there’s nothing wrong with changing where you stay.
The simplistic notion behind finding the right hostel for you is to not only know what you want but also what you deserve as far as service is concerned. It’s a fact that backpackers can spend equally as much money as your average hotel customer these days and your money is worth just as much.
Ensure you’ve done a little preparation in advance so you can get a grasp of what your options are. This way you can’t be caught unprepared and you should have the most amazing experience that you could wish for!