How to Choose Right Hostel: Top 6 Things to Look for

How to Choose the Right Hostel: Top 6 Things to Look for

Here’s the ultimate guide to choosing a hostel perfect for you!

These days, hostels are becoming more popular than ever. They are inexpensive, unique, and a good way to meet other travellers.

In my years of travelling, I have stayed in over 20 hostels and I can attest to the fact that not all hostels are created equal. They differ widely in the services that they offer and the kind of environment that they provide.

Before you book your hostel, you want to make certain that your stay will be a hassle-free and pleasurable one. That said, I have come up with a list of things to look for to ensure that your choice of accommodation is the right one for you.

1. Location

Image credit: David McKelvey

Location or setting is a primary factor. As a tourist, you do not want to spend most of your time travelling for hours on end just to get from one place to another. Contact the hostel directly, locate it on a map or read the reviews. Is it near the tourist attractions? Is it easily accessible from the airport? Alternatively, how far is it from the city centre? These are some of the questions that you should be able to answer when choosing a hostel. Close proximity to famous spots, shopping centres, medical services, and restaurants should also be a consideration.

2. Facilities

Image credit: Oh Barcelona

Next to location, facilities is also a huge factor. Obviously, free Wi-Fi is a must to help you keep in touch with people back home, plan the next stages of your trip, and not to mention, Instagram those travel photos. For the bedrooms, confirm if towels and linen are included for free. If you are travelling to a country with a warm climate, is there air conditioning? Consider also if laundry machines and hot showers are available. Furthermore, is breakfast included? Is there a tour/travel desk that will provide you with free city maps? Bar, café, tea/coffee making facilities, restaurant? Are there electrical outlets by the bed? The list can be endless. Make sure to find out if your hostel is able to suit your needs before booking!

3. Check in/check out and luggage storage

Make sure to know the hostel’s policies when it comes to check in and check out times and if they offer luggage storage services for early arrivals or late departures. What time is check in and check out? How much will you pay if you extend for a few more hours after check out? Is luggage storage available for free? Is there a 24-hour reception?

4. Security

Image credit: Christopher Lancaster

Your hostel should be just more than a place to shower and sleep; it should be your home away from home. With that, comes the feeling of being safe. Is there a curfew? Are guests allowed to bring visitors? If you are travelling with expensive electronic gears like cameras and laptops, it is highly important that there is a locker to help you feel more secure. Moreover, the inclusion of key card access to rooms and safety deposit boxes also helps provide additional security.

5. Reviews

Reviews are always an important tool when choosing the right hostel. Check out reviews shared by travellers in various forums, hotel review sites, and even social media to know whether their experience was good or bad. Similarly, the ratings and the number of stars the hostel has is also a good indication of its quality.

6. Social scene

Image credit: Guoharn

A good hostel makes an effort to create an environment where is it easy to meet other travellers. Have a look at the hostel’s website to see what activities they offer guests. Check if there are communal areas for guests to break the ice like pools, bars, or spaces with lots of seating. Some hostels also offer social events like pub crawls, BBQ/shared meals, card games, and impromptu walking tours.

Even if picking the right hostel can be a little bit overwhelming, I hope you find the information above helpful. Enjoy your trip!

About Author

Patricia Somera
Patricia Somera

Patricia is not your typical 26-year old food and travel-obsessed millennial. Her passport says Filipino, but her mind thinks global and her heart feels human. After quitting her banking job in Manila, she moved to Denmark and lived with a Danish family for 2 years. She is back in the Philippines now to fulfil one of her dreams of becoming the next Anthony Bourdain or Rolf Potts. Aside from travelling, she’s also into studying other languages, reading travel books, watching foodie shows on Netflix, and looking for cheap flights anywhere. Her (mis)adventures can be seen on her Instagram page @patriciasomera.

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