When you’re trying to explore the world and have fun on your travels, it’s never a good feeling to come back to an undesirable living situation at the end of the day. Your living space can dramatically affect your travels.
With this post, I will share some tips on what to look for when choosing a good hostel. However, note that it can still be very hard to predict whether your stay will be good or bad as a lot of times, it’s the people you meet who influence your perspectives. Even with the crappiest of places, your experience can be solid if the people are awesome!
Regardless, here are some tips on what I like to consider when choosing a hostel.
How to Find a Good Hostel:
Location, Location, Location!
When choosing a hostel, location is key. You’re going to need to do some research on where the best location is for your destination. Are you close to public transportation? Is the city center/downtown area/beach close to your living space? Are there convenient stores and restaurants nearby? Make sure you’re less than 20 minutes away from the places you want to check out.
Wi-Fi makes things more convenient when you’re away from home. You might not be able to use your 4G mobile data plan from back home, so wireless internet is a necessity. Wi-Fi lets you search directions to places and find attractions in the area, and helps you keep in touch with friends back home in times of homesickness.
Common areas in hostels means the owner cares about creating a fun environment for its guests. If you’re looking for a place where you can more easily make new friends, these bars or social areas are the places to do it.
Lockers for Your Stuff
You may be surprised to learn that some hostels still don’t have lockers for your belongings. Make sure your hostel has lockers, or else you’ll have to sleep with one eye open trying to ensure your stuff doesn’t get stolen.
English Speaking Employees
It should be a necessity for hostels to hire English speaking employees for all of its international guests. Check if this is so. On Expedia for example, the page will say “Multilingual staff” under “Hotel amenities” if they are English speaking.
Lenient Check Out Times and No Curfews
Check to see if the hostel has rules on check out times and curfews. Don’t book a hostel with a check out time at 10 AM or before, and don’t book a hostel that has a curfew, especially if you’re hoping for a rowdy night out.
Beds with Handle Bars…
This isn’t a necessity per se, but it can be a little scary staying on a top bunk without handle bars due to the fear of falling off!
No Annoying/Hidden Fees
Just like how Spirit and Frontier airlines charge ridiculously more for a carry on, I’ve seen some hostels charge more for pillows or blankets. Make sure you read the hostel descriptions so you don’t fall victim to random, annoying fees!
It’s not a necessity for hostels to meet all of these requirements, but I think it’s best if they meet a majority of them. You just need to pick your battles. For example, can you survive without English speaking employees? Are you okay to pay random fees the hostels may spring upon you? It’s really up to you which hostel you choose.
The people are what make your hostel experience memorable. But taking people out of the picture, remember to look for these qualities in a hostel, and understand that cheaper is not always better! Have any questions or additions to the list? Let us know in the comments below!