Facts About Staying in a Hostel
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Facts About Staying in a Hostel

If you have decided to become a wandering tourist, accommodations will be a prime consideration. A hostel is the most popular choice for low cost accommodations. Most hostels have a living room environment where all guests can hang out to meet and greet one another. The following are some things to consider when you are looking for a travel hostel.

Taking a "gap year" to travel around Europe has long been a romantic notion. It is the travel adventure of a lifetime for most people. The wandering tourist is quite common throughout Europe, Canada, Australia and parts of the United States. As this type of travel has become more familiar, so have hostels that cater specifically to this type of stay.

Now that you have decided to travel, accommodations will be a prime consideration. In most places, staying in a hostel no longer automatically means noisy, dirty, crowded, bedbug-ridden conditions. When you have decided where your travel stopovers will be, do an Internet search for hostels in those locations. If a hostel has a good website, it may allow you to investigate amenities, rates and the local attractions and events. You could potentially book your stay before you ever pack. There are some things to consider when you are looking for travel hostels:

  • Investigate whether the hostel is a member of a national or international travel hostel network; this means they will have a higher degree and standard of quality control and junior status.
  • Many hostels offer a travel desk because they understand you will have questions, need advice or perhaps suggestions for local attractions. Be sure the hostel offers 24-hour check-in, as less-expensive flights often arrive at odd hours.
  • Keep in mind, a hostel is like a cross between staying in a motel and staying with a relative. While you will have quite a bit of freedom, there will be certain rules and expectations you have to meet. Take note of any curfews, check-in and check-out time restrictions and smoking. Keep in mind, in many European countries, the laws regarding smoking are stricter than the United States.
  • Some hostels have the option of twin and double rooms, in addition to dormitories.
  • Most hostels offer private lockers and a storage system, such as a safe. Inquire to be certain that secure lockers are provided. Furthermore, ask about 24-hour security of the premises, to make sure that you are personally secure during your stay.
  • Although each region may have different standards regarding rooms and the number of people staying in these rooms, the prices should be set accordingly and should not be too costly.
  • The hostel should cater to young people looking for some fun and adventure, yet understand the needs of travelers. A good hostel will strike a balance in your travel plans.
  • You may want to stay in a hostel that is located close to transportation and attractions. While a hostel that is a bit further from the town center may cost less, you must also consider travel costs. If there is no easily accessible transportation, or it will be costly, it is worth paying extra to stay closer to the things you want to do. Some hostels are close to the sea and boat transportation.
  • Check to see if the hostel offers Internet access, a kitchen, washing, drying and ironing facilities.  Bed linens are usually included in the cost of the room. In some hostels, meal vouchers are also provided for the duration of your stay.
  • Do not accept dirty, uncomfortable, questionable accommodations. With a bit of research, you are sure to find quality travel hostels at an affordable price.
  • You can check out reviews on hostelworld.com. Other travelers provide views and reviews on hostels, giving scores on things like location, staff, security, fun and cleanliness.

Most hostels have a living room environment where all guests can hang out to meet and greet one another. In some cases, meals are cooked family style and shared between hostel residents. Given your interaction with a diverse variety of people, staying at a hostel requires additional precautions. It is better to leave valuables at home, particularly in dorm-style hostels. If you've done your research on the hostel, then you probably already know the safety of the general neighborhood. In general, wearing fewer items of jewelry and refraining from carrying a lot of cash is a good idea when staying in lower cost accommodations located in unfamiliar surroundings during your travels.

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Comments (2)

Very informative and well done.

Hi Juliet. I posted a snippet of this and a link on my blog Travelsphere.