Yep! You read that right! Hostel not hotel. The days of thinking that hostels are dangerous and dirty are OVER, people. In fact, hostels are on the up and up and are becoming the accommodation of choice for the twenty-something crowd. This is true for everyone, not just the foreign backpacker type. But how do you know which hostels will end up the highlight of your trip instead of the bane of your existence? Here are a few tips….
Use Hostelworld as your search engine
Not only is it easy to use, but its multiple features make finding the perfect hostel fun too. Just input your city, dates, and number of people, and it will find the best hostels in the area. It lays out everything plain and simple including if there is including WiFi, linens, hostel bars, free breakfast, and hotel transfers. They even have a new rating system that includes DivaProof ratings. This insures that even the pickiest of your friends will find the hostel livable and enjoyable. Use the compare feature to select and look at the details of up to five hostels incase you cant make up your mind. This will put the important things like free breakfast, WiFi, airport transfers, and facilities in an easy to compare graph. If you still can’t decide, use the map feature to pick a hostel that is in your favorite neighborhood or closest to your chosen tourist destinations.
Always read at least five reviews on your hostel of choice. Five is the magic number to get over the paid glowing reports and onto the real gritty honest ones. Typically, reviews are either really good or really bad. Read them carefully and keep your eye out for anything that you might consider a deal-breaker. I always look for remarks about staff presence (if they were helpful or even around) and cleanliness (example: clean bathrooms and linens) to aid me in my decision.
Want to know what a place really looks like, not just an Instagram perfect shot? Use Google images. This gives you a real life perspective on your hostel of choice. You can even use Google Earth to see it from the street view and decide if it is in an area that you like. Use this tool to measure how far your hostel is from the main attractions you are trying to visit. It will save you a lot of time and aggravation if you know from the start that your hostel is within walking distance of all of your desired destinations.
Visit their website
I never choose a hostel that has an underdeveloped or poor internet presence. I take it as a sign of professionalism and success for the hostel to have an easy to use and beautiful website. Many times the website will have more photos of what to expect in the rooms, bathrooms, and many times there will be a page describing the location and surrounding neighborhood that I always find useful.