So, how do you find the right hostel? Good question. At age 28, I have certainly stayed in my fair share of hostels. I love staying in hostels. It provides me with the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone, as well as the opportunity to meet new people as well as like-minded travelers. I love that part. We all have one thing in common, we love to travel. And the percentage of the population that loves to travel is rather small.
However, I remember the first time, back in 2014 when I was looking for a hostel for the very first time, I had no clue what I was doing or what I should even be looking for in a hostel or what to expect.
Instead of going directly to a website, the very first thing that I did was go and do a Google search, not the most effective method, but it did yield results.
The firs thing that you need to do when searching for a hostel is research. And I mean, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! I learned everything there was to know about that hostel. Whether it was quite or loud, where they were located, how close they were to the train and how close they are to downtown and where things were happening.
If I found something on hostels.com, the very next thing that I would do would be check and see if that hostel had a website. I trust places with websites a lot more than places without.
It is also very important to read the ratings and reviews. Since hostels are not like hotel chains, I can’t simply say, “oh, I have stayed here before and it has been a great experience.” I have to go off of other people’s experiences and I have to take those experiences with a grain of salt. A lot of important information can be found on the sites, such as a map and directions to where you need to go, as well as how much it should cost you to get to said destinations.
All in all, choosing the right hostel comes down to your tastes and preferences. Are you looking for somewhere loud or somewhere tranquil? Are you looking to stay in an old city or downtown? Are you looking to stay close to public transportation or where action is taking place. Do you want somewhere super inexpensive or is budgeting not a huge issue for you? Do you want somewhere that places emphasis on community and that has weekly dinners for their guests? Create your checklist based off of your interests and go from there.
I would love to know your thoughts. What are your tips for choosing the right hostel? Do you go off of reviews, friends recommendations or websites? Comment below.