Travelling as a backpacker ofter means staying at hostels. But how should you pick your hostels ? Here is how I do it, step by step.
- I first have a look on Booking.com and Hostelworld to see what’s available according to my dates.
- I sort the results by price and then by location.
- I look at the reviews and pictures, mostly on Hostelworld rather than on Booking.com (a lot of them being fake).
- What am I looking for in a hostel ?
- Good price. Not too cheap, because it often means dirty showers, noisy, uncomfy beds. Pay a bit more, your body will thank you ! 🙂
- Location. I like staying in the city center, but I hate party hostels, they are just way to noisy. Travelling is tiring, you need a good night sleep !
- Warming welcome and staff. Being in a hostel should feel like being at home. If you don’t like the ambiance of the place, just leave it. If you love it, stay longer 🙂
- Free breakfast. I don’t like eating in the morning, but you can stock up on snacks for the rest of the day, saving some money on your food budget, which is always nice
- Clean showers. If the common areas or showers are dirty or not well maintained, I won’t stay there. Pay some extra bucks for a clean shower 🙂
- Lockers. You are travelling with some valuables stuff for sure, like your laptop, tablet, maybe some cash, having a locker is an essential for me. I always carry a padlock with me 🙂
- Free internet. International roaming can be so bloody expensive, and who doesn’t love free internet ?
Book your hostel. Female dorm or mixed dorm ?
- Female dorm : You might feel more secure surrounded by women only, but I don’t like the vibe of those dorms, I feel that they are more focused on makeup and gossips than real travel
- Mixed dorm : You will share rooms with guys, so I would suggest not walking half naked in the room like some girls do (trust me!). But I feel that the vibe is way better in mixed dorms.
Top bunk or bottom bunk ?
- Top bunk : I feel like you are getting more privacy on the top bed than on the bottom bed. On the other side, you have to climb the small ladder to reach your bed, and the plugs are further.
- Quick tip : Keep your bag in your bed, or at least your valuables for extra security.
- Bottom bunk : You will definitely feel when the person on top of you is moving, and it might keep you awake. On the other side, you will get extra floor space (you can put your bag under the bed).
- Quick tip : tuck your towel under the top mattress for extra privacy.
I like both options 🙂
A hostel doesn’t need to have every one of these things I listed, but it should have the majority.
Just remember, hostels showers will ALWAYS be dirty, so bring flip flops with you ! You’ll thank me later 🙂