Updated on July 26, 2016
Hostels can be the perfect way to make your travels cheaper and to spend less money on accommodations. However, there are some things that the first time hostel guests could be surprised about and unprepared for. So here are some key tips for staying at a hostel, that will make your time there more enjoyable and overall much better.
1. Do your research
Just as you would if you booked a hotel room or rented an Airbnb, do your research on the hostel you are planning to stay at. There are many types of hostels out there nowadays, from a bigger network hostels, to independent ones to boutique hostels that are dedicated to a certain theme. So figure out in which type of hostel you want to stay at before hand. Also check the reviews of the hostels you are going to be booking, since they can give you some insight as to how good or bad the hostel is. Just remember to take the reviews with a grain of salt, too, as sometimes people have too high of expectations for hostels, and once the hostel didn’t reach these expectations, they leave a string of bad comments that actually have no basis. And lastly regarding doing research, also pay attention to the amenities that each of the hostels offer, since many times hostels have things like hairdryers, WiFi, bedside reading lights, and linens, which in this case you won’t need to take with you.
2. Chose your room/bed wisely
Another tip regarding hostels is to chose your hostel room or bed/bunk wisely, as the one you will choose can largely influence how good or bad of a stay you have at the hostel. Most hostels offer various different options in terms of accommodations from coed rooms with bunk beds and up to 10 bed spaces to single sex rooms with only a few beds to single rooms. If you do chose to stay in the usually cheaper room with multiple bed paces and bunk beds, I would advise you to chose to sleep at the bottom bunk, as it will dive you not only easier access to your bed but also the option to store your bags under the bed and much easier access to an outlet to charge your phone or other electronics.
3. Keep your valuables close
Hostels, as much fun and inexpensive they are, they usually run on trust and common sense basis, meaning, that the rooms don’t really lock and there aren’t big lockers where you can store your valuables. Of coarse there are hostels that do offer to rent a small locker to put your passport, cash, laptop, camera and other valuables in so they are safe, and if that is the case then use this service, but don’t count on it in every hostel. So keep an eye on your valuables and don’t flaunt them around and definitely don’t leave them lying around, even if you thing that the other people at the hostel look trustworthy.
And lastly probably the most valuable tip for those staying at hostels is to communicate with others staying at the hostel. Don’t be shy when someone starts a conversation with you and also don’t be afraid to chat up somebody yourself. Hostels are intended to not only be a cheap accommodation options but also a way for travelers to connect. So if the hostel is organizing some activities or even you see people in the common room eating/cooking breakfast or eating dinner at the cafe near by, join them, and who knows you might find your future best friend or even your future spouse or at least get a chance to share some travel tips or gain a temporary travel companion.
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