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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

How Do You Choose the Best Hostel?

Finding a good hostel remains a challenge. There is always a chance that you will end up in an unsociable hostel, a dirty bathroom, an uncomfortable bed or even in the middle of nowhere. There you are, with staff who don't change a word with you, don't know the surroundings or simply can't be found anywhere. Do your body and mind a favor and consider the following points when choosing your hostel.

Consider check-in and check-out times
Will you arrive anywhere at 8:00 in the morning? Then don't choose a hostel with a check-in time of 14.00/15.00. An acceptable check-in time should be no later than 12 noon. Many hostels let you check in earlier if beds are available, which is mentioned in reviews. Do not resign yourself to unreasonably early check-out times. In our experience, hostels with later check-out times are generally more flexible and relaxed.

A party or non-party hostel?
Are you looking forward to spending your evenings in Southeast Asia partying, or just relaxing and sleeping? Then pay close attention to the party factor when choosing your hostel. Choose wisely between a party hostel and a normal hostel. Do the reviews talk about the calm atmosphere or the vibrant parties in the hostel's communal area?

Cheaper is not always better
Super cheap hostels are often not clean, have dirty bathrooms and an uncomfortable bed. In addition, they are often further away, so you'll spend the money you save on taxis to get to the must-visit spots.

Reviews

Before booking a hostel, look up the reviews online. This can be on the site where you book the hostel, but also on a site like Trip Advisor. Are you still in doubt after seeing the rating? Then read through the worst reviews and see if you value these negative experiences. Not only the experiences of strangers online are useful, but also the experiences of backpackers you meet during your trip. Often you can already ask backpackers at your current hostel about a good hostel in your next destination.

If you’re not sure about the reviews and descriptions we can recommend you to use different good comparison websites. Some of the big comparison websites already help a lot, but often its better to use a specific travel blog or website. We have great experience with Partyhostelguru.com, on this website the writers compare all the best options per country and city. Perfect to make an easy choice!

Offer of activities and tours

A good hostel offers various activities and tours. Think of a tour to Angkor Wat in Cambodia or to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, but also local social activities such as pub crawls, barbecues and walking or cycling tours.

Make the most of breakfast
We recommend choosing a hostel with breakfast as this way you can start your day right away with a solid base and even take a snack for later in the day. This way you don't have to look for breakfast in the morning and you can even save some Baht's, Dong's or Ringgit's. Be careful because one hostel offers an extensive breakfast buffet with pancakes and fresh fruit and another hostel finds it acceptable to let you start your day with toast and jelly.

The importance of good staff

Hostels with helpful and friendly staff are most memorable. Staff is an important factor. Do you also see the staff in the hostel description and pictures? Do you notice that the staff is mentioned positively several times by previous backpackers? Don't underestimate the value of a 24-hour reception either. It is nice to always be able to ask questions about your next destination, possible activities and the best spot to score a beer.

Keep your stuff safe
Unfortunately, it is still not obvious that hostels have (free) lockers for their guests. Do you travel with electronics or other valuables? Then a safe is actually an indispensable factor.

Pay attention to the offer

Decide for yourself what you find important in a hostel and what has contributed to a fun hostel experience for you so far. Do you travel alone? Then a cozy bar or common room in the hostel is a nice plus to meet people. Do you like to cook your own food or just want to save some money? Then look for a hostel with a kitchen.

A good hostel is not just a cheap accommodation. It's 'home' while you're away from home. So be careful in your choice of accommodation to get the most out of your backpack experience!

*Read my Disclosure

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