The adventure of staying in a hostel is something everyone should experience. It’s a great way to travel; you spend less, easily meet new people and become part of a worldwide community.
So how do you go about picking one? From my extensive traveling of 6 of the 7 continents (Antarctica, I’m coming for you), I have my hostel finding filters down to a science. Here are the 6 most important things to look for when booking a hostel.
1. A Bar
There’s nothing quite like a bar inside the hostel to bring you together with your fellow travelers. Strike up a conversation with the bartender or the person sitting next to you. Join in on a drinking game or invite people to start one with you. In addition to convenience, hostel bars usually feature happy hours or drink specials which helps save some money.
Although it is important to unplug while travelling; reality is that we need to charge our phones. I once stayed in a dorm with 20 people and there was only ONE outlet. Two plugs. With all the phones, cameras, laptops, etc. that travelers have these days (let alone the huge converters) it was a constant battle for the two spots.
3. A Locker
This one is pretty obvious; you need a place to lock away your valuables. As much as I would like to think of travelers as a community of friends; unfortunately, there are some bad people out there, that will steal your things.
4. Free Breakfast
If you’re staying at a hostel, most likely you are on a budget. Having breakfast included is a great way to save money and try some local dishes at the same time. Stashing some whole fruit for a snack later is always a plus too!
5. Location, Location, Location
If you’re going to a tropical location, stay on the beach. If you’re going to a city, the closer to the city center the better and being close to a metro stop is imperative. You’re there to explore and experience the location you’re in; if you are on the outskirts of that area you’ll end up wasting time.
6. A Towel
If I had a dollar for every time I had to shake dry because a hostel didn’t have towels, I would be able to afford a private room and escape the snoring of the dorms for a night. There is the option of packing a towel but when you’re living out of a backpack every bit of space is precious. After a long day of travel the best thing is to be able to take a shower and that should be met with a proper way to dry off.