For first-time hostellers, the thought of sharing a private room with many strangers can be overwhelming. To help you have a pleasant first experience, we will pick out some tips on choosing the right hostel. The cheap rates and social atmosphere make hostels an ideal choice for young travellers, especially backpackers. Given how popular hostels have become, it’s worth taking some points into consideration when choosing which hostel to make your reservation.
Get to Know the Establishment Before You Arrive
Before booking any hostel at a faraway city where you have never been to, take time to do some research on it. Unless that hostel is part of a big network, where there are specific standards regarding the quality of service, chances are you will experience a discrepancy in quality in each hostel you stay. Read up Yelp, Tripadvisor, or the reviews posted on the site you are booking from. However, do not jump to conclusions with just one bad review. Everyone has different expectations and characters, so always take their report with a grain of salt.
Choose Your Room Type
For female travellers, especially those travelling alone, picking a female-only room may be a better option because it will make you feel more secure. If you are going with a couple of friends, consider booking a larger dormitory room which can accommodate you all. This way, you enjoy the luxury of not having to share your space with additional strangers, and get more freedom to share things with your friends.
Pick Your Bed Wisely
Whenever possible, try to get a lower bed. Usually, you will be able to specify your special request at the time of booking. It’s not guaranteed that they will give you a lower bed, but you lose nothing by asking anyway. Judging from personal experience, no one wants to climb up and down a ladder just to go to the toilet in the dead silence of the night when everyone else is sleeping.
Bring Earplugs with You
When staying in a hostel, you are sharing your personal space with people who may come from different cultures or backgrounds, and have unusual habits. You may have specifically chosen a hostel with reviews praising it for being quiet, but depending on whom you happen to share the room with that day, your experience may be totally different. Having said that, if you are a light sleeper, having a pair of earplugs can do you good if the person next to you snores.
Be Brave and Make Friends
Some hostels have a more social atmosphere than others, but even if your fellow hostellers don’t start chatting to you first, it doesn’t hurt to try and strike up a conversation with them.