Budget Travel 101: What You Need To Know About Staying In Hostels
If you have a big case of wanderlust and a tiny bank account balance, then you should be pleased to know that you can travel the globe while also keeping your purse strings tight. Renting a space in a hostel can help you save dramatically on the cost of your accommodations while abroad. However, it is important that you do your research first, so that you can make the most of your experience.
Here is everything you need to know about staying in a hostel:
Booking your hostel
You should definitely book in advance, but you also need to research any hostel you are considering staying at, before you book your space there. Of course, it is likely that you won’t be able to see the place in person before you travel, but you can view photos online, read customer reviews, and call ahead to ask the staff any questions you might have. When you do book, it is a good idea that you not book your entire vacation ahead of time. Just book a few days at first, so that you can experience the hostel (and surrounding area) for a while before committing to an entire vacation’s stay there.
Most hostels provide you with bed linens – some even forbid that guests use their own, for cleanliness purposes – and you can expect to have to pay a small fee to rent them. There should be laundry facilities on site, but you will want to call ahead to verify that. Also, always bring your own towels to a hostel, as those are generally not provided.
Most hostels provide you with a kitchen, or cooking and food storage space, so that you can prepare your own meals while vacationing (another great way to save money on your travels). You should mark all of your food with your name and room number, and check into the hostel’s cleaning policy (so that your food doesn’t get thrown away unexpectedly). Also, it sometimes happens that guests will come home from a night out and chow down on your food, in which case there is nothing you can do other than laugh it off and chalk it up to part of the experience.
Make it a point to lock up your valuables any time you leave the hostel, as you will be sharing your space with strangers. It is common practice for hostels to provide each guest with a locker space. If this is the case, you will need to bring your own lock. Otherwise, you should leave your valuables with the front desk staff, and ask them to be locked away while you are gone.
Staying in a hostel is a great way to save money on your travels. It can also be a great experience, in its own right. Just keep these things in mind when preparing for a hostel stay.
About the Author: Tiffaney Matheus loves to travel and has worked with some of the best travel agents on the planet. She and her friends are planning their next trip themselves and they plan to tour Europe by staying in hostels and traveling by train.