Below I’ve included some tips for staying in hostels. Over the years, I’ve gotten to experience hostels in many different countries. What they share in common is a place to meet new people and experience the local culture together. Some of the people I’ve met in hostels I’ve visited in their countries as well as me hosting them when they visit. I remember the time I met a guy traveling in Colombia and when I visited him in the US he hosted me there. In addition to the friendships I’ve established, I’m also had intimate relationships. I’m not saying to go to a hostel for dating by any means but hostels attract certain personality types which might hit it off.
1. Make sure to do your research on the hostel- Just because a hostel is advertising itself as one does not mean that it is good. I’ve stayed in some pretty bad ones during my time traveling. I remember staying at some pretty dirty hostels that lacked any character.
What I like to do is visit Hostel World and look over the reviews. I prefer staying in hostels that have many reviews with a rating of 8.0 and above, The main areas I’m interested in are cleanliness and atmosphere. I also check the hostel’s website to see additional pictures and get a feel for the overall vibe of the place. I like staying in hostels that have a bar and common area for meeting people.
2. Check if they have private rooms- If you are younger and on a shoe string budget then this won’t apply to you. Sometimes hostels can get a bit noisy especially in the morning when people are packing their bags to head to their next destination. For that reason, I check to see if the hostel has private rooms and make that booking. Some hostels have private rooms with a shared bathroom, which I do book on occasion.
3. Find out when the weekly events are taking place- This is a very good opportunity to meet people. Some hostels have a bar and include drink specials during a specific time. I always try to show up to these events because it’s a good way to meet people. I stayed at a hostel in Barcelona which would organize a pub crawl in the evenings. This was a good opportunity to meet other people staying in the hostel over drinks. I’m always wary of a hostel that books their own tours so I try to do my own research before booking any tours.