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Accommodation Options For Budget Travelers

Accommodation Tips For Backpackers : How To Choose a Hostel ?

Backpacking is a form of low-cost, independent travel which provides young people to enjoy the fun of travelling without spending huge amounts of money. The factors that traditionally differentiate backpacking from other forms of tourism include use of public transport (mostly trains) as a means of travel, preference of youth hostels to luxury hotels, length of the trip,, use of a heavy loaded backpack, an interest in meeting the locals as well as seeing the sights. Europe can be considered as a backpacker heaven for both prices and ease of transportation. Railway passes like Interrail and Eurorail are widely used in Europe which allows unlimited train travels in a specific amount of days.

Accommodation Options For Budget Travelers

Since the logic of backpacking is “spend less so that you can travel more”, hostels, B&B’s and camping grounds are top 3 accommodation options. Hostels provide budget-oriented accommodation where guests can rent a bed, sometimes a bunk bed in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed gender or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available if you are willing to pay higher prices for it. Hostels are generally cheaper for both the operator and the occupant; many hostels employ their long-term residents as desk clerks or housekeeping staff in exchange for free accommodation. Hostels are generally more economical for individual travelers but also have advantages for large groups.

Choosing the Best Hostel

There are so many fascinating hostels around Europe, but also a lot more that you must avoid. Since backpacking is an unplanned kind of travel by its nature, most people don’t bother to book or at least research for a hostel. If you are lucky to avoid hustlers waiting for you in train stations and offer cheap but probably low standards accommodation, you will end up paying high prices for crowded rooms with noise and bad smell. Avoiding from all unpleasant accommodation memories, booking your hostel online is the best way.

With changing prices, Europe is packed with thousands of hostels almost in every city. However, you have to do your homework beforehand. Which one is cheaper, which one is closer to city center and the ultimate question: “Which one has 7/24 hot showers”. Luckily almost all Europe hostels have a web site or at least are included in hostel directories. Such directories will provide you inside and outside photos, maps, directions and even reviews of the hostels. Make sure you read all the comments because they were submitted by people who actually stayed there. Most sites will also offer you various booking options. Online hostel booking is a must for every backpacker especially in high season, with crowded cities and fully occupied hostels. For example; if you are planning a trip to Netherlands amazing city Amsterdam on weekends, book online 3-4 days before since its almost impossible to find a place to stay. This is also the same for big cities like Barcelona, Paris, Rome and so…

For other locations, I would recommend checking prices before you go since they tend to change when you arrive at the reservation desk without any prior booking. I personally noticed that the prices at booking sites are always lower than actual ones. That means you can save some bucks and spend it for a meal at McDonalds. Hostel booking works and recommended for every fellow backpacker. Have a nice trip.

_About The Author : The author of this article, Ersan Erdem is a hostel owner and also a fellow backpacker who has been travelling and staying in hostels for many years. You can read city guides online at the authors website

Illustration by Marie McLaughlin

squid
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Can you recommend a place to stay in Dubrovnik?

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Feel free to ask your questions in our forum Smile

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any one know any where in paris

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Thinking of doind a trip around europe- any recommended sites to look for good hostels?

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Of utmost importance when choosing a place to sleep is to consider what you will be doing when you’re awake. Knowing what sites to see in any given city is a give-in but knowing where they are at in relation to your hostel takes a little investigating. Look through your guide book or find a map of your next destination and get an idea of where things are at. Finding a hostel in the vicinity of where you are headed will certainly minimize your walking time and the costs of metro tickets.

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My Friend and I are planning to go to Austria, Germany and Prague. This is the first time we will be doing this. Can you recommend a good place to stay in Austria and Germany that is clean and cheap? We have friend in Prague that will accommodate and show us around.

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Really couldn’t agree more with you that “Europe can be considered as a backpacker heaven for both prices and ease of transportation.”

young backpackers just have such a good time exploring the continent with hundreds of flavors and I think that bed and breakfast accommodations like the ones you usually come across in the ***** landscape are brilliant.

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great tips thanks so much! since reading this i have found awesome hostels!
thanks
Sammi and Mona

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That’s the best part of Eurorail that is allows ticket holders to enter different countries for a certain number of days. I think your post is amongst the best I have read for Euro travel because we are always trying to find sources that help us learn and make decision on cheap travel methods. Travel and accommodation are major parts of vacation and travel expenses and if you can control them then its great.

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Hi,
Nice article…..what is the accomodation and living expenses for one month in dubai?

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Hmm, there’s a few links being posted here that should be deleted. The comments are only being posted to add the links it seems, links which are really not the kind of thing you want people accidently clicking on.

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any certain sites that offer a list of hostels in your choice of cities.

i want to be near what i want to see

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Thanks for the good tips. I am a huge fan of backpacking and hostels. They are without a doubt the best places to meet new friends, get new travel ideas and of course, share a beer with a new friend or two. I’ve not yet backpacked Europe yet, but it is definitely on my list of things to do in the next five years.

Alex

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In Spain there are various volunteer programmes run by a company called pueblo ingles which means English village. They provide accommodation and food in a restored Spanish village and all you have to do is speak English to the English students who are generally Spanish executives. This is not a plug for them because we are their competition. We, MovingOn Courses, do the same but much less frequently. They are a very big Goliath and we are a small David! Having said that we do it all summer in Ireland. More info shortly but I am sure the same idea will exist in most European countries.

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hi there guys
Im new to this site, and i hope u can tell me where is the best, cheapest place to stay in Dusseldorf for abt 10 days

avelina

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@ Avelina: best place to ask this is in our forums.

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If you wanna have a low budget holiday you should rent a apartment with lots of friends, in this way you can share the costs and it will be cheap for everyone, i was in barcelona and i rented a apartment with my friends. was very nice and cheap!

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Hi,

Is there any age limits having accommodation at hostels? I am 36 Smile

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Very few hostels have age limits. I have probably stayed in over 50 hostels in the last 10 years and only ran into maybe 2 or 3 that have restrictions.