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Hostels for a Newbie

Hostels 101

For the first time backpacker, the word hostel can conjure up images of characterless, large, industrial rooms with dozens of beds full of homeless people and managed by nuns. This can’t be further from the truth. In fact, the hostel is the social epicenter and refuge for those traveling on a budget. Nowadays, most hostels don’t have a curfew, are independent and full of character.

What to Expect

  • Significantly cheaper prices than a hotel.
  • A bed in a dormitory style room with access to a shared bathroom and shower.
  • A common area with books and a television.
  • A social atmosphere.
  • A generally young crowd.
  • Sometimes a small breakfast consisting of cereal and toast.

What to Bring

  • A towel. Some hostels provide towels for a rental fee, some don’t.
  • A padlock. Many hostels provide lockers for your valuables.
  • Earplugs. If there are ten people in your room, chances are one will snore.

Types of Hostels

  • The party hostel. Expect a young, raucous crowd and a bar. A great place to meet people and drink all night. Much of the time cleanliness and service take a backseat to unadulterated fun. A few examples: The Pink Palace [Book Now!]and The Flying Pig [Book Now!].
  • The YHA/HI Hostel. These are members of international hostel organizations and abide by very strict rules. Usually very clean, but sometimes sterile. Expect a long list of rules and regulations, but also peace and quiet.
  • The mom and pop Hostel. A happy medium between the craziness of the party hostel and the sterile atmosphere of the HI hostel. Independently owned, very welcoming, and full of friendly travelers. A great example is Sir. Toby’s [Book Now!] in Prague.

Types of Rooms

  • Private rooms. These rooms usually have one, two or three beds that are booked together.
  • Mixed dormitory rooms. These are coed rooms that have an indefinite number of beds. When you book they will let you know how many beds are in each room. Usually the less beds the more expensive the rate.
  • Single sex dormitory rooms. The same as a mixed dorm, but either all male or all female.

Additional Information and Booking

Around The World
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As long as you don’t mind sharing with others, hostels can be the most cost effective lodging option. Like everything else, you should book online well in advance, especially heading to popular destinations.

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Just wondering on everyone’s opinion on CouchSurfing as an even cheaper alternative?

My thanks in advance.

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Quote:
Just wondering on everyone’s opinion on CoachSurfing as an even cheaper alternative?

Check out the couch surfing interview we did for the Eurotrip Podcast on our podcast page.

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ruene
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well hey guyz im 4rm south africa and is consirdering to explore overseas…Wer And how do i get started ?

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Does anyone know how much to plan on spending each night for a hostel?

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Hostels are definitely not for everyone. I know quite a few of the “older generation” however who still prefer the option of a hostel to get more contact with others who are perhaps traveling on a budget. Many great friends and travel partners can be met in hostels however it is important that you be at least a little weary of your surroundings and those in the surroundings.

It is not all bad, DO NOT FORGET YOUR OWN TOWEL! Nothing worse than having to dry yourself off with your clothes!

Cheers
Michiel

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I am with Michiel on this one, made the mistake previously of doing a fortunately short trip where I didn’t have a towel with me and 3 of the 4 hostels that I stayed in did not give you towels and 2 of the 4 had none left for hire!!!!! REMEMBER YOUR TOWEL! Otherwise hostel accommodation when traveling, especially on a set budget, is worth the experience and hey if it is not for you you can always check into something a little more expensive. Great tips.
Cheers
Adirec Torytski

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I can vouch for couchsufing. It’s the BEST way to travel. I spent 3 months in Europe and was only forced to stay at a hostel 3 times.

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This makes sense to me for the adventure of traveling alone or with a friend. When one is on a strict budget, it might be the only way to go. A clean dormitory style room with a shower sounds appealing to a traveler that just wants to sleep the night and get moving the next morning. Everyone else, of course, is in the same boat looking for the same thing. This is a common sense approach. casino en ligne

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Thanks for this article.
I’m going abroad soon, and hostel and couchsurfing is the best solution for a cheap travel.
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For me I like my creature comforts so I prefer to be in a nice hotel SmileSplendiferous

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i totally recommend it! i have not used it overseas.. but i have hosted people from overseas here in the US and its great.

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I totally recommend it! Thanks for this article.
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Thank you for this interesting article !

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Thanks for this article. Few friends of mine will be traveling broad in coming weeks, I’ll definitely pass above info for them. search more articles

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I am going to be in popular European cities in June and was wondering how far in advance should I book a hostel, if at all?
Thanks!

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Thanks for this contribution. I must travel thought Europe and this information is very interresant for meWink
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Good post, I’m gonna be travelling around Europe solo and staying in hostels from the end of April until the end of July so always handy to see what I can expect!

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Always worth visiting your blog to read your cool posts
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When I stayed in various countries in Europe it was in lovely hotels and bed&breakfasts. Luckily I had budgeted for this, so I did not feel it was an unnecessary extravagance. I understand people dont always have this budget however and so backpackers do seem like a great idea.
For Adirec – for goodness sakes, why did you just not buy a towel??? LOL
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I was wondering something similar. If you’re traveling with a medium sized group (6-10ppl) how far in advance should you book to ensure you can stay together? Thanks for the tips about towels too, I wouldn’t have thought to bring a towel otherwise, would have assumed they’d have heaps!

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It really suprises me that people do not bring their own towels when travelling. Yes, you can rent/borrow towels but once you start thinking about how many backsides have been rubbed with that towel it starts to get a bit sinister. I also think the same cannot be said about bedsheets, but really – do you get into bed soaking wet and rub yourself up and down the sheets and then wrap the sheets around your hair?
BRING YOUR OWN TOWELS PEOPLE!
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Travelling in January will we get away with not booking all our accomm online before we go? We aren’t really certain of how long / exactly which places we will want to stop in. I’ve been told that as it’s the middle of winter we ahould be able to find accommodation fairly easily?

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In January you should be fine not booking ahead.

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Thanks Mim.
We’ll still Freeze though LOL! Can’t believe I’m exchanging Aussie Summer for Freezing Europe winter but I think it will be fantastic! Wink