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How To Choose The Right Hostel

After being semi-exploited by Hollywood, the term hostel surfaces as an un-safe, maniac filled  institution that should be avoided at all costs. Rest assured, most of them are not! Although I love my luxury accommodations, there was a point in time where hostels were all I knew and could afford as a 21 year-old study abroad backpacker. Plus, being a solo/newbie traveler, this was my surest way of meeting other travelers similar to me. After making several rookie mistakes (i.e. a 20 person dorm room), I’ve quickly learned what it takes to ensure a pleasant stay at any hostel around the world.

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Now, there are many challenges you’ll come across when residing in an hostel during your vacation. A room filled with 20 strangers; lack of privacy; a public bathroom for an entire floor; the loud snoring; random make out-sessions; or the immature excessive drinking crowd – these are all possible in hostels (and many hotels). However, there are many hostels that provides high-end offerings such as the Adler Hostel in Singapore and Casa Garcia in Barcelona, with boutique-style private accommodations that won’t break the bank. Below are my guidelines for selecting the best hostels in town!

TIPS BEFORE SELECTING A HOSTEL

Do your research AND thoroughly read ALL reviews in order to make an informed decisions – just like you would when selecting a hotel.

BEST HOSTEL BOOKING SITES

HostelBookers.com and HostelWorld.com

HOSTEL MUST HAVES

Personal security lockers – Large enough to store a typical carry-on sized hand luggage. This will keep all your belongings safe while you explore the city.

Private rooms – Many hostels offer private rooms for a slightly higher price point (but still affordable). They are equipped with private bathrooms or an en-suite shared with another private room. If not, when selecting dorm-style beds, they should have curtains/sliding doors for guaranteed privacy. If I chose a dorm-style room, it’s 4 people max!

Personal outlets & lamp – Never worry about leaving your electronics unattended while charging in the middle of the night in dorm-style rooms. Also, mini personal lamps allows you to get work done without feeling inconsiderate to your roommates.

Private bathrooms/En-suite (4 people max) – Some hostels only have community bathrooms, which comes with long wait times. Try and pick a room that has either a private room or a shared bathroom with only 4 other individuals.

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Free WiFi – In this day and age, NEVER pay for WiFi in any accommodation! Also, the WiFi should be available in all areas, including rooms, not just the reception area.

Free luggage storage – Ensure there is somewhere safe to leave your luggage on departure day.

Central location – Location should be central to all the must-see sites in the city. Also, research safety for the neighborhood where the hostel is located.

Free breakfast – Even if it’s continental, pick a hostel where you have the option to grab some fruits, muffins, and OJ for the road.

Hot water – Yes, some hostels run out of hot water, have a timer, or no hot water at all.

24 Hr/Late Reception – The last thing you want is to arrive in a foreign country at 1AM attempting to enter your hostel based on a written email sent from reception.

Common Area/Bar – This is a  great place to meet people if you’re a solo traveler.

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SOME OF MY FAVORITE HOSTELS

Adler Hostel Singapore

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St. Christopher’s Inn (The Canal)Paris, France

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El GranadoGranada, Spain

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Casa GarciaBarcelona, Spain

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Feel free to share your hostel tips below!

All photos courtesy of Hostel properties listed.

About Author

World Traveler, Adventurist, Content Creator, and Lover of all things Luxury. Follow my journey as I continue to redefine what it means to travel and be miles away from your daily routine!

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