HOW TO BOOK & BUDGET FOR THE BEST HOSTELS AROUND THE WORLD
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So you want to try out the hostel life.
Well there’s a lot to know.
First off if you’re use to staying in hotels prepare yourself for a big change.
Staying in hostels is unlike anything I’ve ever done before.
You get scared, nervous, and worried of the unknown.
You wonder what the people will be like, what the bed will be like, what the showers will be like.
You start to think of the worst case scenario. What if nobody likes me, what if there’s bed bugs, what if the showers only have cold water.
Staying in a hostel for the first time is very similar to your first day at College.
You’re in a big room, with a ton of beds, surrounded by a bunch of people you don’t know.
Actually it’s exactly like your first day of College.
But you must know that all hostels are not alike. Each one is special in it’s own way.
What I want to teach you is how I pick the best hostels to stay at every single time.
Ok let’s get going….
Step 1 >>> Download These Apps
The first thing you’re gonna want to do is download the Hostelworld app (they are the kings of the hostel community) and the Hostelbookers app (they are also good, but Hostelworld dominates the market).
It’s smart to have both apps to check the different reviews from each one. But if you only have room for one app just download Hostelworld.
Hostelworld IOS: http://apple.co/2k1RORb
Hostelworld Android: http://bit.ly/2k1Qu0J
Hostelbookers IOS: http://apple.co/2kjQWGa
Hostelbookers Android: http://bit.ly/2kUazYj
Step 2>>> Figure Out Where You Want To Go
If you want the best hostels you’re gonna have to go where the people are. Don’t expect to book a hoping hostel in the middle of nowhere.
Downtown in the hustle and bustle of each city is where you will find the top hostels.
Location, location, location is everything.
There might be a beautiful, modern, brand new hostel just built in the suburbs, but you can’t get sucked in.
Commuting downtown in a foreign country is a total pain in the ass.
You will get lost, your phone will die and you will be stranded trying to communicate with people that don’t know your language.
Trust me it’s happened far too many times to myself.
If you want to stay in the best hostels you want to pick the most popular cities people like to stay in such as:
Amsterdam, Bangkok, Prague, Tokyo, Paris, Barcelona, London, Singapore, Berlin, Rome, Lisbon, Hong Kong… you get the point.
Large urban centers with big populations and lots of tourists are where the best hostels in the world are built.
Step 3>>> Book in Advanced!
When it comes to my day to day life I plan things like a maniac. But when I’m on vacation it’s the absolute last thing I want to do…. except when it comes to hostels.
I encourage everyone to plan as little as possible when they travel and let everyday be special and unique in it’s own way.
However if you want to stay in the best hostels around the world it turns out you’re not the only one.
They book up really fast (especially in July and August) because there are so many other people around the world that want to experience the hostel life as well.
Plan ahead and try to book your hostel 1–2 weeks in advanced. You’ll get the room you want, you won’t need to scramble to find accommodations at the last minute, and most importantly you won’t be left staying in a shack down the street while everyone else parties it up at the best hostel in the city.
Step 4>>> Review Scores 101
Once you’ve selected your destination and picked your dates you’re gonna get a huge list of different hostels to stay at.
Automatically you’re gonna select the hostel with the highest review score.
DON’T DO IT!
Well don’t always do it…. let me explain.
Review scores are great but if only 20–50 people have left a review then they aren’t very helpful.
For all you know they could have just got all their friends to write reviews for them.
What you need to look at is how many people have left reviews.
Let’s take a look at the highest rated hostels in Barcelona >>>
These are two of the highest rated hostels out of 142 hostels available in Barcelona.
They are rated super high but one has 682 reviews and the other has 31 reviews.
Now these hostels might actually be fantastic. I don’t know cause I haven’t stayed in either of them.
But I wouldn’t book either because I am more concerned about the number of reviews then the rating.
Why is this?
If a hostel has thousands of reviews that means that thousands of people have stayed there.
More reviews means more people, more people means the more incredible connections you will make along your journey.
(If you don’t like people and you’re not looking to socialize then book a hotel. Hostels are for awesome people that want to meet other awesome people)
Now let’s take a look at a hostel with a lot of reviews >>>
Kabul is one of the most popular hostels in the world. It is one of the Europe Famous Hostels and by far one of the best hostels I have ever stayed at.
But look at the review score. It’s only an 8.8!!!
I had to find it on the second page since there were so many other hostels rated higher then it.
Now you see why I said…
“Don’t always select the hostel with the highest review score”
You want to compare the number of people that have reviewed the hostel with the review score.
So I’m gonna select a hostel that has 5000+ reviews and is only rated an 8.8 over a hostel that has 200 reviews and is rated a whopping 9.6
This way I know the hostel is gonna be fantastic and I’m gonna meet a ton of other traveler’s to go on adventures with.
Step 5>>> Compare
Once you’ve found a couple hostels with the most reviews and the highest scores you’re gonna want to compare them all.
Everyone wants different things in hostels. You’ll have to figure out what is most important to you.
When I book I’m always looking for a close distance from the city center and free internet access. But I always look for bonuses like free towels, swimming pool, restaurant and laundry facilities.
Step 6>>> Read The Reviews
Always read the reviews before booking anything.
Don’t always take negative reviews to heart. If there are 20 amazing reviews and 1 horrible review then that person just happened to have a bad experience or was just not prepared for the hostel lifestyle.
I’m always interested in how old the reviewer was and where they are from. It gives you a good idea of the people you can expect to see in your dorm.
I’ve stayed in some hostels that only have people 18–22 partying like rockstars.
I’ve stayed in other hostels that have had people ranging from 18–60.
They are all very different and the customer reviews will give you an exact picture of what you can expect.
Step 7>>> Book It
Once you’ve finally compared all your options and selected the hostel that best fits you book it.
Don’t procrastinate or be indecisive. Just get it over with and book it. You will feel good when it’s done.
Once I’ve booked I always like to go into the app and select my bookings and add the hostel to my Apple Wallet as well as my calendar so I don’t forget.
It just makes it easier for me to access my booking and I don’t need to use data on my cellphone.
That’s It You’re Done!
Give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve successfully followed all the steps to book the best hostels in the world every time.
Enjoy the hostel life and try not to take things too seriously. Put yourself out there and meet as many people as possible. Remember everyone staying at the hostel is a lonely traveler just like you.
Make friends, have drinks and create life long memories!
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