Those close to me know that I can be a bit of a princess about accommodation. Perhaps its because I was raised by parents who kept my house immaculate, and subsequently a holiday abroad needed to meet or surpass these standards of cleanliness whilst providing an element of foreign luxury.
But whilst I would love to globe trot for months on end staying in lavish 5 star hotels with private pools and pinterest style interiors, instagramming pics of my luxe as life, my finances would simply not allow it, and I would rather spend my hard earned cash money on other things; experiences, massages, cocktails to name a few. And so I find myself, like many others my age, scrolling through hostel sites searching for something decent.
I liken finding a hostel to the world of online dating. Sometimes there are explicit grandiose claims and promises of all the things that tick your boxes, almost too good to be true. And on arrival to the premise you are sorely disappointed, like tinder profile pictures that don’t match the real life equivalent that rocks up on the first date and you’re like “Who dat?”.
Going on hostelworld can prove overwhelming with countless places to choose from with all seemingly similar claims and ratings. Here is how I look for the best hostels and some of my favourite hostels from around the globe.
The most exy does not equate to the best facilities or atmosphere. Make sure you scroll through and estimate the average price for hostels in the region. In these costs, take into account travel and proximity to the city centre. Cheaper hostels often attract more like minded budget travellers. Is breakfast included? Wifi? Linen?
Location is a deal breaker for me. I like to research the areas, access to public transport lines, shops, foods and bars, to ensure I’m either in a hub area with good vibes or close enough to transport not too far from the action.
As someone who has travelled alone , your trip can be made or broken by your interactions or lack thereof with other travellers. Having a common area allows for an easier way to meet people and start conversation without having to be a needy creep trying to find a friend as they walk out of the shower. A bar is even better to socialize and have a couple of drinks to loosen up, get convo flowing prior to a night on the town.
Free walking tours are the bomb and a great way to meet people and also get a feel for the area you’re in. Cultural experiences such as cooking classes, art tours, day trips to beaches or sites, yoga, bbq dinners are also a winner and something you should look for in the comments by other travellers.
My parents used to freak out when I told them I was staying in hostels but honestly, a good hostel should be like a basic hotel. You’re not paying hotel prices, but youre paying enough to expect clean rooms, toilets and communal areas. Read reviews specifically mentioning things like bed bugs, dirty sheets or bathroom reviews before booking!
BEST HOSTELS I’VE STAYED AT
- Berlin, Germany – Circus Hostel
- Playa del Carmen, Mexico- The Yak Hostel
- Budapest, Hungary- Casa del Musica
- Istanbul, Turkey- Bahaus Hostel
- Buenos Aires, Argentina- Milhouse Hostel
- Cappadocia, Turkey- Ali’s Guesthouse
- Kotor, Montenegro- Old Town Hostel Kotor
- Ljubljana, Slovenia- Tresor Hostel
- Havana, Cuba- Rolando’s Backpacker Hostel
- Barcelona, Spain – Kabul Hostel