Unless you’re flash packing and living it up in swanky hotel rooms, hostels will no doubt be your accommodation of choice whilst on your travels, but with hundreds around, how can you tell which are good and which are bad?  With that question in mind, here’s a list of a few things you might consider when booking your hostel accomodation 

  • Location – you want somewhere that is same, and that isn’t a million miles away from all the main attractions you wish to see.  You may get cheaper rates being further from the centre of town, but look into travel costs.  It may be worth paying that extra pound/dollar/euro for a room if it saves you travel monies.
  • 24 hour check in – Cheap flights arrive at silly hours, by the time you reach chosen hostel it could be an even sillier hour.  The last thing you want to find is that you cant check in and get into your bed for some much needed zzz’s.
  • 24 hour security – Not just for your belongings, but for you personally.  You don’t want people in your hostel room who shouldn’t be there.
  • Travel desk – For making further plans and getting information.  A lot of the hostel based travel desks understand your need for affordable deals and work with you rather than trying to mug you off.
  • Bar – for meeting new people and enjoying yourself.  Not an essential, but always nice to have.
  • Internet access – important for arranging travel plans, keeping in touch with other travellers and those at home.  Free wi-fi is always nice too.
  • Kitchen – If like me you lived off a diet of noodles whilst traveling, you’ll need somewhere to cook them … a kitchen.  If your hostel has no kitchin, it means you’re eating out for the evening, over time thats going to add up.  If you’re travelling on the cheap, try stay places where kitchen facilities are available.
  • Laundry room – Again not essential if you are only staying a night or two, but if you plan a longer stay you should look for somewhere with laundry facilities. 
  • Lockers in the rooms – Unfortunately not all people are honest, and possessions are known to go missing in dorm rooms.  Lockers are most welcome for storing all those valuables in!
  • Reviews – If you have time before you arrive, check out some hostel reviews on www.hostelworld.com (twitter id @hostelworld.  Like trip advisor, but for the hostel community, other travellers provide non bias views on hostels, giving each scores on key factors just as security, location, character, staff, fun and cleanliness.  All bases are covered on this website.