How To Choose The Best Hostel To Stay In

I often forget how many tips and tricks i’ve picked up along the way throughout all of my travels and backpacking adventures. Picking a hostel and finding accommodation is second nature to me now but it’s a topic I get asked a lot about by you guys – so let’s tackle it.

How do you know which hostel is going to be most fun?

Which hotel is going to give you the best value for money?

Your hostel choice can totally be the making of your trip.

At the same time, it’s really not the end of the world if you don’t dig the vibe at the hostel you’ve booked, because even if you just end up sleeping there, it’s still a bargain.

Most hostels too, will welcome the public {those who aren’t guests} into their bars, happy hours and events – so the fun is available for everyone to join no matter where you are staying.

But as much as you don’t want to stress too much about where you’re staying, it’s worth putting a little time into, which is where I can help guide you.

How To Choose The Best Hostel To Stay In | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

The main factors that I personally pay attention to when booking hostels are:

The Location

This is the number one factor for me. Yes, you will pay slightly more to stay in the city centre, but once you’ve weighed the extra cost up with the extra time and cost of the travel to get to and from the centre {should you stay in the cheaper hostel further out}, there’s usually not much in it.

The centre is usually where you’ll be wanting to explore and where the main attractions / airport is, so the convenience of staying there usually rules.

The Best Value

I am the biggest bargain hunter going, seriously. If you are set on travelling as far as as wide as you possibly can then stick with me.

The more money you save – the more travelling you can do.

I’d rather cheap out on accommodation and then splash out on adventure and incredible memories.

The Vibes

Personally i like to be in the lively, popular hostels located in the epicentre of activity, but it totally depends on the kind of experience you are after.
Hostel descriptions will usually give you a heads up as to the vibes you can expect.

Here are the tricks and the method i’ve adopted along the way when working out the best hostel to stay in:

1. Get Your Bearings

Open up a tab on Google maps, enter your chosen destination and get a feel for the layout of the city. Pin where the main attractions are and begin to get your bearings.

Here’s a little example i’ve done for London. I’ve entered some of my favourite locations so that I could locate a convenient place to ideally source accomodation:
How To Choose The Best Hostel To Stay In | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

 2. A Little Research

Open up another 3 tabs on your browser…

Tab 1 – Search ‘Hostel Bookers’
Enter your destination, the dates you are looking at staying and have a search through the available options.
Tab 2 – Search ‘Best hotels to stay in *insert your chosen location* blog post’
Get first hand accounts and snaps from backpackers, like myself, who have experienced the location and have generated priceless information about the hottest spots to stay in. I always conduct my research in this way.
However, do check the publish date of the blog post to see how relevant the information is.
How To Choose The Best Hostel To Stay In | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog
Tab 3 – Search  ‘Hostel World’
Enter your destination, the dates you are looking at staying and have a search through the available options.

You should also…

Ask friends that you know have travelled to the country in question, see where they stayed and whether they’d recommend it.
Pop up a Facebook status to reach out to other travellers. Travellers love helping other travellers and I find this information is the most valuable and honest of all.
From researching recommendations and options from these sources, you’ll start to see hostel names popping up more than once.
You can compare comments, reviews and get the jist of the most popular spots.
Round it down to three places.

 3. Compare The Nitty Gritty And Get Some Quotes

Check out the ‘official’ websites for rates in each of your three chosen hostels as often the third party booking websites can be charging commission on top of the standard rates.

Sometimes the third party sites do have the better deals though.
Either way it’s worth checking out.
Look out for hostels offering free breakfasts, free transfers, free bike hire, free WIFI etc.
Don’t just base your decision on the price of the hostel, check out what it includes.
How To Choose The Best Hostel To Stay In | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog
Weigh up the prices, inclusions and location of each hostel.
Take a look at the photos too and by this point, you’ll usually be led towards a particular one.
If you’re not, there can’t be much in it, so begin your adventure mode now and ip-dip-do it!

4.  Book your hostel!

The sooner you book the better, particularly if you have a preference in terms of dorm type, date or location.

As with anything, the good spots will get taken and the longer you leave it the more you risk not getting your preference 🙂

BOOM!

Other influences on my hostel choices:

– If i’m on the road and somebody I enjoy being around {someone who kicks off similar vibes} swears by / recommends a certain place – I may stay there.
– When you’re in hostels, people you meet will be travelling different routes and many will have come from the destination that you’re heading to next. Here it pays to be sociable. Once you start talking to people, you’ll soon pick up the best hostel to stay at, as well as other tips and tricks.
– If i’m working with a hostel / hotel, it may mean i’m let to accommodation i may not have previously considered.
– If i’m in a group, sometimes hitting up an Airbnb can work out a cheaper decision.

Thank YOU guys for reading <3

Love as always + happy adventuring,

Mollie x

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 How To Choose The Best Hostel To Stay In | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog