Hostels are often a hit or a miss but we rarely end up in a good hostel. Hostels though, aside from the basic amenities, are goo because of the crowd staying there. You may end up in a dump but it can be a really good experience when the people are really nice. You can also walk into an amazing hostel but end up being bored.
In choosing a hostel, you need to see if it has enough to take care of your needs as a traveler. Here are some things that you can look into:
Cheaper rate is not always a good deal
If you are on a budget when you are traveling, you might have the tendency to grab what is the cheapest in order to stretch what you have. Do not just try to save though for the sake of saving. A lot of cheap hostels do not have clean showers, give you pillows thinner than models on the runway, or beds more uncomfortable than the floor. If you have to pay a dollar or so then take it if it will mean a comfortable sleeping space.
A lot of European hostels serve coffee and toast for breakfast, and a lot of them serve it a seven in the morning. Not a lot of travelers though do not wake up at that time even for a good grub. Look for a hostel which serves something better than toast and serves it when people are actually up and ready. You can also load up on some snacks to save a bit on food budget.
Never pick a hostel which requires you to check out at 10 am. The better hostels will have 11 in the morning as check out time and the best ones will let you go at mid day. You want to get enough sleep though its tough to do while traveling so late check outs mean the hostel is sensitive enough to the needs of travelers.
Not every traveler needs an internet connection but free WiFi or computers makes it easier for those who need to check some stuff online. You also do not have to search for inernet cafes and save that money for something else. In Europe most hostels have internet for free or cheaper compared to rates outside.
There can nothing be more annoying than push buttons to control the shower. You always end up gasping for some water cause it stops when there’s shampoo and soap all over. Go for clean bathrooms and conventional shower.
A common area in a hostel is a must at least if the place does not have a bar. A big room where everyone can socialize makes traveling more fun and meaningful. Solo travelers also benefit a lot cause they will have a chance to meet other people.
Bar or without bar, a hostel can be fine but it is a bonus if your hostel has one. A bar is a great place to socialize, meet new people and win new friends. Most hostels with bars often make sure that people are interacting, having fun, and enjoying the festive mood.
All hostels should have lockers for their customers. And they should be for free. You do not want to spend extra just for the security of your stuff. Consider it a deal breaker if the hostel does not have a locker.
You really do not have to find all these good stuff in a hostel but a majority of it will be a good indicator that they provide great service for travelers. Remember that the worst hostels can be the best because of the good people you can meet during your stay.