What You Should Know Before Booking A Hostel
Chances are, you know what hostels are. Yet, many are terrified of the idea of sharing a room with 20 strangers, male or female. I've stayed in quite a few hostels in the US, Mexico and Canada with great experiences. Although, I will mention a bit of preparation and research is highly recommended before booking. This list isn't meant to deter you from staying at hostels, but rather prepare you. As a budget traveler, hostels are a no brainer.
Book like a PRO
Before booking, check every site including the hostel site for nightly rates and discounts. Sites like HostelWorld and Booking.com seem to be the most popular and will often have different prices.
Yeah that's right FREE WIFI! Most hostels will have free wifi, some better than others. It may only work in common areas e.g kitchen and lounge rooms, or it may be limited GB. If you have no data and rely on wifi, you might wanna read reviews from previous guests.
Choose between Dorm and Private rooms.
Dorm rooms will be the cheapest and uncomfortable at times. You might be blessed with a four bed dorm or 24 bed, mixed or male/female. Do not expect to sleep well, there will be noise, there will be someone coming in late, and someone waking up at 5 am. Do bring ear plugs, block out of the noise including homegirl snoring next to you. If you got the coinz, then choose the private room, you get privacy and silence.
Most of the time it's toast, coffee/tea or oats. It's not much, but it helps those traveling on a budget. They might also have a full kitchen for your use, even though your groceries may be gone the next day.
Bring a Lock
If you safely store your belongings, bring a lock. If you don't have one, the hostel front desk will be selling locks. This is for your own safeties, do not trust anyone, LOCK IT UP!
Hang Out in the Common Areas
Hang out, make friends, say hi to people.
Hostels have events almost every day, from tours, to yoga, bar hopping, s'mores at the beach etc. These are great for anyone traveling solo looking to meet new friends. If you're lucky you might get a chance to attend a $3 spaghetti + wine night, talk about a deal.
First and foremost, make sure it's a safe neighborhood. Google the area and make sure it's safe to travel late at night if needed. Often times the cheapest hostel available will also be the furthest one. Is $5 extra worth being on the bus for 40 minutes?