Booking A Hostel – What You Need To Know
Wednesday 19th December 2012
If you are backpacking alone on your gap year it can be a nervy experience but by booking a hostel you will be giving yourself the best possible opportunity to meet new people who will be in a similar situation to you.
There really is no better place to make some new friends and get to know people from a different country and walk of life during your gap year.
When you book a hostel you should go into the experience with an open mind. You will often find that when you arrive at a hostel that they are already geared up for socialising and in some hostels parties and meetings will often be organised for you by the owner of the hostel. And in some hostels there are even bars which provide another ideal socialising situation for you.
By socialising with other travellers you will learn about the different places that backpackers have experienced and you can see whether travelling to a certain destination will be ideal for you. You can also learn about areas to avoid when travelling in a town or city and also learn about the places to visit including the best bars and restaurants in the area.
When booking a hostel there are some relevant pieces of information you should know and this information is especially necessary if you are staying in a hostel for the first time.
It is important to understand the sleeping arrangements in a hostel. Usually hostels will comprise of dorms. Dorms means a room with many beds (often bunk beds). Dorms can vary in size from 2-20 people and the larger the dorm the less money you tend to pay as the more travellers you will be sharing with. You can pay for a private room but you will usually pay for the amount of beds that are in the room rather than a person price. Bathrooms will often be shared (unless you have paid for a private dorm).
The hostel will provide you with bed linen and the bed will usually be made for you when you arrive. Hostels are however unlikely to provide a towel, so make sure you pack one before travelling.
Most basic hostels will have a kitchen or common area for you to use and socialise in and some even provide a TV room, swimming pool and games rooms. Hostels are generally safe but you will be able to get access to a locker to keep your belongings safe.
The majority of hostels will have facilities where you can wash your clothes. The facility could work out to be expensive as you normally give your washing to the reception and they will provide you with a price based on weight. It is worthwhile looking out for a laundrette as this could work out cheaper for you.
Hostels are a great and memorable gap year experience. However, you should remember that you won’t get on with everyone you meet in a hostel. You are always going to meet someone with a different opinion to yours so you must be prepared to be tolerant and understand that people’s views can be very different to your own. However, there is no doubt that a hostel experience will enrich and broaden your perspective on a whole range of subjects.