Finding A Good Hostel For Your Next Travel
When in Manila, though the city can be great, there are times when things can get a bit overwhelming and you’ll feel the need to get away from the urban bustle for a while. When this happens, you know what that means—time to book a flight.
But what if you’re on a shoestring budget? Sure, budget airlines are manna from heaven, but finding good accommodations is another thing that can really cut a hole in your pockets. Fortunately, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Besides, why opt for a fancy hotel when you can stay at a hip hostel that offers homely accommodations for half the price instead?
A lot of people are not so keen on the idea of hostels, especially if you have to share a room with a couple of other strangers, but here’s the thing: it’s a thing. For those who may not know, a hostel is an establishment which provides lodging for a very cheap price. In other words: perfect for young budget travelers. Of course, as a budget hotel, you can’t expect room service and a nice bathtub, but what most hostels lack in luxury amenities, they make up for by giving you experiences (and new friendships!) to treasure for a long time.
The thing that makes hostels a choice accommodation for young travelers, aside from the fact that it fits right into their budgets, is that they will get to meet other travellers, as well. Most hostels (the good ones, at least) are relatively small and are attended by the owners themselves. There are common rooms where guests get to hang out, mingle and have friendly game nights over bottles of beers. Everyone knows everybody, and so no one ever has to feel like an outcast. In a nutshell, it’s your home away from home.
And thanks to the growing population of people venturing into the nomadic lifestyle, hip, quality hostels are sprouting like mushrooms all around the world, which makes finding a good hostel to stay at a lot easier. Even our very own Manila is no stranger to the concept as well. For the past year, a couple of pretty good boutique hostels have opened around the city that travelers have been raving about.
But how do you tell the good hostels from the bad ones? After all, it doesn’t mean that you’re on a budget you have to succumb to bad service and filthy rooms. If you’re planning your next travel and need to know some tricks on finding a good hostel, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Finding a Good Hostel
Ah, the reason why you’re going for a hostel, in the first place. Of course, the rates vary from city to city and country to country, but there’s usually a wide array of choices anywhere you go, so it’s basically up to you how much you’re willing to spend. Most hostels give you a choice between dorm-type rooms where you share a room with other people, and private rooms, which of course are far more convenient, but will definitely cost more. All in all, though, both are still a lot cheaper than regular hotel rates.
This, for me, is very important. Ideally, the hostel should be accessible to public transportation. You’ll be going around a lot, so do yourself a favor—save both time and effort by finding a place that is a stone’s throw away from a bus stop or subway station. Plus points if there are convenience stores around. As a traveler, convenience stores are your Rooms of Requirement. Everything you’ll need, you’ll find in there.
Just because you’re temporarily living a nomadic life doesn’t mean you can throw hygiene out the window. You’ll be spending your days on your feet until they’re sore, picking up on adventures and getting drunk at night, so trust me when I say you’ll appreciate a nice, clean bed to plop yourself on to after a day of YOLOing. Well maintained bathrooms are a factor as well, because how do you clean yourself up when the bathroom itself is a filth? When it comes to finding a good hostel, travel websites like TripAdvisor.com and HostelWorld.com are your best friends. When picking a place to stay, always read the reviews first. You’ll thank yourself for it.
Included in this list are a bunch of things that aren’t super essential, but would be great to have anyway. First of all: lockers. If you’re staying in a dorm-type room, most hostels provide lockers for their bed renters. After all, you will be sharing a room with strangers. Best keep your valuables safe. And then, of course, there’s free wi-fi–because I know you’re dying to Instagram that airplane window shot you took on the plane just a few hours ago. For most travelers, finding a good hostel means finding new friends, too. Therefore, common rooms are also an added factor. This is especially important for those who travel alone and love meeting new people to share a few stories with. And lastly, travel packages. Does the hostel offer discounted tickets to Disneyland or package tours around the country? Some hostels do, and that’s awesome because now, you can go on that tour with the newfound friends you met over game night at your hostel.
5. Just have fun!
Remember the reason you are going through all this for in the first place. You are traveling to see a place. You will be spending most of your time outdoors anyway, so try to set your mind that your place of lodging need not be a fancy one (unless you have a pot of gold at your disposal, of course, then squander all you want). Never mind if the room’s too small. You’re only going to sleep in it. If there’s no bidet in the bathroom, use a water dipper! You don’t need any more luxury than the one you already have. You’re traveling. That’s all the luxury you will ever need.