While traveling the world, one limiting factor has always been the budget. Each time you visit a new place, you have to find accommodation that you will apparently have to pay for, buy food and almost every service that will be given to you will be at a cost. However, the fulfillment that we all get from traveling overshadows our expenditure and hefty costs hotels charge.
All in all, when you are traveling to different destinations, it is appropriate to keep the budget down since traveling can be quite expensive. One such way is looking for affordable accommodation.
Accommodation takes a better part of the budget especially if you are looking at affluent hotels in your destination. One way of saving on money is to book for hostel accommodation instead of hotels. Hostels are great places to live in since they are more about the people coming together to share a facility.
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Hotels, on the other hand, are focused on relaxation, aesthetic beauty and generally, better looking and top of the line amenities. This is one of the reasons why hotels are more expensive compared to hostels.
The beauty of Hostels
If you asked most travelers, they will tell you that they enjoyed staying in hostels more than they did staying in hotels. Hostels have more to do with the people who stay in them which make them great. On the contrary, you could book a very fancy hotel and never get to know let alone interact with your neighbor next door.
As such, hostels add some spice to your travel experience. While you could get bored to death in your hotel room, the same can never happen while staying in a hostel where you are sharing the same basic amenities with the same people. You get to meet new people from different nationalities with interests and make new friends.
Even with all the good and interesting things that come along with staying in a hostel, it is paramount to ensure that you choose your hostel wisely. As a traveler, hotels are often best because they understand the needs of a traveler better.
However, it will be up to you to organize yourself accordingly while living in a hostel. For this reason, I will give you some tips to ensure that you have chosen the right hostel that will enhance your travel experience.
Factors to consider while choosing a hostel
The following are key pointers of a good hostel. They should help you to pick the perfect hostels in your destination and save on your accommodation budget.
How is their breakfast
If you have spent a night in a hostel, you may have realized that some of them serve breakfast very early in the morning when most of the people in the hostel are asleep. I believe they are yet to understand that travelers need some more time to sleep off their fatigue from their previous day travel. If I remember clearly, of the times I have spent my nights in a hostel, none of my immediate neighbors ever woke up that early to go for breakfast.
Even worse, the type of breakfast served is so basic and often consists of coffee, toast, and eggs. While traveling the world, I often ask people to try out new cuisines of the native people in a destination.
As such, make a point of going to the nearest restaurant and order the local breakfast you see on the menu or one that is recommended to you by the waiter. Alternatively, you can book a hostel that seems to offer different items on the menu.
2. Cheaper is not better
If you are a budget traveler, it is almost natural that you will have an inclination to cheap things. Accommodation is very essential and you want a place that is clean and livable. Do not try to save a buck just for the sake of it.
After all, it does you no good to sleep in a Shanti and walk away with a disease. What I am trying to tell you here is that you should not overlook your safety just for the sake of saving money.
Generally, hostels are affordable and you do not have to go for the super cheap ones that have broken amenities poor hygiene. You will find that the cheap hostels often have uncomfortable beds, dirty floors and damp walls and the service is poor all the same.
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What to do: pay the extra dollar or two and get a better hostel with better amenities and services. Not only will you have a better traveling experience, your body will also appreciate your decision.
3. Push-button showers
Small things add up to dictate your satisfaction of a place. For example, no one talks about the basic fixtures like the push-button showers. Personally, I find them annoying since they compromise my showering experience. I like it when I have the freedom to turn the water on before a shower and off after my goooood loooong shower.
However, these small pieces of metal called push button showers will not allow you to do that. They limit the water pressure and keep turning off the water at mid-shower when you are all soaped up. As you already guessed! Yes, do not stay in a hostel where they are denying you sufficient water.
4. Free Internet
I believe internet is not compulsory for a traveler but if you really need it say, if you are planning to work online as you travel the world, then booking a hostel with free Wi-Fi is an added advantage. However, having free Wi-Fi is one thing and having reliably fast Wi-Fi is another thing. If you must have internet with you while you travel, make sure you carry a portable Wi-Fi router.
5. Check out late
The fact that you are on transit around the world means that a lot of time is spent on the road traveling to different attractions. You do not want to miss out on the views along the road because you fell asleep.
This is why you should never book a hostel with a check out time that is before 10 AM. Always make sure that you book a hostel that allows you to stay till noon so you can have time to sleep and freshen up before heading to your next destination.
There’s just something wrong about a hostel asking you to be packed and out so early in the morning. On the flip side of this, check whether your hostel allows you to check-in before 2 PM because most of them won’t allow you. If you find one that allows you to check in before 2 PM be sure to book it as soon as possible to be assured of space.
6. Bar or entertainment area
This is definitely not a deal breaker and not every great hostel has this. They are in the business of keeping the overheads at a minimum while giving you the most. However, if you would get a hostel with a bar or an entertainment area, the better for you. these amenities make for a perfect joint to meet new people and know more about them.
Usually, if a hostel has a bar, they put a strong emphasis on making sure the people staying there are having fun, interacting, and being festive. As such, you will be bound to that experience for as long as you live.
7. Do they have Lockers?
What do you have with you when you are walking into a hostel? Probably you will have the following; phone, cash, wallet, jewelry, a loaded bag, and a camera because you are a badass traveler. Now, the last thing you want is losing any of these items while in the hostel. One way of securing your language is by locking it up in a locker.
You will be surprised by the fact that most hostels out there do not have lockers. Well, I would like to trust everybody staying in the hostel but after watching a lot of movies on how people get mugged in hostels, I would rather not trust anyone. Try and book a hostel with secondary amenities like the lockers just to be sure that your goods are safe.
8. Common area
More like a bar, the common area serves the same purpose where people gather for games, to watch television and catch talks. They generally cultivate socialization and interaction among the people.
9. Knowledgeable staff
There is no way of knowing whether a hostel has good staff or not especially if the hostel does not have an online presence. The only way for that is by actually staying in the hostel and judging if it was a good experience or not.
That way, you can advise your friends about the hostel based on your judgment. I like to see hostels as a home where you should be welcomed like the prodigal son. The staff there should create a warm environment during your stay.
Being a hostel is not about being cheap, it is about creating an environment that is warm such that no one really concentrates with the fine details of refinement. Make sure that the hostel you book has a majority of the things mentioned here. That way, you will have no problem with your accommodation. Even more, the experience will be oddly satisfying than that of an expensive hotel.
Traveling to Kenya or any place on the continent? Be sure to book for accommodation ie; Hotels, hostels, camps, dorms and guest houses using our Booking prompt here.