Hostels usually provide more active and social environments than hotels or guesthouses, but their chief advantage is that they tend to be cheap. That said, the price you pay each night for your bed is only one of the factors that you need to consider if cutting down on costs is important. Follow the four tips listed below to ensure that your hostel really is as cost-effective as possible.
1. Note the Location
Hostels follow the rule of all other accommodation types: location, location, location. If you're booking a hostel, it's easy to assume that it will be close to the centre of the city you're visiting, but this is not always the case. The hostel in question might lie reasonably far away from the main attractions, possibly necessitating the use of public transportation to get where you need to go. Make sure you check the location online before you make your booking. The price of a few buses can really add up, and it's just nicer to be more central.
2. Ask About Extras
Hostels, especially in well-visited locations, like to stand out from the crowd, so many will offer helpful extras that can save you money. For example, you might find that a hostel offers a complimentary walking tour, discounts for some of area's more popular activities, or a free transfer shuttle to the airport. These can really help cut costs, so it's well worth investigating whether there are any offers, deals, or complimentary services that come with the hostels you're looking at.
3. Check Out the Breakfast Selection
If you check into a hotel, it's not uncommon to find a full buffet breakfast offered free of charge each morning. Hostels don't often offer such generous spreads, but finding one that provides plenty of options, usually cereals, breads, and spreads, will help you keep down costs by avoiding the need to buy anything yourself. You'll also be able to stash a few slices of bread or perhaps a piece of fruit to eat later.
4. Find Out About the Wi-Fi
It's now rare to find a hostel that doesn't offer Wi-Fi – a reliable internet connection is just too crucial for modern travellers. Still, it's best to make sure that your hostel does offer free Wi-Fi since the lack of it can mean really digging into your network's data limits and possibly being charged extra as a result. Additionally, take a quick scan through the reviews to find out if the internet is strong enough to be used effectively.