How Do I Book a Hostel?

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  • Written By: Rhonda Rivera
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2019
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To book a hostel, find out what kind of hostel is best for you and will accept guests of your age and gender. Make a reservation as soon as possible, especially in areas where hostels are relatively uncommon and usually without vacancies. If you are unable to make a reservation, show up early to claim a bed. Learn about the hostel’s guest rules and chores, its policies on security, and how many other travelers you can expect to sleep in the same room with.

Before booking a hostel, find out what kind of hostel suits you best. There are a lot of different kinds, depending on location and the type of visitors they accept. In general, there are city, country, and beach hostels, plus hostels that only accept visitors of a certain age. For example, youth hostels may not accept anyone over the age of 25, though the vast majority of hostels are open to all ages. In addition, some hostels cater to a specific gender and do not accept guests of other genders for safety and comfort reasons.


Never assume a hostel always has room for more people. To book a hostel, place a reservation at least a few days before your stay. Depending on how popular the hostel is, you might need to book weeks or even months in advance. You can make a reservation by calling, emailing, or showing up to ask for available dates. The preferred method to use depends on the hostel, of course; some hostels do not have websites, email addresses, or phones.

Sometimes making a reservation to book a hostel is not possible, either because your living situation is unstable or the hostel works on a first-come, first-serve basis. In this case, arrive at the hostel as soon as possible to claim a bed or ask if you can get in line to claim a bed later that day. Additionally, some hostels close during the day and the beds are free to whomever arrives first in the evening.

When considering making a reservation to book a hostel, ask management questions about the establishment or look up information about it on the Internet. An important thing to know about might be how many people are put in one room, and if the hostel allows guests to pay extra for a private room. You may also wish to learn about the common terms used to describe a room. For example, a twin room usually means the room houses two people in two separate beds, while a double room means the room houses two people in the same bed.


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Post 2

Hostels have an incentive to market themselves well so it is now very easy to find comprehensive information, pictures and rate comparison's online. I went to Europe for two weeks last year and stayed in a hostel every night. I was able to plan everything out in advance and get some really good deals because I was able to do so much online research before hand.

Post 1

Most hostels you can book online but there still might be a few places that you have to contact by phone. Either way, the process is really no different than checking into a hotel. The experience will fell very familiar to even an inexperienced traveler.

I have stayed in hostels all over Europe and Asia and I think it is the best way to stay overnight in a foreign place. The rates are much lower but the amenities often are not and the people you meet are incredible. Most hotels look and feel just like hotels anywhere else in the world. Hostels have some local character.

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