Planning a trip out of college? Trying to get away for a couple weeks? Can’t afford that villa in Rome? Most people who travel to Europe for the first time are traveling to multiple different cities and they can’t afford to stay in a hotel. Whether you are on your own or traveling in a group hostels can be your best bet for affordable lodging and meeting other exciting travelers.
There are several hostels in every major city in Europe but how do you pick the best one? First things first, check online reviews from sites like TripAdvisor, Hostelz, AND Hostel World. You want to stay at a hostel that has been established for several years and is centrally located near all of the sites you wish to visit while you are in town.
If you are looking to meet new people make sure that your hostel has a common room. Common rooms are where travelers can come together to chat, eat dinner, and enjoy some entertainment (most common rooms have televisions, card games etc.) In addition to having a common room many hostels organize group activities like a bar crawl or trivia night to engage their patrons.
If you are married to your smart devices and the internet than finding a hostel with WiFi is essential for booking travels, skyping with loved ones, and basically just staying connected.
These are all essential for me when I am booking a stay at a hostel. Some other things that will make a hostel experience better. Some hostels will offer a small continental breakfast which can help you save a meal during your day. I’m not much of a morning person so I always look for a hostel that has a check out time around 11 a.m. but that’s not always possible.
Most hostels have lockers but I have been unpleasantly surprised in the past, it sounds silly but always make sure your hostel has lockers or else you will be lugging your stuff around the city all day.
Finally, if you can find a hostel with a kitchen you should jump on that like white on rice. If you are a culinary master you will be the belle of the ball and if not? Chances are you can finagle a cheap meal by supplying the wine!