Looking for a hostel with that magic combination of great atmosphere, good, clean facilities and an inexpensive daily rate? Stick around for five top tips that will help you get the best rate on a budget hostel in any area, without compromising on quality.
1. Take a look at photos of the hostel rooms before you book
You may not need to choose a tiny dorm to have a quiet and restful sleep; the room with the best sleeping conditions may be the one furthest from the social area or the one with the newly refurbished beds.
2. Avoid expensive currency conversion fees on the room rate
Some hostels will let you avoid costly currency conversions by paying in cash once you arrive with local money. Alternatively, you can buy a travel currency card before you travel, load it with the money needed and then make a payment online in your native currency.
3. If you’re staying for a while, don’t be afraid to negotiate
If you’re seeking a long stay – two weeks or more – you have a lot to bargain with, particularly if it isn’t the height of the season. Call the hostel before you arrive and ask if they can offer you a great daily rate, which might allow you to extend your stay. If you’re a backpacker travelling solo, think about telling the staff you’re prepared to take a few shifts behind the reception desk, in exchange for a free bed – now that’s how to travel cheaply!
4. A little luxury goes a long way
Bring with you a powerstrip so that you won’t run out of wall powerpoints, a padlock to secure valuables safely in your locker and miniature travel sizes of items such as laundry detergent and fabric softener, plus a travel towel. These are all things which hostels routinely charge for.
5. Leave an honest, helpful review
After your stay, be sure to leave an honest review of the hostel online – if it was good, tell them, if not, be constructive and tell them where they could improve. There’s a good chance that this could lead to future discounts or promotions to help you book again.
Enjoy putting in practice these ideas on how to travel cheaply and see how much you could save!