The Final Information to Staying at a Hostel

Yesterday certainly one of my good buddies requested me a couple of questions on hostels in prep for a visit to New England and at present, she got here again with a couple of extra… and it dawned on me- even home (learn: within the US) staying at a hostel remains to be fairly overseas to most individuals.

Properly, I’m right here to assist!

I’ve stayed in hostels since I used to be 16 and travelled all around the globe so I’ve a extremely good understanding on what makes hostels tick, what to do, what NOT to do and the place to go.

However first I need to clarify how freakin’ superior and wonderful hostels are so that you perceive why you must take into account staying in a single.

Freeland Los Angeles – a prime hostel within the USA. Picture courtesy of HostelWorld.

High causes to remain at a hostel

Value. Hostels are low cost (clearly).

Some even dust low cost (and a few not so low cost however we are able to get into that later.) Touring solo and even with a good friend, you’ll be exhausting pressed to search out any lodging as low in value with as many facilities as your typical hostel. Which brings us to…

Enjoyable! Hostels are enjoyable, significantly significantly enjoyable. 

These ‘facilities’ talked about in 1. could be something from a rocking bar contained in the hostel to pool tables, grills, a full kitchen, swimming swimming pools, neighborhood guitars- you title it, I’ve most likely discovered it without spending a dime (or low cost) to make use of in a hostel.


Hostels cram a bunch of individuals single room with bunk beds (you possibly can pay extra for a non-public room however why would you?) which suggests they convey in some money throughout busy seasons which actually means they’ll afford the excessive rents in busy, “journey vacation spot” areas.

  • This a. ROCKS since you are in the midst of some superior metropolis
  • and b. means the hostel is normally someway or one other accessible by public transit which is at all times nice too.

The Workers and different Backpackers. 

80% of touring is the individuals you meet and identical goes for staying in hostels. From the younger, vagabond employees to different vacationers staying within the hostel, everyone seems to be there to have an excellent time. Most hostels have actions arrange from metropolis excursions, pub crawls, themed dinner nights and even open mic nights to carry everybody collectively however even with out all of that enjoyable exercise stuff, staying in a hostel is a tremendous social expertise that you simply simply don’t get at your native Motel.

There are hostels all around the US so even in case you simply need to plan a rowdy weekend getaway by your self or with a couple of buddies, there may be most likely a rockin-good-time (and generally totally-chilled-out) hostel a lot nearer to you than you assume.

If you happen to wanna try hostels in your space, I like to recommend due to their score system (you will get a greater thought of what to anticipate earlier than you go.) I can mess around on that web site for hours, costs and score of the place I need to go and what actions the hostels have deliberate. It’s rad. Go forward and test it out. Actually. I’ll wait…

Welcome again! I’m assuming now you’re tremendous stoked to lastly plan that loopy weekend journey along with your finest girlfriend so I’ll offer you a couple of tips about what to do once you get there.


HI San Francisco - City Centre
HI San Francisco – Metropolis Centre – a prime hostel within the USA. Picture courtesy of HostelWorld.

Suggestions for staying in hostels

Get a journey backpack

Backpackers normally keep in hostels and backpackers are known as ‘backpackers’ as a result of they (normally) carry a backpack… not a suitcase. Hostels are notoriously NOT curler suitcase pleasant. There are usually stairs (if you’re bodily disabled there are definitely choices right here although) and tight quarters.

If all you may have as a giant ass curler suitcase than by all means, take that however when you’ve got carry choices of a duffle bag and a backpack as an alternative, I’d advocate that merely for simpler mobility.

We extremely advocate any of the Osprey Farpoint backpacks. They provide varied sizes for each women and men.

It’s essential lock your shit up. 

No, hostels should not the hangout locations for shady characters and thieves like some individuals have made them out to be however right here’s the deal- identical to you’ll lock your automotive even in case you reside in a secure neighborhood, you must lock up your stuff, even in case you’re in a secure hostel.

There are a couple of methods to do that. Most hostels will assign you a locker along with your bunk mattress that you would be able to put your stuff into and more often than not it’s in the identical room because the beds. It’s tremendous handy however you NEED TO BRING YOUR OWN LOCK. Let me repeat that, for 98% of any hostels that you simply keep in you’ll NEED TO BRING YOUR OWN LOCK. Just a little combination lock from Amazon is actually all you want. I personally use a little bit Burton snowboard lock that stretches so I can lock it round my pack on trains or buses however completely something will do.

Hostel Kitchen Etiquette. 

An awesomely wonderful factor about most hostels is entry to a full kitchen. Not solely is it a extremely enjoyable approach to meet individuals (within the AM cooking breakfast, at evening making beer munchies) however it is usually tremendous tremendous tremendous handy (are you able to say, beer fridge?!)

Try what’s stocked within the kitchen earlier than you buy groceries so you already know higher what to purchase. Plenty of time, individuals will keep on the hostel and go away no matter additional meals they purchased behind which normally turns into a communal meals provide. Something from bread to condiments to boxed meals- you possibly can completely rating large within the hostel kitchen. Most stuff will likely be labeled or marked and clearly, don’t take something that’s not yours nevertheless it’s secure to say the massive ass container of generic model peanut butter that’s not particularly labeled “STAFF” is honest recreation.

At all times clear up after your self (cleansing provides offered) and label your stuff with a Sharpee or Put up It… and I at all times write “COMMUNAL” or “Up for grabs” on the stuff that I go away behind.

Kitchen at the Firehouse Hostel, Austin
Kitchen on the Firehouse Hostel, Austin – a prime hostel within the USA. Picture courtesy of HostelWorld.

Lock Outs and “Work to Keep”.

Some hostels have one thing known as a LOCK OUT which is anytime through the day that the employees principally kicks out everybody within the hostel for a couple of hours to scrub and prep or no matter. Lock Outs are normally boldly acknowledged on no matter you signal to examine in and I’ve to say, they aren’t frequent in US hostels and appear to be fading in Europe as properly. Some individuals get all bent out of practice about Lock Outs however I determine so long as it’s not earlier than 10am, who cares? Just a little compelled sightseeing by no means harm anybody (and that’s type of why you’re touring, proper?)

“Work to Keep” is a extremely cool factor about hostels too. Work to Keep means simply that if you’re planning on staying in a spot for per week or extra, generally you possibly can speak to the employees there and set it up that you simply work a couple of shifts in return without spending a dime room and board. Tremendous tremendous cash saver and it provides you a complete new perspective on the place ever you’re touring by means of as properly. Admittedly, that’s extra of an “skilled” hostellers’ factor however nonetheless rad.

The Format and What to Convey when staying at a hostel (that’s completely different from a lodge)

Hostels are available in all completely different sizes and styles (isn’t that cute?) and I really like all of them.

Your common hostel is fairly predicable although so let me stroll you thru one…

Most hostels have a courtyard or outside house arrange with some type of chairs and tables and a grill. The courtyard is the place everybody meets up and chills at evening both earlier than they hit the bars or if cash is tight, they only dangle on the market all evening. If you would like a quieter hostel expertise, request a dorm room away from the outside space.

Foyer/ Entrance Desk. 

Hostel lobbies and entrance desks are tremendous laid again so don’t count on a door man and even any assist along with your baggage. The employees is normally some 20-something who came over from some overseas place and by no means went again and nearly at all times they’re tremendous good and useful.

Dorm Rooms. 

Down the corridor from the ‘foyer‘ (in case you can name it that) will most definitely be the dorm rooms. The rooms range as a lot because the hostels themselves with 2 to 12 bunk beds, single intercourse, shared (which suggests each guys and ladies) and even non-public if you wish to pay extra (once more, why?) You stroll into your little assigned room and throw some garments on a open, clear mattress, generally tape the little paper they gave you on the bedpost and BAM- you’ve claimed your mattress (if the mattress quantity wasn’t already assigned, these are the actually organized hostels although.)


Suppose faculty dormitory bogs. Bathe stalls that you simply stroll your little bathe bag or caddy to, stalled bathrooms and normally retailers by the sinks to shave and blow dry your hair. I’ve been pleasantly shocked on the cleanliness of most hostel bogs. Some individuals put on flip flops within the bathe, some don’t. Some individuals stroll from their dorm room to the lavatory in simply their towel, some change within the precise lavatory. Whatevs.

Group Rooms and Kitchen. 

Other than the outside space, entrance desk, dorms and bogs, the communal rooms are a toss up. A hostel in Hollywood has an upstairs bar with lounge couches, a giant display screen TV and fooseball desk. A hostel in Amsterdam has a pool desk, bar and “smoking room” full with a communal bong and beanbag chairs. Some hostels have evening golf equipment, some have laptop rooms, normally you will get an thought of what the hostel has from their web site but when not, it’s simply going to should be a enjoyable shock!

Staying at a hostel in New York
The Native NYC- a prime hostel within the USA. Picture courtesy of HostelWorld.

What to Convey. 

Whenever you pack, pack type of like you’re crashing at a good friend’s home. Convey your individual toiletries and towel however nearly at all times the hostel gives bedding (it will likely be boldly acknowledged if not the case.) Convey a lock and your glowing perspective and also you’re set!

Prepared, set, EXPLORE!

Book your next hostel stay on HostelWorld!