The standards of hostels have increased dramatically in recent years. With so much competition out there, you don’t have to accept sub-par conditions at any accommodation, hostels included. Of course, hostels probably aren’t for the traveler seeking the five-star experience, but they still provide everything you need to have a great stay.
There are a few signs to look out for that suggest your hostel is a winner, including the provision of basic amenities and services. If your hostel is missing any of these fundamental facilities, it’s probably best to book elsewhere! Check out our list below!
10 It’s A Winner: It Has Free Wi-Fi That Actually Works
These days, working Wi-Fi is a must, no matter where you’re staying. You’d be hard-pressed to come across a traveler who didn’t regularly rely on an internet connection, so it’s safe to say that it’s a necessity.
It might not be in the entire hostel, but the place you’re staying at should have working Wi-Fi at least somewhere. And it should be free. Having to pay for a necessity like internet access could seriously set you back when it comes to your budget. There are plenty of hostels that offer free Wi-Fi, so there’s no reason to stay somewhere that doesn’t offer it.
9 Book Somewhere Else: It’s Not Clean
Hostels tend to have a reputation for being unclean. But just because they’re low-cost accommodation options compared to hotels and resorts does not mean that you should compromise on cleanliness and hygiene. If a hostel is dirty, stay somewhere else.
When a hostel isn’t cleaned properly, it’s a breeding ground of germs that could make you sick. And the last thing you want while traveling is to come down with something. People have also been known to catch lice or even scabies while staying in unclean accommodations.
8 It’s A Winner: There Are A Few Kitchen Basics Available
If your hostel has at least a few basic kitchen supplies, then it’s one step closer to being a winner. There’s nothing worse than staying at a hostel that advertises a kitchen but doesn’t provide even the basics. You don’t need to have every ingredient under the sun there—as long as it’s got salt, pepper, and maybe cooking oil.
It’s hard to cook anything decent without these basics, and having to buy your own can be a huge inconvenience. Why waste money on items like this when so many hostels already provide them?
7 Book Somewhere Else: It Doesn’t Have Decent Showering Facilities
Part of taking care of basic hygiene while traveling is having access to a shower (unless you’re camping). If the hostel you’re staying at doesn’t have decent showering facilities, you should consider staying somewhere that does.
Shower facilities might be shared or private, depending on the establishment. Details like that don’t really matter, as long as you have a place where you can have a hot shower after spending the day touring. This is even more important if you’re traveling in summer or in a location with a hot climate.
6 It’s A Winner: You Can Actually Sleep In The Beds
For many people, the bedding is the most important part of any accommodation. If you don’t have acceptable bedding, you probably won’t get a good night’s sleep, and that will affect the quality of your trip.
Especially if you’re on the go and are always out doing things, it’s important to rest properly afterward. When you don’t get the rest you need, you’re more susceptible to getting sick. A decent bed should be comfortable enough to sleep in and not leave you with pains all over your body.
5 Book Somewhere Else: They Don’t Have Any Night Staff At All
Night staff are incredibly important when you’re staying at a hostel. If you’re traveling solo, it can be daunting to arrive at a tucked-away hostel in a new city in the dark when there’s no one there to let you in. You definitely feel safer when there’s someone there, or someone you can call, no matter what time it is.
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Inevitably, there will also be issues that occur late at night. If you’re left to deal with them on your own, it can be really stressful. When there’s night staff available, it takes the stress off you so you can focus on enjoying your trip.
4 It’s A Winner: The Staff Are Friendly And Helpful
Speaking of staff, you’ll want to make sure the staff at your hostel are friendly and helpful. If you get lousy staff members, nighttime or otherwise, it can really ruin your stay. Even a great hostel can be spoiled by staff members whose hearts just aren’t in it.
It’s a given that the staff at your hostel should help you where you need it and provide you with the information that you’re looking for. If they manage to do that while getting to know you and being friendly, the hostel is more likely to be a winner.
3 Book Somewhere Else: They Don't Organize Any Social Activities
One of the primary reasons that people stay at hostels rather than at hotels is because there’s a much stronger sense of community. Hostels are one of the best places to meet new people when you’re traveling alone, and that’s because many of them organize social activities for their guests to enjoy.
This might be in the form of a pub crawl, or a walking tour, or even a dinner. The friends you make on these social activities often stick for life. If there aren’t any social activities organized by your hostel, it might be a sign to look for somewhere else to stay.
2 It’s A Winner: You Know Your Belongings Will Be Safe
This is non-negotiable. Your hostel should provide you with ample space to store your belongings. As Hostel Geeks points out, you need somewhere safe to keep your things at night and while you’re out and about.
Even if you’re not traveling with many valuable items, you’ll still have documents like tickets, visas, and your passport. Even if you don’t have anything that’s worth a lot of money, nothing ruins a trip quicker than losing your belongings. Because of this, a hostel must have a safe place to store your things.
1 Book Somewhere Else: The Location Is Inconvenient Or Seedy
Location should be one of your biggest concerns when choosing any accommodation, whether it’s a hostel or otherwise. If you have to stay far away from the main points of attraction in the city, it’s probably not worth the cheap price of the hostel.
Even if you don’t end up spending a lot of money on public transport, you’ll lose time having to get to the places you want to get to. On top of being clean and providing basic amenities and services, the ideal hostel is located in a convenient position.