I love traveling with just a backpack. Initially, it was a challenge to leave things out, but now that I’ve downsized my life, I find that there are more and more things I can do without. There’s one item, however, I need by my side and that is Hostelworld. I’ve avoided being stranded more than once by jumping on the world’s “most trusted travel website.”
Hostelling is Such a Great Way to Travel
First of all, it costs very little to rent a room for a night even if you’re like me and want some privacy. Second, a hostel is a good place to meet other travelers with similar interests (and means). Once I met a woman in St. Mark’s Square in Venice. She was very nice. We struck up a conversation. She was also very British. I’m a (not too “ugly”) American. We decided to have an early dinner. She insisted on showing me her favorite restaurant where we arrived after a long boat ride. Now, I was very modestly dressed that day. Usually, you’ll find me in jeans and a t-shirt of some sort along with sunglasses and a hat. That day, I wore my LL Bean outfit of a striped Oxford shirt with a navy blue skirt and (okay, I confess) a bracelet I splurged on in Florence. The next thing I knew, I was in a ristorante that wanted my oldest son as security for the appetizers. My new friend, unfazed by the prices on the menu, never noticed my discomfort. What to do? She was already happily ordering. I considered the soup. It wouldn’t completely blow my budget. I ordered, too, but I learned that night that traveling is a bit more fun with people who have similar budgets or at least give you a head’s up about such differences. By the time I got done with that dinner, I needed a hostel!
If you’re in Venice, and you need a hostel tonight, you, too, can use Hostelworld to search for a space, and you would find four options for this evening all in the $30 range. I found one dorm fifteen minutes from St. Mark’s Square and another that had a private space (even late afternoon EST). Hostelworld gave me a rating on the latter that included six categories: character, security, location, staff, atmosphere, and cleanliness. They also gave me a rating in each category. To me, security and cleanliness matter more than character, so I appreciate the breakdown. Also, they told me the number of reviews, and I can read each one if I have the time. If I didn’t like those last minute options, and I wanted to spend a bit more, I could have searched Hostelworld for B&Bs, hotels, apartments, and even campsites. I can also see what amenities the hostel offers like a jobs board, cable TV, luggage storage, 24-hour reception, and an elevator. I appreciate these details. When I decide I want a private room, I see it’s available for about $50/night. I can also immediately book it through Hostelworld’s website for a 10 percent deposit for two nights. If I don’t show up, the hostel (according the cancellation policies provided on the website) will charge me one full night. Not all hostels accept credit cards. Hostelworld’s website allows you to narrow your search by type of payment accepted, room type (e.g. dorm or single), property type, price range, rating, and whether there’s full availability. You can search using any currency you want. You can also choose from twenty-five languages. Hostelworld, by the way, is affiliated with Lonely Planet, long recognized as the knowledgeable but thrifty traveler’s guru.
Hostelworld Other Services
In addition to its search engine function for hostels, B&Bs, hotels, apartments, and campgrounds, Hostelworld provides other services. You can buy travel insurance, book flights, rent a car, buy rail passes, and hire a shuttle to get you from the airport to your hostel. You can even buy SIM cards valid for making and receiving calls for 230+ countries. Somehow, I missed this before. I usually find myself swapping out SIM cards when I cross borders. Hostelworld’s SIM cards are so much more convenient! Don’t have a phone? Hostelworld can sell you one and give you a calculator right on the site for the cost of calls. Need Greyhound Australia bus passes? Hostelworld has them. It makes sense to explore the site before you start traveling. If you do, you’ll see videos on how to save money or about hostels in different cities. These are such a good idea. Next, you have city podcasts for every continent. You can also download over ninety free PDF pocket guides. If you try to squeeze in too many cities as I always do, use the pocket guides for the highlights you won’t want to miss.
Maybe you’re reading this and know you want to travel, but you’re not sure where to go. Hostelworld can help you out. They have a collection of travel itineraries. The itineraries are user-rated, too.
Hostelworld features different destinations, events (like festivals) and hostels. If you want to meet the Hostelworld staff, they’re also featured. Sometimes Hostelworld has competitions. Be sure to check for those. One time they offered a free Skype credit for every booking. On the same page, you can access the “Hoscars” link. Hostelworld has been hosting this trade event for ten years, and it (in a take-off on the Oscars) recognizes the best of the best in the budget travel business. Also, like the Oscars, you can even view past winners.
You can personalize Hostelworld, connect with other backpackers, upload photos, write reviews and manage your Hostelworld bookings. Come join the community! We can learn from each other, connect and have more fun on our trips.
You have to catch the image of the feathers on the most recent Hostelworld blog. It’s all about festivals around the world in February. Mardis Gras is great, but the planet has even more! I have a soft spot for Venetian masks. I think I’ll have to return there soon. With Hostelworld, I won’t have to break the bank.
DisclosureThis is my disclosure to inform that with my list of affiliates and business on this website. That I review and promote with the relationships with the merchants in question. I receive a small commission based on sales of all products. My opinion of those products are not affected by any factors outside or inside of that relationship. Nor am I influenced by other marketing schemes to change or alter my opinions of the products and services I promote. My reviews and opinions are all factual and straight forward at all times. Therefore I accept no liability or responsibility to opinions that others may claim unlawful and untrust.