If you’re going to a new city, the last thing you want is to feel like an outsider. Thankfully, hostels are popping up all over the world and offer travelers a safe place to stay while they explore their surroundings (and save money at the same time). But if you’re new to hostels or haven’t stayed in one before, there can be some things that make them feel less like home than others–and it’s your responsibility as a guest not only to know where these things are but also how best to deal with them.

Decide how long you want to stay.

The first thing you should do is decide how long you want to stay. If your trip is for a week or longer, you may have the option of staying in a private room. If it’s short-term, there may not be any private rooms available.

If this is the case and there are no private rooms available at that hostel, then it would be best to look into other options such as Couchsurfing or AirBnB (for more information on those services check out our blog post).

Decide if you want a private or shared room.

If you’re the type of person who likes to have a bit of privacy, then a private room may be right for you. But if your preference is to be with other people and share space, then a shared room will suit your needs better.

A lot of hostels will let you pick what kind of roommate you want: single or double occupancy? Do they offer doubles? How many people can sleep in each dormitory room (maximum occupancy)? What size bed do they have? Is there AC/heating available in every dormitory room?

If these questions aren’t answered by the hostel where are planning on staying, do some research online before booking!

Go online and find a hostel near your destination.

After you book your hostel, do a bit of research on the location. First, look at where it’s located. If it’s close to the main attractions and public transportation, then it’ll be an easy walk or short ride from your destination. Also make sure that this is somewhere that has good food and drinks nearby (you’ll need those after all those adventures).

Finally, consider checking out reviews on TripAdvisor or Hostelworld so that you know what other people thought about their stays in each hostel before booking one yourself!

Enroll in the hostel’s e-mail club, where they send you daily emails about events and things to do.

Not only will you be able to see what’s going on around town, but you can also get a chance to meet other travelers. The e-mail club is available in most hostels, and it’s a great way to make friends while traveling together.

If you don’t have time to sign up for the e-mail club upon check-in (but would like some information about events), ask at reception or head over to the hostel’s website before checking in. You can also go here: https://www.hostelbookersbestofthebestoflondonandeurope

Get the skinny on local dining and nightlife options.

If you’re looking to get out of the hostel and into town, here are some tips on how to do so.

  • Find out where the best restaurants are in your city, as well as any other local favorites.
  • Discover what the locals do for fun—you may discover that there’s a popular bar/club that doesn’t require an introduction!
  • Check out events happening around town if they interest you, like film festivals or cultural celebrations. You could even try attending these events yourself!
  • If there aren’t any clubs or bars in town yet but one still seems cool enough (and affordable), consider checking them out anyway—it’s always good practice to get acquainted with new places before diving into their offerings fully (unless they offer free drinks).

Bring a power strip for your laptop and phone chargers if needed.

If you’re traveling with a laptop, bring a power strip. You can get one at most hostels and airports, or ask the front desk if they have one available to use.

When traveling with multiple devices (laptop, phone charger), bring an extension cable so that you can plug in all of your devices at once without having to unplug them in order to charge them separately.

Pay attention to safety tips on the website or at the front desk of the hostel; these can be lifesaving information in an emergency.

There are some safety tips you should know before you go. Hostels provide these, and they can be life-saving in an emergency. They’ll also help you stay safe while traveling and avoid getting sick while on the road.

  • Check the hostel’s website or ask at the front desk if there are any special precautions that need to be taken when staying there (e.g., use common sense). Some hostels have more rigorous requirements than others, so it’s important to find out what those are before booking your trip!

Do some research on which activities are available in town before you go out.

Do some research on which activities are available in town before you go out.

If you’re traveling alone and don’t want to be a burden, knowing what is available in the city you’re visiting can help you plan your trip more efficiently. You might even find a local event or attraction that fits within your budget and interests! For example: did a friend tell me about an amazing food tour that happened every Saturday? I went along with them last Saturday and it was so much fun! We got to try all kinds of interesting foods from different countries around the world—and learn about their history too!

The more prepared you are when you arrive, the less scary it will be!

  • Research the area. This is important!
  • Bring a power strip if you need to charge your phone, laptop and other devices at the same time. They are cheap and will save you from having to find an extension cord or two, which can get expensive pretty quickly when traveling.


In the end, your experience at a hostel is all about what you make of it. We hope you’ve found some helpful tips in this article and feel ready to go out on your own adventures! The next time someone asks us why they should stay at hostels and not hotels, we can always say: because there are so many other benefits!