Most people know the importance of staying at a good hostel while you are away, having good facilities, good communal ares and helpful staff are all key parts of this. Sometimes though it can be the small details about hostels that really help it stand out, just this little things that make your stay that bit more enjoyable or that bit simpler. Hopefully our favorite small details about hostels will either give you an idea of what to look for when choosing somewhere to stay or perhaps if you work at a hostel some tips on how to improve the experience for your guests.
Although we all like to pretend that we live without all of our devices, the fact is many of us can’t! Having a power outlet by the bed or even better in your locker so you can charge your phone/camera/laptop easily is always useful.
Almost every hostel has WiFi these days, but sometimes the quality can be somewhat questionable. Having stayed in hostels where the WiFi has only been available in one room and other others when it has disconnected every 5 minutes, it makes a nice change when it just works where and when you need it.
When you eventually reach your destination the last thing you need is a hostel that is almost impossible to find, a clear sign on the outside or clear instructions can be a God send. I understand this may not always be possible but on occasion have spent hours looking for somewhere that was hidden away with nothing to show it was a hostel.
No Hidden Extras
I understand that at the end of the day a hostel is a business and is there to make money. Although I have stayed in some budget hostels that have seemed like terrific value, until you learn that bed linen, towels, use of the kitchen, lockers and luggage storage are all extras! Its definitely worth taking a look to see what included and paying that little extra upfront if needs be.
A lot of the larger hostel chains have very regimented checkout times, which can be an issue if you planned to leave later in the day.I do understand the need to be out of the rooms to allow the cleaners to come in, but some hostels also have ridiculously early check out times, the worst I’ve come across is 9AM! A hostel that has a relaxed checkout procedure can really make things that bit easier.
A Solid Bed
Now I understand that bunk beds are the norm in most hostels and I get that, but there is no excuse for having poorly made beds (I’ve even stayed in some that I would class as barely made) that constant squeak or move as you do during the night. There is something slightly unnerving, most probably the fear of collapse when the bunk-bed you are sleeping in starts to sway wildly as the person in the bunk above you moves during the night.
After you have been forced to check out at 10AM, the last thing you want to hear is that you have to pay for luggage storage or even worse that there is none at all. For me the ability to store your luggage at a hostel after you check out is an absolute must, if you’re not leaving until later in the day and want to avoid lugging your backpack round all day.
A Decent Shower
After a long day of sight seeing, it can be nice just to relax with a nice warm shower. To have a hostel that has a basic shower with warm water can feel like luxury after you have stayed in some of the lesser hostels. I have come across places in South America and Asia with electric showers that look like death traps, and others with no warm water or others only available during certain times of the day.
These are just some of the small details about hostels that can really make a stay that bit more enjoyable. If it’s your first time staying at a hostel then check out our top tips for your first hosteling experience.