Hostels: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Fun Fact: Good hostels can be hard to come by. Places can be very hit or miss and often the reason a hostel is great has more to do with the location more so than anything else. When trying to pick a good hostel there are a few things to consider


Budget travellers have a natural preference to go for the cheapest accommodation but that can sometimes bite back. Many cheap hostels are unclean, the showers are filthy and the pressure is terrible, and the place could be rife with bed bugs! The lower the price usually means the lower the cleanliness.

Check Out Time

The best hostels have 11 A.M. check out times and the excellent ones let you checkout at noon. Sleep is priceless on the road because you’ll rarely get enough of it, if you’re travelling correctly!


A good hostel comes with good lockers. Lockers in rooms are an absolute must and a safe at reception is a major draw-card. Building security has got to be taken seriously, so make sure you check out the level of security before you book.

Common Area

If your hostel doesn’t have a bar, leave. Kidding. But it should have a big common area. The best hostels have a place where travellers can hang out and socialize with each other. Common areas facilitate interaction and help solo-travellers have an easier time meeting people. They’re almost as important as…


Oh man, is there anything worse than bad service at a hostel? The staff at a great hostel must be friendly, helpful and welcoming as well as knowledgeable about the city and its surroundings. The best hostels have natural people pleasers as staff, often fellow travellers themselves, or at least former ones, who can give good advice.

Fun Times

Even if the hostel you choose is clean and safe, you’re going to leave unsatisfied if it doesn’t provide a range of activities for guests. Tours and trips around the city, and special events at the hostel are great activities for fostering relationships between travellers. A recent Blackout Bingo review says that parties and barbecues are an even better way for travellers to meet and greet each other, swapping stories of brews and burgers. Many good hostels have a games room for rainy days, ranging from board games to pool tables.

If you’re pressed for time and can’t bother going through the multitude of hostel websites out there to check out individual facilities, you can just hop online at TripAdvisor where heaps of travellers leave honest, sometimes too honest, reviews of hostels from around the world. If you’re travelling in your free Transfercar rental, you might want to check if the hostel has secure parking. If you’re looking for a way to save money, check out our deals on free RVs and campervans, where the room is clean and comfortable! Just check out our routes and with a few simple clicks you’ve got yourself accommodation on wheels for free! You can’t beat that!


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