What Backpackers Look for in a Good Hostel

Travel alone in many developed countries has furthered the backpacking circuit’s appeal for seasoned travelers. Arguably, not the most essential part of a trip, the overnight stays can make a trip’s overall feeling more pleasurable. Getting a good night’s sleep includes peace and quiet, a comfortable bed and warmth. To replicate the comforts of home is always a tough challenge for accommodation providers such as a hostel.

Double deck bed are common in hostelsA Hostel Needs Comfortable, Clean Beds

The bed bug is the last thing a backpacker needs to hear from a fellow backpacker. Once the story starts spreading, it’s usually a good enough reason to avoid sleeping at certain hostels. A hostel requires nothing fancy for a backpacker. But what is required is a bed mattress that has proper support and a frame that doesn’t squeak. In addition, the sheets should be free of stains and terrible body odors from the previous grubby backpacker.

The atmosphere at most hostels will have some sort of party aspect to it and is sometimes attached to a bar that will close late at night. A backpacker must take note of this before check-in. If they are expecting a full night’s rest after a long day hiking with the weighty pack on, perhaps forking out extra cash for a more expensive accommodation may be an option.

Hostel Design for a Social Atmosphere

The physical design of a hostel can either facilitate a social or non-social atmosphere. Backpackers often travel with an open mind and consider spontaneity in events and meeting others only enhances the experience. A good hostel is built with an open concept. Generally, the sleeping quarters will be similar to a college dormitory with either same-sex or co-ed rooming.

A communal kitchen area can often lead to conversations between backpackers, but a lounge area with some local character is the trick to establishing a social scene. Of course, the weather outside lends itself to more exotic backpacking. In such cases, hostels can supply hammocks in the lounge and even outdoor showers and kitchen areas.

Hostel lounge should have wifi access and comfortable couchesFor colder nights, a lounge can include board games, books, couches and movies for guests.

Other Hostel Perks

Let’s not forget the people who manage and work at the hostel because they indeed set the tone for the overall stay. A good host will be an ambassador to the area, promoting the activities nearby and backpacker deals available. A good hostel will arrange adventure packages and either provide or arrange transportation to activities. Customer service in the tourism industry is really an invaluable aspect to an exceptional hostel.

These are other hostel features which enhance a backpacker’s stay.

  • Lockers to lock items in the sleeping quarters or a complimentary service at the front desk to hold valuables such as passports.
  • A safety code for hostel guests for after hours at the front door to ensure proper safety in more prominent centers.
  • Quiet times stated at check-in posted and enforced.
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff to help backpackers in deciding what to do next.
  • If possible, a media lounge with internet access so that backpackers can keep in touch with loved ones.

Backpackers depend on the hostel circuit for more affordable stays during their trips. A good hostel will prove to be the most popular hostel since traveling, and the tourism industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth for sustaining the business.

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