With that in mind I'm blowing the lid of my experiences with Hostels!
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT HOSTELS
WIFI IN THE ROOM
It is the simple things in life! There is nothing better then staying in a hostel when there is wifi available in the dorm rooms. Sure, It is great to hang out in common rooms as it is a great opportunity to meet people. There is nothing better though after a long day exploring then messaging loved ones or uploading photos to Facebook in the comfort of your own bed, preferably in pyjamas!
HOSTELS THAT OFFER TOWELS
I sadly invested in a Katmandu micro-fibre towel that couldn’t be anything further then fast absorbing. Sure you will generally pay 2 pound for the privilege of hiring an actual towel but for the simple joy of dressing when you are completely dry.. It is money well spent!
HOSTELS WITH A COMMON AREA
Although St Christopher’s is one of my favourite hostel company’s, they as many others do lack a common room. Castle Rock Hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland has to be my favourite hostel for this reason. They offer several large common rooms. It makes it much easier to meet like minded travellers in a communal space. You can of course make friends with those in your dorm room or while out exploring but it is nice to have a base to meet a larger group of people, a place to socialise outside your dorm and a mutually convenient meeting point for friends you may have made outside your dorm room.
POWER POINTS EXCLUSIVE TO YOU
There is nothing better then having a hostel with a power cable by your bed. That along with wifi in the room and your own personal light make or break a hostel for me. This simple pleasure makes charging your belongings easy and convenient. It takes the hassle out of worrying about your belongings being stolen, allows you to charge over night and means that you don’t have to worry about all the power points being occupied.
SHOWERS WITH TAPS
Whoever endorsed the ‘push’ button water system has obviously never used one. I understand hostels sleep hundreds of guests a night and water bills can be quite expensive but it just doesn’t justify the unpleasant experience of it all. By the time I press the button, open the shampoo bottle and attempt to half shampoo my hair the button needs to be pressed again. After repeating this process several times to the point I am ready to finish, my hand is not only sore from over use but the water finally turns hot as if to have the last laugh. Give me a shower with taps any day!
THINGS I HATE ABOUT HOSTELS
You might have a partner that snores at home but that is completely your choice! There is nothing worse then fighting jet lag, coming home from a long day exploring or needing an early start the following morning when you’ve been up all night because of someone snoring. Trust me when I say investing in a pair of earplugs is one of the best choices you’ll make!
10AM CHECK OUT TIMES
It seems like a contradiction that hostels would offer a bar at the hostel yet make you depart so early the next morning. Drink specials don’t help! Not only for those of us who like to have a few drinks but spare a thought for those with late flights out and late check ins. Hostels that provide 12pm check out I take my hat off to you. It really makes a difference!
NO LUGGAGE ROOMS
Luckily there are few times I have come across this issue. However when it does arise it causes a great inconvenience. If you’re checking out at 10am yet flying out at 7pm you only have 2 options. 1 - Spend your last day in a city exploring with a suitcase/overweight backpack or 2 - Forfeit your last day exploring and make use of the hostel common room facilities.
INCONVENIENT ROOM MATES
I will never forget the time I woke on my bottom bunk to a gentleman from the top bunk standing naked reaching for clothing on his bed. It is not a sight anyone should have to witness when they wake up, or ever! Then there are the party goers that manage to trip over every single item located in the room, at the most inconvenient times, before reaching their bed. Extra points if they are on the top bunk and fall down the ladder! You can’t forget the friends travelling together that stay up to all hours of the night chatting and laughing. It makes it extremely hard to sleep, even with ear plugs. Last of all there are the couples that should book a private room... Enough said.
Sure you can’t expect luxury when you are paying $9 a night but there is a line! Dirty stained sheets, toliets that are worse then those found in Bulgeria, condoms or other discarded objects abandoned by previous travellers around the room and showers that make you feel dirtier after using them. In all instances the lines has been crossed!
I would love to hear your pet peeves or what makes a hostel amazing in your eyes