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How To Find Hostel Lodging Places In The USA


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Sioux Enciso



Traveling can be an expensive endeavor, especially when it comes to accommodation. However, for budget-conscious travelers, hostels offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional hotels. Hostels provide affordable lodging options that cater to solo travelers, backpackers, and groups on a tight budget.


In the United States, hostels have gained popularity over the years, offering affordable and social accommodations in popular cities and tourist destinations. With a wide range of amenities and communal spaces, hostels provide a unique experience for travelers looking to meet new people and explore new places.


In this article, we will explore the world of hostel lodging in the USA, providing useful tips and insights on how to find the best hostels for your travel needs. Whether you’re a young backpacker exploring the country, a solo traveler on a budget, or simply seeking a more sociable accommodation experience, this guide will help you navigate the world of hostel accommodations in the USA.


We will discuss the key factors to consider when choosing a hostel, the popular hostel booking websites to make your search easier, the top hostel destinations in the USA, tips for finding budget-friendly hostels, safety and security measures in hostels, and how to make a reservation at a hostel.


So, if you’re ready to embark on an affordable and adventurous journey, let’s dive into the world of hostel lodging in the United States!


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hostel

When it comes to choosing a hostel, there are several important factors to consider that will contribute to your overall comfort, safety, and enjoyment during your stay. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Location: The location of the hostel is crucial to ensure easy access to the attractions and amenities you desire. Consider staying in a central location or in close proximity to public transportation for convenience.
  2. Price: Hostels are known for their affordability, but prices can still vary. Determine your budget and search for hostels within that range. Keep in mind that lower prices may mean sacrificing certain amenities or privacy.
  3. Amenities: Consider the amenities provided by the hostel, such as free Wi-Fi, communal kitchen, laundry facilities, lockers, and common areas. These amenities can greatly enhance your stay and make it more comfortable.
  4. Social Atmosphere: If you’re looking to meet fellow travelers and have a social experience, choose a hostel that promotes a lively and friendly atmosphere. Look for common areas where guests can interact and organized events or activities.
  5. Reviews and Ratings: Before booking a hostel, read reviews and ratings from previous guests. This will give you insight into the cleanliness, staff friendliness, and overall quality of the hostel.
  6. Room Types: Hostels offer different types of accommodation, including dormitory rooms with bunk beds, private rooms, or even female-only dorms. Consider your preference for privacy and choose accordingly.
  7. Safety and Security: It is essential to prioritize your safety when choosing a hostel. Look for hostels that have secure access, lockers for your belongings, and 24-hour front desk or security staff.
  8. Additional Services: Some hostels offer additional services such as guided tours, bike rentals, or airport transfers. These services can add value to your stay and make it more convenient.

By considering these factors and prioritizing the ones that matter most to you, you can find a hostel that meets your needs and enhances your overall travel experience. Make sure to research and compare different options to find the best fit for your preferences and budget.


Popular Hostel Booking Websites

When it comes to booking a hostel, there are several reliable and user-friendly websites that specialize in hostel accommodations. These platforms make it easy to search for hostels, compare prices, read reviews, and make reservations. Here are some of the most popular hostel booking websites:

  1. Hostelworld: Hostelworld is one of the largest and most well-known hostel booking websites. It offers a wide range of hostels worldwide, including a vast selection in the United States. The platform provides detailed information about each hostel, including photos, reviews, and ratings to help you make an informed decision.
  2. Booking.com: While primarily known for hotel bookings, Booking.com also offers a comprehensive selection of hostels. The website allows you to filter your search based on various criteria such as price range, location, and amenities, making it easy to find the perfect hostel for your needs.
  3. Hostelbookers: Hostelbookers is another popular website that focuses on budget accommodations, including hostels. The platform provides detailed information about each hostel, as well as traveler reviews. It offers a Best Price Guarantee, ensuring that you get the best deal when booking through their website.
  4. Hostels.com: Hostels.com is a user-friendly website that allows you to search for hostels based on your destination and travel dates. The website provides helpful information about each hostel, including a detailed description, photos, and user reviews. It also offers a loyalty program called “Hostels.com Rewards” where you can earn free nights.
  5. Agoda: Agoda is a popular travel booking platform that offers a wide selection of accommodations, including hostels. The website provides comprehensive information about each hostel, including reviews, ratings, and photos. Agoda also often offers exclusive deals and discounts on hostel bookings.

These hostel booking websites offer a user-friendly experience, reliable information, and a wide selection of hostels to choose from. It is advisable to explore multiple platforms and compare prices and reviews before making a reservation to ensure you find the best deal and the most suitable hostel for your preferences.


Top Hostel Destinations in the USA

The United States offers a multitude of exciting and diverse destinations for travelers, and many of these places are home to some excellent hostels. Whether you’re seeking the vibrant atmosphere of a big city or the natural beauty of the great outdoors, you’ll find hostels that cater to every preference. Here are some top hostel destinations in the USA:

  1. New York City: The Big Apple is a dream destination for many travelers, and fortunately, it offers a wide selection of hostels. From trendy neighborhoods like Williamsburg in Brooklyn to the bustling streets of Manhattan, you’ll find hostels that provide affordable accommodations and easy access to iconic attractions like Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty.
  2. San Francisco: This vibrant city on the West Coast captivates visitors with its Golden Gate Bridge, diverse neighborhoods, and thriving food scene. Hostels in San Francisco offer a budget-friendly way to explore popular spots like Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island, and the famous Cable Cars.
  3. Chicago: Known for its stunning architecture, deep-dish pizza, and blues music, Chicago boasts a range of hostels located in different areas of the city. Stay in the downtown Loop district to be in the heart of attractions such as Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.
  4. Austin: The capital city of Texas is renowned for its live music scene, vibrant nightlife, and outdoor attractions. Hostels in Austin can be found in lively neighborhoods like South Congress, providing easy access to popular spots like Zilker Park and the famous music venues along 6th Street.
  5. Los Angeles: The entertainment capital of the world offers more than just Hollywood and celebrities. Stay in hostels in neighborhoods like Santa Monica or Hollywood to explore the beautiful beaches, iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Sign, and attractions such as Universal Studios and Griffith Observatory.
  6. Denver: Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with hiking, skiing, and mountain biking opportunities nearby. Hostels in Denver provide a budget-friendly base to explore the city’s craft brew scene, visit museums like the Denver Art Museum, and embark on outdoor adventures.
  7. New Orleans: Known for its vibrant music, unique culture, and mouthwatering cuisine, New Orleans is a captivating destination in the southern United States. Hostels in the French Quarter or Marigny neighborhood offer easy access to iconic attractions like Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and the lively music scene on Frenchmen Street.
  8. Portland: This hip and eco-friendly city in the Pacific Northwest is famous for its coffee culture, craft breweries, and lush green spaces. Stay in hostels in neighborhoods like the Pearl District or Hawthorne to explore the city’s many parks, food carts, and quirky shops.

These are just a few examples of the top hostel destinations in the USA. Whether you’re looking for vibrant city life, stunning natural landscapes, or a mix of both, you’ll find hostels in these destinations that offer affordable accommodations and a chance to experience the unique charm of each location.


Tips for Finding Budget-Friendly Hostels

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort or missing out on exciting experiences. When searching for budget-friendly hostels, consider the following tips to secure affordable accommodations without compromising quality:

  1. Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates: Prices for hostels can vary depending on the season and demand. If you have flexibility in your travel dates, consider visiting during off-peak times when prices tend to be lower.
  2. Compare Prices and Reviews: Take the time to compare prices and read reviews on different hostel booking websites. This will help you find the best deal and ensure that the hostel meets your expectations in terms of cleanliness, amenities, and overall guest experience.
  3. Consider Non-Central Locations: Hostels located in non-central areas of a city often offer lower prices compared to those in prime locations. However, check if the hostel is conveniently located near public transportation to make getting around easier.
  4. Choose Dormitory Rooms: Opting for dormitory rooms instead of private rooms can significantly lower the cost of your stay. Most hostels offer various dormitory options, including mixed-gender or female-only rooms, allowing you to choose what suits your preferences.
  5. Check for Inclusive Amenities: Look for hostels that offer inclusive amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, breakfast, and walking tours. These extras can save you money on additional expenses during your trip.
  6. Book Directly with the Hostel: While online booking platforms are convenient, consider contacting the hostel directly to inquire about any special rates or promotions they may offer. Sometimes they can provide better deals if you book directly through their website.
  7. Consider Hostels with Kitchen Facilities: Choosing a hostel with kitchen facilities allows you to cook your meals, saving money on dining out. This is especially beneficial for longer stays or for travelers with dietary restrictions.
  8. Ask about Discounts: Don’t be afraid to ask about discounts when booking a hostel. Some hostels offer discounts for longer stays, group bookings, or membership with organizations such as Hostelling International.
  9. Join Hostel Loyalty Programs: Some hostel booking websites have loyalty programs that allow you to earn points or rewards for future stays. Take advantage of these programs to gain benefits and save money in the long run.

By following these tips, you can find budget-friendly hostels that provide comfortable accommodation while saving money for other aspects of your trip. Remember to start your search early to secure the best deals and availability.


Safety and Security Measures in Hostels

When choosing a hostel, it is essential to prioritize your safety and security. While hostels generally have measures in place to ensure the well-being of their guests, it is important to be aware of the safety protocols and take necessary precautions. Here are some common safety and security measures you can expect to find in hostels:

  1. Secure Access: Most hostels have secure access points, such as key cards or codes, to ensure that only guests and staff can enter the premises. This helps prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the hostel.
  2. Lockers or Safes: Hostels often provide lockers or safes in dormitory rooms or communal areas, allowing guests to securely store their valuables. It is advisable to bring your own padlock to ensure the security of your belongings.
  3. CCTV Surveillance: Many hostels have CCTV cameras installed in common areas and hallways to monitor activity and deter any potential security threats. This provides an added layer of security for guests.
  4. Staff Presence: Hostels usually have 24-hour staff presence at the front desk or reception. They can provide assistance, answer questions, and address any security concerns that may arise during your stay.
  5. Emergency Exits and Fire Safety: Hostels are required to adhere to fire safety regulations, including having clear emergency exit signs, fire extinguishers, and smoke detectors. Familiarize yourself with the emergency exits and procedures when you check-in.
  6. Guest Screening: Hostels may have guest screening processes to ensure the safety and comfort of all guests. This can include verifying identification and collecting relevant information during the check-in process.
  7. Security Personnel: Some larger hostels or those located in more high-risk areas may have security personnel on-site or contracted security services to provide an additional level of safety for guests.
  8. Safety Guidelines: Hostels often provide safety guidelines or rules to promote a secure environment. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines and follow them to contribute to the overall safety of the hostel and its guests.
  9. Guest Communication: Hostel staff may communicate safety and security information to guests during check-in or through informational materials. Pay attention to these communications and ask any questions you may have.

While hostels generally prioritize guest safety, it is also crucial for travelers to take personal responsibility for their well-being. Here are a few additional safety tips:

  • Always lock your personal belongings in provided lockers or safes.
  • Be cautious and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded common areas or when interacting with strangers.
  • Keep emergency contact information handy and save the contact details of the hostel staff.
  • Follow the hostel’s guidelines and rules, including any curfew or quiet hour policies.
  • Report any suspicious or concerning activities to the hostel staff immediately.
  • Trust your instincts and prioritize your personal safety above all else.

By being mindful of security measures, following safety guidelines, and taking personal precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable stay in hostels during your travels.


How to Make a Reservation at a Hostel

Booking a hostel is a straightforward process that can be done online through various booking platforms or directly with the hostel. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a reservation at a hostel:

  1. Research and Choose a Hostel: Start by researching different hostels in your desired destination. Consider factors such as location, price, amenities, and guest reviews to find the hostel that best suits your needs.
  2. Check Availability: Once you have chosen a hostel, check the availability of your preferred dates. Keep in mind that popular hostels may book up quickly, so it is advisable to book in advance.
  3. Select Room Type: Determine the type of accommodation you prefer, whether it’s a dormitory room with bunk beds, a private room, or a female-only dorm. Choose the option that matches your comfort and privacy preferences.
  4. Choose Booking Platform: Decide whether you want to book through a specific hostel booking website, such as Hostelworld or Booking.com, or directly through the hostel’s website. Compare prices and benefits to make an informed decision.
  5. Enter Your Travel Details: On the chosen booking platform, enter your travel dates, the number of guests, and the room type. Some platforms may also require additional information, such as your contact details or identification.
  6. Review Booking Details: Double-check all the booking details, including dates, room type, and pricing, to ensure accuracy. Look for any additional charges or fees that may apply.
  7. Provide Payment Information: Enter your payment information securely on the booking platform. Most platforms accept credit cards, debit cards, and sometimes alternative payment methods such as PayPal.
  8. Confirm the Reservation: Once you have filled in all the necessary information, review the booking terms and conditions, and confirm your reservation. You may receive an email or confirmation page with your booking details.
  9. Save your Confirmation: Keep a copy of your reservation confirmation, either in print or electronic form. This will serve as proof of your booking and will be helpful during check-in.

It’s worth noting that some hostels may require a deposit or full payment at the time of booking, while others may offer the option to pay upon arrival. Make sure to read the hostel’s specific booking policies and cancellation terms before finalizing your reservation.


If you prefer to make a reservation directly with the hostel, you can often find their contact information on their website. Reach out to them via phone or email to inquire about availability and make a reservation. This method allows for direct communication and may provide more flexibility or personalized services.


Remember to keep your confirmation details handy and notify the hostel in advance if you need to make any changes or cancel your reservation. With your reservation confirmed, you can look forward to a comfortable and affordable stay at the hostel of your choice.



Hostels provide an excellent option for travelers looking to explore the United States on a budget while enjoying a unique and social accommodation experience. By considering factors such as location, price, amenities, and reviews, you can find a hostel that suits your preferences and enhances your travel experience.


When booking a hostel, take advantage of popular hostel booking websites like Hostelworld, Booking.com, Hostelbookers, and Agoda. These platforms offer a wide selection of hostels, allowing you to compare prices, read reviews, and make reservations with ease.


Some top hostel destinations in the USA include New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles, Denver, New Orleans, and Portland. Each offers its own unique appeal, whether it’s iconic landmarks, vibrant nightlife, outdoor adventures, or cultural experiences.


To find budget-friendly hostels, be flexible with your travel dates, compare prices and reviews, consider non-central locations, choose dormitory rooms, and take advantage of inclusive amenities. It’s also a good idea to book directly with the hostel or inquire about discounts and loyalty programs to save even more.


Hostels prioritize the safety and security of guests, with measures such as secure access, lockers or safes, CCTV surveillance, and staff presence. However, it is important to be vigilant, follow safety guidelines, and take personal responsibility for your belongings and well-being when staying at hostels.


Making a reservation at a hostel is a simple process that can be done online through booking platforms or directly with the hostel. Research your desired hostel, check availability, select the room type, provide your travel details, review and confirm your booking, and save your confirmation for check-in.


In conclusion, hostels offer an affordable, social, and enjoyable way to explore the United States. By following the tips and recommendations provided in this guide, you can have a memorable and budget-friendly hostel experience that adds value to your travels.