Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

How To Find Hostel


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Olwen Shanklin



Welcome to the world of hostels, where budget-friendly accommodations meet a vibrant social atmosphere! For travelers seeking affordable lodging and the chance to connect with fellow adventurers, hostels are the perfect choice. Whether you’re a solo backpacker, a group of friends, or a budget-conscious traveler, staying in a hostel can offer a unique and memorable experience.


When it comes to finding the right hostel, there are many factors to consider. From location and facilities to reviews and pricing, doing your research beforehand can make all the difference in ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay. In this article, we will guide you through the process of finding the perfect hostel for your next adventure.


By considering the various factors discussed here, you will be able to make an informed decision and choose a hostel that aligns with your preferences and needs. Whether you’re looking for a convenient city center location, a relaxed beachfront retreat, or a cozy countryside escape, there are hostels to cater to every taste and budget.


So, let’s dive in and discover how to find the ideal hostel that will enhance your travel experience while keeping your wallet happy!


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hostel

Choosing the right hostel can greatly impact your travel experience. Here are some key factors to consider when making your decision:

  1. Location: The hostel’s location is crucial. Determine whether you want to be in the heart of the city, near popular attractions, or in a quieter neighborhood. Consider proximity to public transportation for easy access to different parts of the city or town.
  2. Safety: Safety should always be a top priority when choosing accommodation. Look for hostels that have secure locks, lockers for personal belongings, and 24-hour reception. Additionally, check if the hostel has security cameras or employs security staff for added peace of mind.
  3. Cleanliness: Cleanliness plays a vital role in your overall comfort and well-being. Reading reviews or checking ratings can provide insight into the hostel’s cleanliness standards. Look for hostels that prioritize cleanliness and hygiene.
  4. Facilities: Assess the facilities offered by the hostel. Common areas like lounges, kitchens, and outdoor spaces can enhance your social experience. Other facilities such as laundry services, Wi-Fi availability, and luggage storage can add convenience to your stay.
  5. Social Atmosphere: Hostels are renowned for their social atmosphere, making them a great choice for solo travelers or those looking to meet new people. Some hostels organize activities or have communal spaces that foster interactions among guests. Consider whether you prefer a lively or more relaxed atmosphere.
  6. Reviews and Ratings: Take the time to read reviews and ratings from previous guests. They provide valuable insights into the hostel’s reputation, cleanliness, staff friendliness, and overall experience. Look for patterns in reviews to get a better understanding of the hostel’s strengths and weaknesses.
  7. Price: Price is an important consideration for budget travelers. Compare prices of different hostels in your desired location and assess the value for money. Keep in mind that the cheapest option may not always be the best, so balance price with the other factors mentioned here.
  8. Special Needs: If you have any specific requirements or special needs, such as accessibility, dietary restrictions, or privacy preferences, check if the hostel can accommodate them. Some hostels offer private rooms or cater to specific dietary needs, so do your research to find the right fit.

Considering these factors will help you narrow down your options and choose a hostel that aligns with your preferences, ensuring a pleasant and enjoyable stay during your travels.


Researching Hostels

Researching hostels is an essential step in finding the perfect accommodation for your needs. Here are some tips on how to effectively research hostels:

  1. Use Online Booking Platforms: Utilize popular online booking platforms such as Booking.com, Hostelworld, or Airbnb to browse and compare different hostels. These platforms provide detailed information about each hostel, including prices, facilities, availability, and reviews from previous guests.
  2. Read Hostel Websites: Visit the websites of the hostels you’re interested in. These websites often provide more detailed information about the hostel’s amenities, policies, and any special offers. Some hostels may offer direct booking discounts or exclusive perks for guests who book through their website.
  3. Utilize Social Media: Many hostels have a social media presence. Follow them on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to get a glimpse of their atmosphere, see photos of the accommodations, and stay updated on any promotions or events they may be hosting.
  4. Look for Influencer Recommendations: Check if any travel influencers or bloggers have written about the hostels you’re considering. Their firsthand experiences and recommendations can give you valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.
  5. Join Travel Forums or Groups: Participate in online travel forums or groups where you can ask for recommendations from fellow travelers. They can provide personal insights and suggestions based on their own experiences, helping you narrow down your options.
  6. Consider Certifications and Awards: Look for hostels that have been certified or awarded by reputable organizations such as Hostelling International. These certifications indicate a certain level of quality and service, ensuring a more reliable stay.
  7. Check for Special Offers or Discounts: Keep an eye out for any special offers or discounts that hostels may be offering. Many hostels provide early bird discounts, group discounts, or promotions during less busy seasons. Taking advantage of these offers can help you save money.
  8. Reach Out to the Hostel: If you have any specific questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the hostel directly. Email or call their reception to inquire about availability, facilities, or any other inquiries you may have. Their responsiveness and helpfulness can give you further insight into their customer service.

By researching hostels through various platforms and utilizing available resources, you will be able to gather the necessary information to make an informed decision about the right hostel for your travels.


Evaluating Hostels Based on Location

When it comes to choosing a hostel, the location is a key factor to consider. Here are some aspects to evaluate when determining whether a hostel’s location suits your needs:

  1. Central vs. Outskirts: Decide whether you prefer to stay in the city center or in a more peaceful area on the outskirts. Staying centrally will give you easy access to attractions, nightlife, and public transportation. On the other hand, if you prioritize a quieter environment, choosing a hostel in a quieter neighborhood or near natural landscapes might be more suitable.
  2. Proximity to Transportation: Consider the hostel’s proximity to transportation hubs such as train stations, bus terminals, or airports. Being close to these transportation options can save you time and effort when arriving and departing from the destination, as well as make it easier to explore the surrounding area.
  3. Safety: Evaluate the safety of the hostel’s location. Research the neighborhood and read reviews to get an idea of its safety reputation. Look for hostels located in well-lit and well-populated areas or those with extra security measures in place.
  4. Nearby Amenities: Take into account the amenities and facilities in the vicinity of the hostel. Is there a grocery store, restaurants, cafes, or shops nearby? Having these amenities within walking distance can enhance your convenience and make your stay more enjoyable.
  5. Proximity to Attractions: If there are specific attractions or landmarks you plan to visit, evaluate how close the hostel is to these points of interest. Being within walking distance or a short commute can save you time and transportation costs.
  6. Local Culture and Atmosphere: Consider whether you want to experience the local culture and atmosphere of the destination. Staying in a neighborhood with a vibrant local scene can provide a more authentic experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture, try local cuisine, and interact with residents.
  7. Noise Level: Think about your preference for noise levels. Hostels located in busy areas or near nightlife districts may be more lively but can also be noisier. If you prefer a quieter environment for a good night’s sleep, choose a hostel in a calmer location.
  8. Accessibility: Consider the accessibility of the hostel’s location. Are there public transportation options nearby? Are there elevators or stair accessibility for those with mobility challenges? Assessing the accessibility of the hostel’s location ensures a comfortable and hassle-free stay.

By evaluating hostels based on location, you can choose one that aligns with your preferences and makes it easier for you to explore the destination while enjoying the surrounding amenities and atmosphere.


Comparing Hostel Prices and Amenities

When choosing a hostel, it’s important to compare prices and amenities to ensure you get the best value for your money. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating hostel prices and amenities:

  1. Price Range: Assess the price range of the hostels you’re considering. Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the location, season, and type of room (dormitory or private). Determine your budget and look for hostels that fall within your price range.
  2. Inclusions: Compare the amenities and services included in the price. Some hostels may offer complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, bed linens, or towel rentals, while others may charge extra for these amenities. Take note of what is included and factor that into the overall cost.
  3. Room Options: Check the room options available. Hostels typically offer dormitory-style rooms with shared facilities or private rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Consider your preferences for privacy and comfort when choosing between these options.
  4. Facilities: Evaluate the facilities offered by the hostel. Common areas such as lounges, kitchens, and laundry facilities can enhance your stay. Look for hostels that provide comfortable and well-equipped common spaces for socializing and relaxing.
  5. Additional Services: Consider any additional services offered by the hostel. Some hostels may provide bike rentals, organized tours, airport transfers, or common area activities. These services can add value to your stay and enhance your overall experience.
  6. Special Offers or Discounts: Look out for any special offers or discounts that hostels may offer. They may have promotions for longer stays, group bookings, or off-peak seasons. Taking advantage of these discounts can help you save money without compromising on quality.
  7. Cancellation Policy: Review the hostel’s cancellation policy. Determine if it aligns with your travel plans and provides flexibility in case of unforeseen circumstances. Some hostels have more lenient cancellation policies, while others may have stricter rules or non-refundable bookings.
  8. Value for Money: Consider the overall value for money. Compare the price of the hostel with the amenities, facilities, and services provided. Look for a hostel that offers a good balance between price and quality, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay without breaking the bank.

By comparing hostel prices and amenities, you can make an informed decision that suits your budget and ensures a pleasant stay with the necessary amenities and services.


Reading Reviews and Ratings

Reading reviews and ratings from previous guests is crucial when choosing a hostel. Here’s why and how to effectively evaluate hostel reviews and ratings:


Importance of Reviews:


Reviews provide valuable insights into the hostel’s quality, service, cleanliness, and overall experience. They offer an honest perspective from fellow travelers who have firsthand experience staying at the hostel. By reading reviews, you can get a sense of what to expect, identify any potential issues, and make an informed decision.


Consider the Following When Reading Reviews:

  • Overall Rating: Look at the hostel’s overall rating on review platforms. This gives you a general idea of the guest satisfaction level.
  • Recent Reviews: Pay attention to recent reviews as they reflect the hostel’s current state and service quality.
  • Consistency in Feedback: Look for patterns in the reviews. Do multiple guests mention the same positive or negative aspects? This can help you identify the hostel’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Specific Comments: Read individual comments to gain more detailed insights. Pay attention to comments regarding cleanliness, staff friendliness, noise levels, and other factors that are important to you.
  • Response from Hostel: Some hostels respond to guest reviews. Check if the hostel engages with feedback and how they handle any issues or concerns raised by guests.

Keep in Mind:

  • Individual Preferences: Remember that everyone has different preferences and priorities. Take reviews as a guide but consider your own needs and preferences when evaluating them.
  • Balance of Positive and Negative Feedback: Look for a balance between positive and negative feedback. No hostel is perfect, but a healthy balance indicates a fair representation of the guest experience.
  • Trustworthy Sources: Rely on reputable review platforms or trusted travel communities for reliable and unbiased reviews.

Leaving Your Own Review:


After staying at a hostel, consider leaving your own review to help future travelers. Share your experiences and provide constructive feedback. By contributing to the pool of reviews, you can assist others in making informed decisions.


Overall, reading reviews and ratings is an essential step in evaluating hostels. It helps you gain insights from other travelers, understand the hostel’s strengths and weaknesses, and make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences.


Making a Reservation

Once you have chosen the perfect hostel, it’s time to make a reservation. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a reservation:

  1. Check Availability: Verify the availability of your desired dates on the hostel’s website or booking platform. Make sure there are rooms or beds available during your travel period.
  2. Select Room Type: Determine the type of room you want to book. Hostels typically offer dormitories with shared facilities or private rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Consider your preferences for privacy and comfort when choosing the room type.
  3. Review Reservation Details: Carefully review the reservation details such as the number of guests, check-in and check-out dates, and any additional services or amenities included in the reservation.
  4. Provide Personal Information: Fill in your personal information accurately. This typically includes your full name, contact details, and any special requests or preferences you may have, such as dietary restrictions or accessibility needs.
  5. Choose Payment Method: Select your preferred payment method, such as credit card, debit card, or online payment platforms. Ensure that the payment method is secure and reliable.
  6. Confirm Reservation: Double-check all the entered information before proceeding with the reservation. Confirm that the dates, room type, and personal details are accurate.
  7. Make Payment: Proceed with the payment process as directed by the hostel or booking platform. Some hostels may require a deposit or the full payment upfront, while others offer the option to pay upon arrival. Follow the payment instructions carefully.
  8. Receive Confirmation: After making the payment, you will receive a confirmation email or booking confirmation page. Keep this confirmation for reference and make sure to bring a copy with you during check-in.
  9. Contact the Hostel (Optional): If you have any special requests or inquiries, consider contacting the hostel directly. You can reach out to them via phone or email to discuss any specific requirements or arrangements.
  10. Check-In Reminder: Prior to your arrival date, keep a reminder of the check-in time and any instructions provided by the hostel. This will ensure a smooth check-in process and help you settle into your accommodation smoothly.

By following these steps, you can secure your reservation and have a hassle-free check-in process, guaranteeing a comfortable stay at your chosen hostel.


Packing Essentials for Staying in a Hostel

When staying in a hostel, it’s important to pack efficiently and have the essential items to ensure a comfortable and convenient stay. Here are some packing essentials to consider:

  1. Travel Lock: Bring a travel lock to secure your belongings in lockers or luggage storage areas. This helps protect your valuables and gives you peace of mind during your stay.
  2. Earplugs and Eye Mask: Hostels can be bustling with activity, especially if you’re staying in a dormitory room. Earplugs and an eye mask can help you get a good night’s sleep by blocking out noise and light.
  3. Microfiber Towel: Pack a quick-drying microfiber towel, as many hostels may not provide towels or may charge extra for them. Microfiber towels are lightweight, compact, and dry quickly, making them perfect for travel.
  4. Flip Flops: Bring a pair of flip flops or shower shoes for shared bathroom facilities. They provide protection and keep you comfortable while using communal showers.
  5. Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle. Some hostels have water refill stations or offer free drinking water, allowing you to save money and reduce plastic waste.
  6. Universal Power Adapter: Hostels often have limited power outlets, so bringing a universal power adapter ensures you can charge your electronic devices without any issues.
  7. Padlock: If the hostel doesn’t provide lockers, it’s a good idea to bring a padlock to secure your bags. This adds an extra layer of security to your belongings.
  8. Comfortable Clothing: Pack comfortable sleepwear and clothing suitable for lounging around in the hostel’s common areas. Opt for breathable fabrics and layering options to adjust to different temperatures.
  9. Toiletries: Pack travel-sized toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toothpaste. Consider using solid toiletries to minimize liquids and avoid spills in your luggage.
  10. Reusable Bag: Bring a reusable bag for carrying groceries or storing dirty laundry. It’s a handy item to have while traveling and helps reduce waste.
  11. Personal First-Aid Kit: It’s always wise to have a small first-aid kit with basic medical supplies like band-aids, antiseptic cream, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications.
  12. Travel Insurance Information: Keep a copy of your travel insurance information handy, including the policy details and emergency contact numbers. This ensures you are prepared for any unforeseen circumstances.

Remember to check the hostel’s website or contact them directly for any specific items or facilities they provide. By packing these essentials, you’ll be well-prepared for a comfortable and enjoyable stay in a hostel.


Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Hostel Experience

Staying in a hostel can be a rewarding and memorable experience. To ensure your time in a hostel is safe and enjoyable, here are some essential tips to consider:

  1. Research the Hostel: Prior to booking, thoroughly research the hostel’s reputation, reviews, and safety measures. Choose a hostel with positive feedback and reliable security protocols in place.
  2. Use Secure Lockers: Most hostels provide lockers for storing your valuables. Use them to safeguard your belongings by using a sturdy padlock. Keep your passport, electronic devices, and other valuable items locked away when you’re not using them.
  3. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings: Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of who is around you. Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid displaying expensive items that may attract unwanted attention.
  4. Respect Quiet Hours: Many hostels have designated quiet hours to ensure a peaceful environment for all guests. Be considerate of others and keep noise levels to a minimum during these hours.
  5. Get to Know Your Roommates: Take the opportunity to meet and interact with your fellow travelers. Respect their privacy and belongings, and establish clear communication regarding sleeping schedules and shared spaces.
  6. Be Mindful of Noise: Avoid making unnecessary noise in shared areas, especially during late hours. Remember that other guests may be resting or trying to sleep.
  7. Follow Hostel Rules: Every hostel has its own set of rules and policies. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines and abide by them to ensure a harmonious environment for all guests.
  8. Keep Personal Belongings Secure: When utilizing common areas, such as lounges or kitchens, don’t leave your personal belongings unattended. Keep an eye on them or use your lockers to prevent theft.
  9. Respect Cultural Differences: Hostels often attract guests from different cultures and backgrounds. Be respectful and considerate of cultural differences in behavior, customs, and personal space.
  10. Practice Good Hygiene: Keep shared spaces clean and tidy. Clean up after yourself in the common kitchen area and follow proper bathroom etiquette to ensure a pleasant environment for everyone.
  11. Be Cautious with Strangers: While hostels can be a great place to meet new people, always exercise caution when interacting with strangers. Trust your instincts, and if anything feels uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation and report it to the hostel staff if necessary.
  12. Stay Informed about Local Safety: Research the local area and familiarize yourself with any safety concerns or precautions specific to your destination. Stay informed about local emergency contact numbers and the nearest medical facilities.
  13. Have Travel Insurance: It’s essential to have adequate travel insurance that covers any potential emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. This ensures you have financial protection and assistance if needed during your hostel stay.

By following these tips, you can have a safe, enjoyable, and enriching experience while staying in a hostel, creating lifelong memories and forging connections with fellow travelers from around the world.



Choosing the right hostel is a crucial step in planning a successful and enjoyable trip. By considering factors such as location, safety, cleanliness, and amenities, you can find a hostel that meets your needs and enhances your travel experience. Researching hostels through online booking platforms, reading reviews and ratings, and utilizing social media and travel forums can provide valuable insights to aid your decision-making process.


Once you have selected the perfect hostel, making a reservation is straightforward. Double-check the reservation details, provide accurate personal information, and choose a secure payment method. Keep a copy of your confirmation and be mindful of the hostel’s check-in procedures.


Packing the right essentials, such as a travel lock, earplugs, and a microfiber towel, ensures a comfortable stay in a hostel. Utilizing secure lockers and practicing good hygiene contribute to a safe and pleasant environment for all guests. Respect for the hostel’s rules and fellow travelers’ privacy fosters a harmonious atmosphere.


Finally, don’t hesitate to immerse yourself in the hostel experience by connecting with fellow travelers and embracing the local culture. Staying in hostels offers unparalleled opportunities for socializing and making new friends from around the world.


By following these guidelines and taking the time to choose the right hostel, you can embark on an exciting journey, creating lasting memories and discovering new horizons. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a group of friends, or a budget-conscious explorer, hostels provide a fantastic option for affordable accommodation and a vibrant social atmosphere. So, start your adventure and enjoy the world of hostels!