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30

I worked in a variety of hotels and hostels when I was a young backpacker and student. The simple answer is that it comes down to availability of rooms (or beds if you're staying in a dormitory). Most hotels will post a check-in time of around noon to give them time to get at least some some rooms ready for the earlier arrivals, but even that should never ...


23

Well I'm a bit of a sub-expert on this, having worked nine years in the hostelling industry and encountering them as a traveller once in India. There's a bit of a dirty little secret in the hospitality industry about just how bad the bed bug problem has been for the past few years. Apparently all the big/expensive hotel chains have been having problems - ...


22

Towels are 50/50 possible, depening on country and hostel. More hostels will rent towels, sometimes at a nominal price. One hostel I worked in in Australia used to provide free towels but we discovered we were often paying overtime to our laundry staff because people would use many towels just because they were free! We introduced a $1 fee per towel, ...


20

Liking a hostel experience for a first-timer depends a lot on being prepared for what you're getting into. Whenever I've stayed with friends who are novice travellers or seen bad reviews from newbie hostellers for otherwise-great hostels, it has often been a case of them expecting something and then finding their preconceptions incorrect. Hostelling gets a ...


17

Almost always, you bring your own, however... Hostel sites like Hostelbookers often indicate whether or not items like towels are available for rent, or provided. Some I've seen will sell toothpaste and deodorant and the like. Personally, I bring a towel and toiletries, and almost always I've needed them. It's generally a surprise when I don't.


15

It occurs to me that I've only ever stayed in one hostel in the US, and it was a 17 bed dorm of hell with a Russian snoring in it. Which is pretty much like every other hostel around the world ;) To be fair, I've been in a lot of hostels, some are good, some are bad, but for the most part they follow a similar pattern - dorms with bunks and a basic ...


15

As someone who travelled a lot and stayed in many hostels let me say I also saw similar behaviour in many places, not only hostels but also on buses and at tourist sites. This is not limited to South America, but also happens in South East Asia and India. When speaking to Israelis who travel alone and are usually a little bit older they confirmed my ...


14

30 Pounds are just 38 Swiss Franks. This isn't really a lot of money in Switzerland, so I don't think you will find anything that is really a lot of cheaper. Additionally, Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in Switzerland if not in the whole World. To make it worse, Geneva is the domicile of a lot of big organizations like for example UNO, CERN, ...


14

Practically every hotel I've had experience with (and the vast majority are budget hotels or hostels) permit an early check in if the room is ready. If it's not, they'll usually have no problem holding your bags for you until the room is ready, so you can drop off your things and go get lunch or see the town in the mean time. If you're ever in a situation ...


13

Well one website did an investigation into this, and found: Garden Village Guesthouse in Siem Reap, Cambodia Which has beds for US$1 per night. To quote: But, there’s a catch… The $1 dorm beds are in a thatched-roof hut that is partially open to the elements. It appears that you do get a mattress, pillow, towel, and even a mosquito net, but ...


13

It very much depends on the hostel. Some provide amazing kitchens with multiple ovens, fridges and every utensil you can imagine. Others require a cash deposit to use pots, cutlery etc. Generally, no, you don't need to bring if it's a highly rated hostel on hostelbookers or hostelworld - read the reviews and if there's a "great kitchen" comment, it's a ...


13

Heck, if I arrive in my destination, I'm checking in. Hostel, B&B, hotel, never had a problem. Generally the only issue is that the room may not be ready. No problem, most of them have a place to store your bags, and then I'm free to explore the city or do whatever I wanted to do, and then come back later on and go to my room. The only time it was ...


13

Yes and no. Yes, because the 10% deposit they charge indeed goes to Hostelbookers.com, not the hotel. (See this thread.) No, because you, the backpacker, don't pay any extra. You can pay (say) $20 to book via HW, in which case HW takes $2 and the hostel keeps $18, or you can pay $20 to the hostel directly and they keep all of it. I presume HW insists on ...


11

There's little you can do, apart from the obvious, depending how thorough you want to be: Check the photos - see if it shows the dorms and the layout Check the reviews, hopefully you left a review about it, and others may have too. Email them - ask the layout of the room and any other suitable questions. Or even call them - a friendly chat will also let ...


11

Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your stomach might also work. Avoid sleeping on your back at any rate. Sometimes if I sleep on my stomach I get circulation problems to various areas of my body that I don't seem to get any other time. This never happens when sleeping on my side however. Also keep an eye on yourself. If you notice at any point that you've ...


10

I went to university in Burnaby. It's not hard to get to, but it's also not central and you miss out on a lot of the benefits of staying in central Vancouver. Plus the skytrain doesn't run much later than midnight so if you want to experience the Vancouver night life you're going to be spending a lot on taxis. Even though my commute to school was over ...


10

OK, some time, so I've found the three best candidates that I can, although not all are entire planes...or in planes... First up, we have the Floridian Fly-in home + aircraft - you can rent a home, which comes WITH a plane and pool! Next, Hughes' Cosmic Muffin. This is a plane that was owned by Howard Hughes, now converted into ... a house boat. The ...


10

You're confused: requiring the expiration date and the 3- or 4-digit code at the back has nothing to do with being a “US credit card”. Girocard is a German payment network. It can only be used to pay for things in Germany. You can't use it in other countries, European or otherwise. Many Girocard cards are simultaneously Maestro or V PAY cards. Those are ...


10

Typical "earliest checkin" times are between 12:00 and 16:00 - but if your concern is luggage, it's not really relevant as pretty much all hostels and hotels offer to safely store your luggage for you before checkin and after checkout. Some Hostels additionally have personal lockers, since dormitories are more or less publically accessible, so you don't ...


9

Many people use couchsurfing's groups for this exact purpose! I'm in the Georgia and Tbilisi groups and I would say the larger part of the traffic in both groups is travellers wanting to meet up with other travellers at their destination. Note that you must join each group you wish to read, which of course means you also need to be a member of ...


9

Would you believe, there's a website called BedBugSigns? From the site: It can be hard to tell if you've got them or not, because they are pretty small, only come out for very short periods, and because they are pretty good at hiding. First off, you should look for some key signs. Waste - Bed bugs create a lot of waste, and that is harder to hide than ...


9

I agree with Mark and thiton that the differences between individual hostels are vaster than the difference between US and European style of hostels generally. But there is one kind of hostel common in some parts of Europe that I haven't encountered in the US. Especially in Germany but also nearby including at least Austria and Luxembourg I have ...


9

When I was traveling in Switzerland and wanted to see Geneva, I would actually stay at a small hotel in Lausanne, some 45 minutes away, but along the main railroad line. At a much lower rate than Geneva itself. Geneva is a "destination," city, hence expensive. Anything "outside" of it would be far cheaper. But Switzerland is a small country, so "outside" of ...


9

First of all, Switzerland is very very expensive, especially accommodation. It will be difficult to even find hostels or similar things below 40-50 Swiss francs per night. As I already mentioned in the comments, you can find hotels in Geneva and Berne and all other Swiss cities on major booking sites, such as booking.com or hostelworld.com However, if ...


9

Cheapest I've come across anywhere in my travels was Utopia Guesthouse in Sihanookville, Cambodia. There you can stay in their dorm room for FREE (yup, costs nothing), or I think i paid $4 for a private room there. Don't get much cheaper than that! it's a pretty fun place to stay too, if you're into the party-type vibe. Actually, just looked them up, seems ...


9

Yes, at least in Germany there are two kinds of "hostels": The first kind of hostel and the one generally meant by "hostel" is the youth hostel (Jugendherberge) which is managed by the DJH. You need to buy a member card (also available on the fly) to stay there and if you are over 27, you must pay the full price (which is still very low for a year ~15 €). ...


8

I don't have a Hostelworld membership, but I emailed them to see what the official stance is (without anyone risking getting their card invalidated). From Louise Clark on the customer service team: Thanks for your email. Gold Cards are registered to one email address so all bookings made with that address will be automatically discounted. You can ...


8

Don't just check one site, check all the sites that rate hostels: Hostelworld HostelBookers TripAdvisor TripAdvisor lets you review anything, not just hostels, and not only ones you booked through them, unlike the hostel-specific sites. It's easiest to look up each one that looks interesting by name since they mix hostels in with "specialty lodging". ...


8

I contacted the Guernsey Information Centre, North Plantation, St Peter Port, GY1 2LQ Email: info.centre@cultureleisure.gov.gg There response was simply: "Sorry we do not have hostels in Guernsey only normal camp sites"


7

HostelWorld Gold Cards can be bought for $10 whenever you're making a booking. This waives off the $2 booking fee that HostelWorld charges. (It will not, however, waive off the 10% downpayment.) There are a couple of ways to get it for free though. Follow @hostelworld on Twitter. Every now and then, they send out Gold Card codes to new followers. I got one ...



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