STEP 4: Check out the website of the hostel (hostelworld and hostelbookers don’t provide a direct link, but you can simply google it).
By viewing the website you can get a final impression of the hostel.
STEP 5: Book the hostel of your choice!
Once you have selected a hostel you can book in advance. However, this really is only needed for popular hostels or hostels with limited capacity. Most of the times you can just show up.
In some cases it is cheaper to book through the hostel (hostelworld charges a small bookings fee). When you stay for more then 3 nights for example you may be able to get a discount when booking directly through the hostel. However, the advantages of hostelworld and hostelbooker are easy booking and safe payment.
Once you booked a hostel…
– Take a photo of the address of the hostel (or save it on your phone) with the address preferably written in the local language/script
– Write down the telephone number of the hostel
– Roughly check where the hostel is located in the city (remember landmarks such as rivers / shops / squares etc.) to make double sure once you’re on the move you’re heading into the right direction
It goes without saying that some countries do not have fancy hostels with facilities to choose from or are not active on the internet. In that case it is best to choose a hostel or guesthouse on basis of experiences of other backpackers or to search the internet for reviews.
As a final remark: Backpacking is no rocket science. I hope this article simply serves as a guide, but in the end ‘Just go with the flow and see and book as you go!’