The best way to find a good youth hostel is to go check it out in person. The second best way? Get your nomad friends to recommend their favorite hostels.
But let’s be fair, not everyone has a Justin Jones travel guru (and nightlife connoisseur) in their lives, and not everyone has the time or money to wander the globe looking for that perfect youth hostel. Luckily for you, Al Gore invented a little thing called the internet and it’s chockfull of useful information for backpackers and youth hostel Shangri-La seekers.
Youth Hostel Websites not only provide you with the ability to book ahead and see pictures and lists of amenities, but they also provide travelers with a forum for discussing and rating hostels. The following is a short list of some of the best hostel websites for reviews and bookings:
Hostelworld.com is one of the best resources for hostel booking and information. It was one of the first online hostel booking services and has since grown into a huge database of hostels from all over the world. Hostel World allows backpackers to rate the hostels on everything from security to fun.
Hostels.com is another juggernaut in the hostel booking industry. They have a great clean interface for bookings and a similar rating system to Hostel World along with amenities listed and pictures – so you’ll know what you’re booking.
HostelBookers.com rounds out my top three online hostel booking and review websites. They have a great database of hostels, a clean and friendly website, an accurate rating system, and some great pictures and descriptions. They even have an awesome new live chat function that allows you to get assistance in selecting and booking you hostel via an easy to use chat window. I clicked the button and was able to chat directly with Victor, who was courteous and knowledgeable and after asking a few questions was able to recommend the a great hostel for my stay in Barcelona.
Bootsnall.com— these guys really do have it all. From travel gear to travel insurance, and from Eurail passes to Hostel bookings, they’ve got you covered. Their bookings section for hostels is clean and easy to use. They do have a ratings system, but it is confusing and hard to find. But they have some cool travel blogs and loads of other goodies, making Boots ‘n All a great resource for any traveler.
Hostels1.com has loads of youth hostel listings for North and South America. The only other locations that they list youth hostels for are Poland and Vietnam — Why? I have no idea, but I love Polish girls, so I aint complaining. Regarless, this website isn’t for you euro-trippers, but those doing some south American backpacking will find it quite useful. A solid website for youth hostel booking, but it seems to lack a ratings section.
Be sure to check out Student Traveler’s list of youth hostel websites. And check back here next week for more youth hostel information, reviews, and tips!