The Hostel Experience - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



Go Back   TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards! > Budget Hostels, Hotels, and Accommodations > Hostel, Hotels, Budget Accomodations: Questions and tips

Hostel, Hotels, Budget Accomodations: Questions and tips Safety, services and general questions. Is there a camp ground in...

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-21-2007, 12:09 PM   #1
Members
 
mentira's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 40
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default The Hostel Experience

Hey Guys,

So before I ask you my questions, I'm going to give a little back ground information on myself. In three weeks I am going to Europe for seven months, and I plan on staying in England, France, Germany, Spain, Protugal, Italy, Croatia, and Greece. I will be taking my 75 liter pack with me, and my digital camera and mp3. I have gone to Europe once before on a school trip, where we spent most of our time in Malaga Spain living with a homestay family. I loved the experience, but this time; with the exception of Malaga, I will be staying in hostels. I have never stayed in a hostel before, and I have never had to live out of a backpack, and I have never been away from home for more than a month, so I am a very very extreme newbie to this. I'm used to having my own room, a shower when I feel like it, etc,etc, but I know this will be a good experiene.

Anyways, I just wanted to illustrate my situation, now onto the questions.

1. I will only be staying in single sex dorms, for those with experience, did you feel safe when you were staying in your hostel..
2. My hostels have lockers, what tips can you give me on security though?
3. How did you get to know people/get involved? I like being on my own, but that can only last a person to a certain extent.
4. How were the showers? Lol :D
5. Any other newbie tips?

Thanks in advance!
mentira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 12:50 PM   #2
Drifter in the making.
 
MolsonGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: The Bubble, Ontario
Posts: 2,069
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I mostly stayed in Coed dorms and still felt totally safe.
The lockers provided are good, and otherwise just don't leave things on your bed, especially when showering, either bring it with you or lock it up.
Bring shower sandals... just to make sure you don't get anything germ wise on your feet.

As for meeting people getting involved... taht's easy.. go to the loung area and start talking... most people in hostels are like minded and open to meeting new people, that's a large chunk of what travelling is all about.
__________________

I will not say that your mulberry-trees are dead, but I am afraid they are not alive.
~ Jane Austen in a Letter (1811-05-31)
MolsonGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 01:24 PM   #3
Members
 
mentira's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 40
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thanks for the response!

Most of that is what I figured it would be. The only thing is, is a lot of people have cautioned others in threads on this site about thier age/gender while travelling, so it got me a little worried.

I'm going to be 17 for the first two months while I'm there, and then I'll be 18.

Single female travellers can make friends realitively easily then??
Also, a lot of chat usually happens at the lounge/bar, do they ID often?
mentira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 04:51 PM   #4
No one regrets traveling
 
joe7f's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,072
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to joe7f Send a message via Skype™ to joe7f
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mentira View Post
1. I will only be staying in single sex dorms, for those with experience, did you feel safe when you were staying in your hostel..
2. My hostels have lockers, what tips can you give me on security though?
3. How did you get to know people/get involved? I like being on my own, but that can only last a person to a certain extent.
4. How were the showers? Lol :D
5. Any other newbie tips?

Thanks in advance!
1.) I'm a guy but anyway... make sure you line up your hostels ahead of time on hostelworld.com because some hostels do not have single sex dorms. It also prevents you from being stranded (in most cool hostels they will let you sack out in the common area over night if you are staying there the next day) The small deposit is worth it!

2.) I would lock everything you don't want stolen. Get locks for your pack and if it has a steel cable, bring a bicycle lock. Does your pack have a day bag?

3.) The best way to get to know people is to be friendly. A smile and a hello go pretty far. Go down to the bar/common area even if no one is there. Get your map out and start planning your next leg. If people are talking about where they have been/where they are going ask for advice/give them advice. You will meet other solo backpackers and if you make the first move you will almost always get a conversation back.

4.) Most showers were decent, but some did not have hot water. That SUCKS. So make sure you stay in decent hostels (spend an extra 5-10 euros if you need to!). Also, I recommend that you not get in ensuite dorms with more than 6 people (the lines for the bathroom can be brutal). You may want to take flushable toliet seat covers and your own toliet paper in a baggie (a godsend in public restrooms)

5.) Tips? Enjoy the ever living hell out of it. Britain and Germany are expensive, Spain considerably less so. Italy and France are in between. The Aegean coast is pretty cheap from what I heard from fellow travelers.

Let me suggest the following hostels based on your itinerary

Funky Backpackers Hostel/Oasis Hostel - Granada
HI Albergue Juvenil (quiet not a party atmosphere) - Sevilla
Wombat City - Munich (apparently they are opening one in Berlin next month)
Ostello Archi Rossi - Florence

Never stayed in these, but all had a good buzz from people I spoke with:
Yellow hostel - Rome
Hostel of the Sun - Naples
Cat's Hostel - Madrid
Kabul - Barcelona (I have heard it is a very loud party hostel)


--Joey
joe7f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 07:20 PM   #5
Members
 
mentira's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 40
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thank you so much for the response! I booked my first hostel today =) I'm so proud of myself. I'm having to bum around London an extra week or so, because of my stupid Visa. I thought I wasn't going to need one, but as things would have it...that changed =). A lot of the hostels you mentioned I have heard of, and thanks a lot for taking the time to post them. I'll probably book 1-2 weeks in advance, but that's about it, because my IT is pretty loose. Would that be enough? Yes, my backpack does have a zip off day pack. How would I use these locks and cables to secure it?
mentira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 08:31 PM   #6
No one regrets traveling
 
joe7f's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,072
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to joe7f Send a message via Skype™ to joe7f
Default

Well your zip off part should be on your back while walking (and locked...thieves will unzip your bag while you walk/stand) and around your leg while at sitting down.

If you have the cable part on your bag, I would loop it through your bed (if possible or around something that appears to be immovable. Most people in hostels are honest so you don't have to be paranoid, but in sketchier places you may have to worry. I usually put my underwear on top of the bag so they wouldn't go through the rest :D

Since you are going at an "off season" my guess is a week out is plenty. If you have your heart set on certain places, make sure you pencil them in and put down the deposit.

--Joey
joe7f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 08:38 PM   #7
Members
 
mentira's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 40
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Sounds lovely! Although, once I start getting closer to spring and summer things may perk up. Are there going to be many back packers out and about in london during feb though?
mentira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 10:00 PM   #8
 
vvtonyvv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 24
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to vvtonyvv
Default

Man your going to have an amazing time, im gunna be in Europe in mid July im flying into amsterdam and working my way through belgium,london,paris,most big cities in italy, then a boat over to greece.
Ill be there for like 3 and a half weeks, i wish i could do 7 months. If your sick and tired of riding solo im gunan be with like 20 college kids from Miami so ur more than welcome to come party with us or just have somone to talk to if your in the same city as us at that time.
__________________
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." ~Lao Tzu

July 19th.- Madrid,Barcelona,Munich,Belgium,Amsterdam,london,p aris,florence,rome,athens,mykonos in 34 day
vvtonyvv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 10:11 PM   #9
Members
 
mentira's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 40
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thanks for the invite, I may very well take you up on that. I have a feeling I am going to be really tired of my own company. I'm sure that will pick up though. Really, I'm only going to be in London and Paris for the slow season. Then I'm going to Malaga Spain for a couple of months I'm guessing, doing another homestay, and going to a language school.

Have any tips in general?
mentira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 11:19 PM   #10
 
vvtonyvv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 24
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to vvtonyvv
Default

well not really lol july 21st will be my first time ever stepping foot out of the US other than a few islands in the carribean which dont really count to me lol Ive been reading the crap out of these boards to get prepared for my trip. All i can tell u from what ive read is, pack light!!! and have an open mind. defiantely keep in touch though just in case u are gunna be in n e of the same cities as me and my friends.
__________________
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." ~Lao Tzu

July 19th.- Madrid,Barcelona,Munich,Belgium,Amsterdam,london,p aris,florence,rome,athens,mykonos in 34 day
vvtonyvv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2007, 11:29 PM   #11
Members
 
mentira's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 40
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Yeah, the boards are really helpful for trip planning. haha, packing light is most definitely going to be a toughie, I'm not used to living out of a back pack by any means. I hope your trip goes well!
__________________

Leavin' On A Jetplane February 10th: England, Wales, France, Germany, Spain, Portgual, Italy, Croatia, Greece
mentira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2007, 04:25 AM   #12
Mod
 
aliz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,216
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via MSN to aliz
Default

believe me, you wanna pack light. No matter what you're doing, you're not gonna need as many 'good' clothes as you think. It's disappointing but its a mistake I and many other girls always make. although, despite going light on clothes, my grandpa's theory is "you can never take too many grundies" (underpants)... and as daggy as that theory is, i totally live by it cause really, the amount of pairs of underwear you have equals the amount of days between finding a place to do laundry. and the longer that is, the better.
__________________
www.bell-street.com
aliz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2007, 04:39 AM   #13
TPunk Recognized
 
The Sasquatch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 327
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Don't worry about the "slow season". Even at this time of year and feb. hostels in london can be completely packed. and you'll have no problem meeting people. none whatsoever. i stayed at the generator in london. loved it, but its a really rowdy party hostel type place, but i def. know girls your age that stayed there while i was there. and yeah, showers can be one of the worst parts of hostels, but as long as you bring your shower sandals/flip flops whatever, you should be fine. as for other hostels on your route. hmmm.
Oasis - Granada : yep, really good, everybody who stays there seems to love it.
Kabul's - Barcelona : excellent hostel. cheap beer, free food, tons of people. and all right in a beautiful plaza off of las ramblas.
Mucho - Madrid : very small, but homey and the old guy who runs it is tops. left water bottles at all of our beds when we came home wasted.
Nuevo Suizo - Sevilla : I didn't rate this one that great, but haven't heard of anything better in sevilla. i had wicked roommates that made up for it though. not a bad hostel i suppose.
Yellow - Rome : One of the best. Great for meeting people and just a couple blocks from the train station.
Globetrotter - London : had to move over here when The Gen. filled up. Not bad, really well set up, but i didn't meet anybody here. didn't have the proper lounge area or something. plus it wasn't very central and kinda in a dodgy area at night.
Archi Rossi - Florence : Not bad, the common area is like a cafeteria though, so not much for lounging. but very central and florence is so easy on foot.

As for croatia, i had trouble finding bona fide hostels. I stayed at Buzz in Zagreb which was pretty good. and then i ended up staying at sorta homestay type things in Split and Dubrovnik. BTW Dubrovnik is a gem. Absolutely. oh and i wouldn't miss cinque terre, italy if i was you. def. highlight of my 4 months in europe.
The Sasquatch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2007, 09:54 AM   #14
Ohio State's #1 Fan
 
Brookers13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ!
Posts: 1,099
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to Brookers13 Send a message via MSN to Brookers13
Default

the oasis hostels are AMAZING...theres one in granada and one in sevilla on ur itinerary...they are the most chill places ever
__________________
"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane"-my idol Jimmy Buffett


"I wanna be there, I wanna go back down and get high by the sea there, with a tin cup for a chalice, fill it up with good red wine, and ill be chewin' on a honeysuckle vine...." - Jimmy
Brookers13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2007, 11:35 AM   #15
french touch
 
Esterina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Québec
Posts: 3,251
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Hi Mentira,

Security isn't much of a problem in hostels, as long as you keep your things in the locker, as you already thougth anyway, and your money-passport-etc. always with you when you sleep.

You can ask at the front desk to keep things in their safe, when you go out in your nice dress at night.

Bring a ziplock bag with you, so that your money belt stay dry in the shower !

To get to know travellers, I've found the kitchen was pretty much the best place, outside the loundge. When making plans for the day in the morning, you may as well find companions for the day.
__________________

people are people


Esterina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2007, 02:28 PM   #16
Members
 
mentira's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 40
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

That's really funny, my gramma was going on about the same thing, saying that I should pack a lot of undies, and it does make good sense. I think I have that covered. A lot of my clothes pack really easily, most of my shirts are knits, so they don't tend to wrinkle, I'm taking some tank tops, then with a few longer shirts to go over them so that I can layer, and itll make it look like I have more clothes than I actually do. It's also kind of tough when I am going to go when it's chilly in feb, but then in Malaga when it is like 45 degrees in the summer time. My mom is comming over for my 18th in April, so Illsend her home with whatever I dont need, or ask her to bring stff that I had forgotten, ect. I'm not a fan of buying clothes on the road, so hopefully I get this right. I'm not taking any super expensive clothes, but I don't exactly have anything grungy either. the only things that are a little bit pricey are the jeans Im taking, but they are my most comfortable versatile pair, so hopefully that suffices. How many shirts did the girls here take? A lot of the packing lists that I have seen are FAR too minimalist, they have taken things to the extremes. I'm not doing a lot of hiking, and I will be living in a homestay for a few months from march until the begining of may.

Thanks for the hostel list sasquatch. I was going to stay at the globetrotter in london, but it wasn't central enough. I wouldn't have thought that area is dodgy. I would love to stay at the yellow hostel, it looks fantastic. The only problem is i didn't think they offered single sex dorms. I'm pretty adamant on that point, as is my mum =) but I shall definitely see. Has anyone heard of the Pink Palace hostel in Greece? It has been reccomended to me, but I was looking at the website and nothing seemed very stellar about it. I'll definitely research the ones you gave me though. Does anyone know any sort of "different" places to stay where I'm going? I know in Italy I've found an old converted castle to stay in for a few nights, so things along those lines?

So, I sleep with my money belt, and take it into the shower with me? Other than that article, is my backpack safe in the lockers? What type of lock should I by?
__________________

Leavin' On A Jetplane February 10th: England, Wales, France, Germany, Spain, Portgual, Italy, Croatia, Greece
mentira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2007, 03:14 PM   #17
Tpunk Senior Moderators
 
lauren313's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Birmingham, England
Posts: 2,266
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Hey, sounds like you're really enjoying getting all planned up for your trip!

In regards to which sort of lock to take, definitely take a combination lock, you sooooo do not want to be losing keys to your lock, and have all your stuff stuck in a locker! Make sure it's nice and sturdy, but try not to get one that is too thick, as I made that mistake with the first lock I bought, and found that it wouldn't fit through the catch on the locker door.

Also, I don't know if you're thinking of having a lock on the main zip of your backpack, but if you are, make sure it's a TSA approved lock, which means it can be unlocked by airport staff for bag checks if required, and they won't have to come and find you for the combination!

Towards the end of my most recent trip, I got kind of slack with looking after my stuff. I didn't have a money belt, and sometimes I slept with my purse under my pillow, other times I just left it in my bag at the foot of the bed. I know it would have served me right if I'd had my stuff stolen though!
__________________
lauren313 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2007, 03:17 PM   #18
TPunk Recognized
 
The Sasquatch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 327
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

well, i guess i wouldn't say it was dodgy, but i arrived in the evening and got lost finding it, i was a little tipsy from hanging at the generator during happy hour with my friends, and i wandered for an hour and a half and only saw 6 people walking. and they all looked at me funny. one even stopped and looked like he was gonna follow me. thats why i got that vibe. but yeah, its def. not central.

About single sex dorms. well, i don't think you'll be able to find them everywhere firstly. and secondly, i found myself spending the night in all female dorms a couple times, so i mean, there might be males in there. nobody said anything about it, i dunno how chafed they were. i mean i didn't bother anyone and i wasn't shaggin during the night while everyone was sleeping, but they knew i was there and what not. Co-ed dorms aren't so bad, like, you shouldn't see nudity or have to get dressed in front of dudes. just do all that stuff in the washroom. but dudes do snore more i suppose. hahahaha. had one dude at yellow in a ten bed dorm that had all other 9 awake. hahahaha. he was a gnarly sleeper. sounded like he was dying. i just put my headphones on and went to sleep, but i think people woke him up the second night and had him roll over or something.
The Sasquatch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2007, 03:45 PM   #19
Members
 
mentira's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 40
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Yeah, I really am enjoying it, other than the visa scare yesterday, everything is going well =), these boards are helping me a lot, and it's making me even more eager to get the hell out of here. My mom has warned me about keeping an eye on my stuff, she'd throttle me if I don't, because she is footing a fair amount of the bill, and going of her way to get me a credit card. I'm an overly paranoid person in the first place, so hopefully that will help me out a little bit. I'll go to my local MEC and pick up those locks tommorow, thanks for the advice!

About the single sex dorms, I'm not adamant on the fact, but with a lot of the places that I'm looking at, I can either get a single sex dorm, or a room to myself. I know that being with guys wouldn't be a bad experience, and I get along very well with them, it's just a matter of personl preference. First of all, although I do parade around my own house naked, there is no way I would be caught dead in front of guys topless, but with women I really wouldn't care. Also, I just was kind of conditioned that way the last time I was in Spain, I had a lot of problems with male attention that sometimes carried itself a bit too far, and made me feel uncomfortable. I hope I don't get any snorers in my room, or like you did; in go the head phones.
__________________

Leavin' On A Jetplane February 10th: England, Wales, France, Germany, Spain, Portgual, Italy, Croatia, Greece
mentira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2007, 04:48 PM   #20
TPunk Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Northern British Columbia Canada
Posts: 928
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Send a message via MSN to TheWills
Default

hey there
you know what just head in there and take it easy there are gonna be ppl all over the place but just treat it like home and be compy, I never had anytign solen in hostels besides some bread lol just dont be stupid about your stuff and youll be fine, I wouldent get super paranoid about anything your gonna have a great time!! just relax. Bring ear plugs cause your gonna have a snorer, I guarentee it! other then that just rock house, best place to meet people is int he hostel bars, just beware for the guys who only travel to shag! lol Have fun
wills
TheWills is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply






Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:11 AM.



 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.2.0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121