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

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Old 02-03-2007, 08:51 AM   #1
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Hiya,

1) Just want to know how does the bathrooms situation work?
2) Are they like the swimming pools?
3) Where do you get changed after you shower? Or do you do it in your swimming costume?
4) Is there an area to get changed into if you dont have a shower or is it done in the bed, like on Big Brother?
5) Are the shower screens clear/plastic or like a toilet cubicle?
6) Do people normally complain if it cold water?

7) Also, do most people just plan this whole trip themselves, or go via a travel agent like STA Travel

8) Final question, we are hoping to go Europe in June, do i need to book hostels in advance? Do you pay upfront and if you dont go there do you lose your money? Do hostels accept cash only or credit card?

thanks

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Old 02-03-2007, 11:15 AM   #2
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Wow, ok.... No two hostel bathrooms are the same. If you are shy, oops, try to shower midday when everyone else is out. You should be able to have a fair amount of privacy. Bring somekind of bathroom flip flops or something, and take everything you need with you when you go in.
If you don't want to have to worry about getting a room in June, I would totally book now. Use Hostelworld.com, and you can find all the listings for every city. You can reserve for like 10% of room cost online. Check each hostel for their terms of payment, some only accept cash, and hit you with a tourist tax. If it doesnt state their policy, email the hostel and they will let you know.
As for planning, I wouldn't let anyone do it period. That is the fun part to me. If you are willing to take the time and do the research, you can plan the entire trip on the internet without having to trust someone else to guess what you would like and enjoy.
Feel free to ask away, I'm sure you will get your questions answered here
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:51 PM   #3
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Some hostels are like men's locker rooms and some hostels have private showers. All depends where you go. You can always email the hostel and ask before you make reservations.
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:36 PM   #4
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So, most hostels I've stayed in have single sex bathrooms (although this isn't always the case, there were a few which were mixed), or an "en suite" bathroom in the dorm, so it's just for the use of the 4/6/8 etc people in that room.

Generally speaking, you'll have a proper cubicle with a door that locks. Often inside the cubicle, there is a hook to hang your clothes, then a further door/curtain/screen to stand behind and have your shower, ensuring your clothes don't get wet. Sometimes there is also a little stool or something to put your clothes on. Then you can get changed inside your cubicle.

If it's an ensuite bathroom, it is sometimes a bathtub with a shower over it, or it is one shower cubicle, with a toilet and sink in there too. In these ones, obviously you can lock yourself in the whole room and you won't get disturbed.

If you're not having a shower and just want to get changed, you can always go into the bathroom anyway, and use a toilet cubicle or whatever. Or you can just whip your top off real quick(I'm assuming you're female for some reason), throw your sleep shirt on, pull your bra through the arm holes, get into bed and take your trousers off, keep that days underwear on til you shower the next morning, and voila, you're ready for bed! If you're not majorly uncomfortable with getting undressed around people, just do it, cos people hardly bat an eyelid to other people getting changed in the rooms.

As for the cold water, I never had a cold shower once. But sure, if the water is cold, feel free to complain. I'd expect it not to happen in Europe though. It can happen in places like south east Asia, but Europe should be pretty good for hot water.

Also, I would recommend going into a travel agency, even if it is just for advice. If you're planning on getting a ticket from your home town to one place in Europe, and then do buses/trains everywhere else, you can get your ticket yourself. But if you're planning on getting a multi-destination plane ticket, you may appreciate the help of a travel agent.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:50 PM   #5
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agreed with above, there were always sinle sex washrooms wherever I went, unless it was only one person to a shower kind of thing, which isnt bad, and the showers were always seperated (at least by a non-see through plasitc sheet...so privacy's not too bad). Sometime's they're nice and have a small change cubby attatched but mostly you just have to bring your stuff to the shower or just outside so you can change into it.

As for the paying for hostels in advance thing. You CAN book hostels online, and it IS reccommended for super busy cities like Amsterdam or Paris in the summer (high season), but if you're anything like me and tend to (a) be late for evertyhing or (b) change your mind on a moments notice, booking ahead doesnt really work and then you WILL lose your deposit...I never had trouble finding a place to stay though, it's really up to you and what sort of a person you think you'll be. If you're the type of person who really likes to plan things out thoroughly and make sure you get everything you want done, then I'd book ahead~ guarantees you a place at the good hostels. If you're more of a "go with the flow" person then do just that. Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:54 AM   #6
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It really varies from hostel to hostel, there is no overall appreciation that can be made. Unlike hostels in Western Europe, the showers in easteuropean hostels I stayed in weren't in perfect condition. In one place privacy was even a problem : in Krakow, there were three single showers, with old torn curtains, in the bathroom (with toilets and sinks in the same room), and the door of the bathroom was always open. Not that anyone (except once) stared from the corridor, but it felt very uncomfortable !

As said, do bring a pair of sandals, and bring a big ziplock bag to put your moneybelt in. In my experience, not all showers had hook, and even when they did, they were sometimes unconveniently placed or the cubicule was too small... and your belongings got wet !

I don't remember any trouble with hot water though, I'd say on that side no problem.

Where are you going in E.E. ? If you head for "deeper" E.E. (Romania, Ukrain, etc") bring toilet paper along in train, and don't wear sandals in train, bathroom floors are swimming pools !
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