I have no idea why I thought of this but I thought I'd throw it out there for whoever wants it.
I know there is a ton of discussion on this site of whether or not to book hostels ahead of time and I know there are a lot of different views but I just thought I'd throw in my two cents real quick. I always book my first one, I think most people do, so that when you stumble out of the airport in a daze you know where you're going. After that I usually book a day or so in advance of going to a new city. The only reason I do this is so I don't have to walk around a big city with my pack on. I figure there are enough ways to find adventure in this world without have to carry some crap on your back. That was about all I had, like I said this was more for newbies than the experienced.
OH! By the way, one thing for everyone whether you're a newbie or not I highly recommend bringing one of those tiny little pocket sized note pads with you. They work great for jotting down hostel directions while at an internet cafe and also for writing down email addys and phone numbers if you're out and about for the night partying or whatever.
There's my two cents......why do they call it two cents anyway?