This is a 12 part series on Backpacking Europe for all you aspiring & seasoned backpackers and student travelers.
Beds in the World Famous Flying Pig
6. Hostels and Accommodations
This topic is brought up all year long in one form or another and it’s always worth going over each year before the main travel season.
Hostels are a combination of motels/dorm rooms/YMCA.
They are the preferred accommodation choice for backpackers and student travelers, mainly because of the budget prices but also because of the ambience.
When you book a hostel bed in a dorm, you can expect to get just that- dorm style beds (bunker beds) in a shared room with other travelers. You can find dorm rooms with 2 beds on up to 12, 16, 20 beds, etc…
The more the beds in one room, the cheaper the price per bed, generally speaking. But even during the busy season, these beds can pull a hefty price.
Personally, I always work “private rooms” into my budget. That’s right, it’s mine all mine!
This way I don’t have to worry about not being able to sleep because of noisy travelers (some that come into the room at all hours of the night drunk off their asses!).
The other factor is being able to leave my backpack in the room unattended and not having to worry about dishonest backpackers rummaging through my backpack while I am off exploring the city all day.
Photo of Lounge Area in on of Europe’s Top Hostels- Wombat’s
Hostels, especially the famous ones, are packed with backpackers doing the same thing you are doing…. traveling to discover the world, and to discover more about yourself.
Spring and Summer are the busy travel times of the year with Summer being the height of the travel season. That’s when EVERYONE is on summer break and traveling on their own, with friends & lovers, or with family. In any case, the travel population is crazy ridiculous during the Summer months.
Having said that (not that you didn’t know this already), it is IMPERATIVE that you book your hostel beds/rooms in advance!
Do not think that you can just mozy on down to any ‘ol hostel in the thick of summer time and expect them to have a vacancy ready and available for you (or you and your friends with you’re traveling with buddies). That kind of mentality will keep you on your feet searching for vacancies for HOURS, especially in popular cities, with popular hostels, and or cities that you happen to visit with world famous events going on like Oktoberfest, La Tomatina, and The Running of the Bulls.
I wrote about booking hostels in advance here.
If you still want to chance it and find hostels on the fly, you may certainly do so.
It really is a pain in the arse to do that, but hey, some people just need to find out for themselves!
At the very least, book your FIRST NIGHT (OR TWO) in every popular city, IN ADVANCE.
This way you have a place to go to the moment you step off the Eurail train or plane, unload your 35 pound plus backpack, settle in, load up your convenient daypack, and hit the town in a relaxed state of mind.
Booking ahead, will allow you to capitalize on valuable daylight sightseeing hours too.
TravelPUNK is partnered with Hostelworld and Hostels.com to provide you with a safe and secure online hostel booking engine of over 15,000 hostels in over 168 countries world wide.
Remember: Book your FIRST night or two in every city you travel to, especially the popular ones, so that you are guaranteed a bed when you get there! Do it now and stay ahead of the pack!