Where to Start
Indicators of a Good Hostel
- Hot Water
- Availability & Consistency of WiFi
- Lockers for dorm-style rooms
- Air Conditioning
- Towels included
- Credit cards accepted or Cash-Only
- Breakfast included or the option of breakfast for an extra fee
- Its distance to key locations
- Safety level of surrounding neighborhood— this is very important, because it could absolutely make the difference between whether you are robbed or not
- A security guard at night
- Hours of the reception desk
- The hostel’s connections to local tour companies and transportation companies; some may be able to get you a better deal than others
- Do they speak your language (likely English), or can you communicate well enough in the country’s language? A good indication is the proportion of reviews in your native language.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Almost nowhere in Latin America can you flush toilet paper down the toilet; usually there’s a trash can in each stall in which to place everything you could possibly create or destroy in a hostel toilet. An in-suite bathroom may not always be your best friend.
- You’ll probably be sleeping in the same room with a bunch of complete strangers, so think of this while you’re packing pajamas and when you’re waking up at 6am to catch a bus.
Book exchanges & hammocks are always a plus, and usually a good sign of a well-established and widely appealing hostel.
“Party Hostel” and “Family-Friendly” are complete opposites; know which one you would want more and look for these key words.
- Know where the hostel is located in relation to what interests you: I wanted to go out dining & dancing, so I looked for restaurants & clubs within walking distance of potential hostels before I made my final choice.