A great thing about the evolution of travel these days is just how equipped places are to capitalise on tourism, and that means a wealth of hotels, hostels, apartments and other accommodation providers. There are plenty of accommodation options for the city traveller these days, wherever you may roam. Navigating your way through the plethora of booking websites at your disposal can be a laborious task however as an overwhelming choice of hotel and accommodation booking & comparison sites battle for prominence on the first page of your search results; so it helps to have an idea on what kind of digs you want during your stay.
Traditionally the term “budget accommodation” connotes cheap & cheerful, no frills, hostels and 1 & 2 star hotels and you'd be forgiven for conjuring up in your mind images of grotty, run-down establishments or something like Fawlty Towers, unchanged into 2016. But thankfully, budget accommodation no longer means “pay less, expect less”. Indeed, the contrary is a much more common experience these days.
The standard of Hostels has evolved massively in the last decade, as has their number. Today, hostel operators make a real design-conscious effort, as well as proper investment, to create fantastic hostels offering 'hotel-quality' accommodation at hostel prices. And the 'types' of hostels available to the traveller now is more diverse than ever, appealing to individual's desire for different kinds of hostel experiences – be it a design / boutique hostel, homely hostel, party-hostel, Eco-hostel, activity hostels and so on. There's even been an explosion of hostel brands and, indeed, international chains. The hostel industry is a mature and sophisticated one and is absolutely on par with hotels in terms of facilities, design, comfort, luxury and quality. But hostels are very different than hotels, offering unique opportunity for interaction and a shared social experience while also offering high-quality private room options (and in many cases, apartments too) for individuals, couples and/or small groups who want the social option of the hostel experience without such social sleeping quarters.
There are a few hostel sites to check out when booking a hostel and we recommend the following:
A relatively new player in the hostel booking arena, HostelCulture.com is fast becoming very popular among young travellers seeking a platform which is really focused on the hostel experience and the culture of hostelling with great hostels. With over 2.5 thousand hostel partners worldwide (and more added daily) available to book on the HostelCulture website & mobile app, finding & booking the right hostel to suit you is super easy, with key information & peer reviews available at a glance through a stylish, user-friendly interface and, another great aspect of HostelCulture.com, you can also easily book free tours and activities too. There's a whole host of new, exciting & unique features in the pipeline from these guys too so keep your eyes peeled and get the HostelCulture app to stay up-to-date.
A long-running booking site, hostelsclub offers a wide-range of hostels (as well as hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs etc.) Although the interface feels a bit dated, it's a reliable booking site and has a good size database of property partners to choose from. A good option if you're not totally committed to hostelling and would like hotel and other accommodation options within clicking distance.
This is the website which allowed booking hostels online to really take off and led the way for innovation and best of breed technology in the online hostel booking sector. Although their hostel-focused approach has been very much diluted over the years, it remains a decent resource for booking beds as it currently has the largest database of properties of our recommendations here, listing a huge amount of b&b's, campsites, hotels and so on - again, a good option if you're not totally committed to hostelling and might opt for a hotel or other accommodation option during the decision making process.
Another way to stay
Airbnb is a nice concept of staying with a host in their own home when you travel (or in someone's home while they're away). Staying with a local 'stranger' in their place may not be to everyone's taste when travelling but it does afford a unique opportunity to engage with a local inhabitant of the area you are visiting, which can mean an authentic insight to local culture and a 'home away from home' experience in over 34,000 cities worldwide.
It's important to know you will stay in a safe, comfortable and enjoyable environment on your adventure as well as knowing you're getting great value for your money, so we hope we've helped you to easily book your next budget accommodation provider, wherever you will explore next. Happy travels!