Booking with Hostelworld.com.
Hostelworld.com makes it easy for you to book a Hostel or Bed and Breakfast anywhere in the world. As a frequent traveller I always use Hostelworld.com to book accommodation when I travel.
Why book online?
When I arrive in a new city I always make sure that I have booked accommodation at least for one night. There is nothing worse than arriving in a city and you cannot find accommodation. This happened to me on my first trip to Argentina and I ended up walking the streets of Buenos Aires at 3am in the morning, looking for a place to sleep.
The other advantage is that you have a base from where you can explore the city.
How does Hostelworld.com work?
For travellers who have never used Hostelworld.com before, I will explain in detail how to make your first booking. I will also include a couple of tips that I have picked up over the years. First of all we want to see what accommodation is available in the city of your choice, price and availability.
1. Select the country and city where you want to book accommodation.
2. Select the number of nights and passengers.
The next screen will give you a list of all the Hostels, B&B`s, Camp sites and Apartments available on Hostelworld.com. In big cities there are a lot of properties to choose from.
There are a couple of things that I look for before I make a booking.
1. The rating. At the bottom of the listing is a rating for example 94%. This rating is very important because other travellers that have stayed there have rated their stay. Next to this percentage is a link to reviews. Travellers have the option to rate the property and leave a review.
When I really like a property I read the reviews. From experience I have learnt that people like to complain and a small thing like a dog barking in the neighborhood, will make them give a bad rating. Read the reviews and form your own opinion. If a lot of travellers have rated the property negative in terms of cleanliness then I take it that the property was not clean and I will reconsider my stay there.
The other thing that I look at is the age of the reviewer and if the person is a frequent traveller. Why is this important? What is important for a 20-year old GAP-year student is not normally important for a 40-year old frequent traveller.
2. There are other criteria like “Value for Money”, “Location”, “Atmosphere”, “Security”, “Staff” and “Facilities” that are important to look at. How did other travellers rate the property?
3. Look at the photos. If the Property does not have a photo of the kitchen or bedrooms then you know something is wrong. It is like selling a bottle of water without the water. People advertising on Hostelworld.com are selling beds. Alarm bells ring when I see a property listed with a kitchen and no photos. In fact this has happened to me before. I booked a hostel in St. Petersburg and when we arrived there, the facilities advertised did not exist.
Confirm and Pay.
If you are happy with the property and you want to book then you can select the dates and number of guests. Click on the “Book Now” tab and it will take you through to the payment section. Very important: You are only paying a 10% deposit to secure the booking. This amount does not go to the Property and is part of the service fee that you pay to Hostelworld.com. When you arrive at the property you will pay the balance X-deposit=Y. Don`t let the Property trick you into paying an additional 10%. Report them to Hostelworld.com if this happens to you.
1. To confirm the booking you need to enter all your personal details.
2. Pay by Credit Card or PayPal. Personally I like the PayPal option that has been introduced recently. A 10% deposit is required and a booking fee of USD 2 is charged per booking.
3. Accept the Terms and Conditions and finalize your payment. Pay special attention to the Cancellation Policy.
After you have made the payment an email will be send to your email address confirming your booking. This will be from Hostelworld and you need to print this booking and take it with you when you arrive at the property. A second email will arrive from the Hostel confirming your booking and giving specific details like check-in time and other important information.
Hostelworld.com has a very good International reputation and you can book your accommodation with peace of mind.