I go to the above links, if 90% of the reviews are positive, I am confident it will be good. I check the ratings plus prices and make sure they have lockers for my valuables. I it ticks all the boxes, I make a reservation for the one of my choice. I always have my accommodation pre-booked before I get to my destination. This saves the hassle of trudging with luggage and going from post to pillar to sort a place to sleep. If I don't like the hostel, I can always go in search the following day.
Another thing that I feel is important is location. As a single lady traveler, I certainly don't want to be going down lonely out of town lanes late at night. Nor do I wish to be sitting in the hostel every evening for fear of venturing out. I always make sure that my chosen hostel is central, and close to restaurants, and shops, etc.
Cleanliness is a total must. Cockroaches don't bother me all that much, but I don’t want one crawling over me in the middle of the night. Rest assured I would be out of that hostel the next morning faster that you can say BLOG!!!
Of course I should mention that free WI-FI is at the top of the list. What would we do without our Internet, chat and constant contact with loved ones? Internet must be in the dorms as sometimes I need peace and quiet. For sure, it is more likely to be found in the sleeping quarters than in the recreational area.
It is paramount the hostel supplies washing machines to clean those dirty grubby clothes after a long journey. I feel that breakfast should be included in the price, even if it's only toast and tea or coffee.
The attitude of the staff at the hostel is a major factor. With smiling helpful staff, willing to please and attend your needs, it makes a tremendous difference to how you feel. Let’s face it; I could be staying for several days or weeks. So, the more home from home ambiance, the better!
A lot of people have a misconstrued idea of backpacker hostels and often imagine that they are dark, dirty and debauched. So not so! Today with the influx of people travelling the world, hostels are a far cry from what they were years ago, there is now a whole new generation of modern, state of the art budget accommodation to choose from. If your piggy bank looks as it is suffering from malnutrition, then give the hostels a try. You will be pleasantly surprised.