Book Your Hostel On-The-Go
Check out these hostel apps that make booking a breeze!
It looks like I am New York bound once again and I couldn’t be more excited! Last time I was in the city, I had the privilege of staying with an awesome friend. This time I will be crashing the party that is everyday life at a hostel in Chelsea. While I can’t speak for other U.S. cities, I’ve grown up in an area that loves to love expensive hotels and essentially ignores local hostels. I never really understood why hostels were treated as an odd concept while I grew up, but I also never took the time to understand why they shouldn’t be thought of as such… At least not until I studied abroad last summer.
Last year, I stayed in a bunch of different hostels in Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Luxembourg. My thoughts? European hostels are hands down the way to go if you are a twenty-something traveler, particularly if you are looking to make friends with other travelers.
I haven’t had a chance to experience an American hostel, but I have decided to welcome the opportunity to change that on my next trip to New York – so stay tuned! If you have been considering booking a hostel for yourself whether that is stateside or overseas, I have discovered a couple awesome apps that will help you decide where, when, and how to book your hostel!
For my upcoming east coast adventure, I went ahead and booked my temporary Manhattan homebase using a mobile app called WeHostels. WeHostels allows you to book hostels while you are busy discovering the world!
I love travelling to different festivals whether that is for music, food, beer, or all three. WeHostels provides a visually appealing list of awesome upcoming events and festivals happening all over the world. On top of that, when you click on an event of your choice it helps you find accommodations for the duration of that event.
One of the things I enjoy about the app is the ability to meet your hostel mates ahead of time. If you are sharing a room with travelers you haven’t met, you have the opportunity to get to know them as soon as you have booked a bed for yourself! You can connect your WeHostels profile to your Facebook page to display pages you recently liked. This is a great way to see what you already have in common with your hostel mates. WeHostels goes beyond simply booking and helps to facilitate communication. As a communication major, I absolutely love that aspect.
Bonus: If you invite your friends to use the app, they get $10 off their first booking and you get $10 in credits once their first hostel has been booked.
Hostelling International (HI) is a network of Youth Hostel Associations all over the world. They have a great app that is similar to WeHostels. You are able to browse and book hostels via your mobile device, but there are no details about local events unless they are stated in the review of a particular hostel.
One of the main differences is that all hostels shown in the HI app are part of the HI network. There are some great hostels listed within the app. In fact, one of my favorites in Europe was a Hosteling International Youth Hostel in Luxembourg City. The environment in this hostel was incredibly conducive to conversations with strangers – something I’ve always enjoyed regardless of my age and parents’ house rules. I met quite a few people within the hostel itself and I still keep in touch with them even a year after having met them. Connections like these are what make travel so amazing. The places you go and the people you meet are beyond anything you can imagine! A different environment could have altered the entire scenario, so props to Hostelling International for maintaining an ambience that fosters those connections.
Another helpful hostel-booking app is brought to you by HostelBookers.com. This app’s main function is essentially the same as WeHostels and Hostelling International, they all allow you to book your hostels on the go! HostelBookers’ mobile app is extremely easy to use and does not require you to create a profile to browse. The lack of booking fees serves as an added bonus! The app is well organized so you can approach your search from a multitude of different starting points and still find just what you are looking for. One thing that makes this app great for international travelers is the option to convert the listed prices to your local currency. WeHostels allows you to do this as well, however, they only provide American Dollars, British Pounds, and Euros. HostelBookers, on the other hand, has about 25 currency options.
Take a second to evaluate what kind of traveler you are. If you love the thrill that comes with not knowing where you’ll be staying until you are midway across the atlantic ocean, you might be able to benefit from having these mobile apps on your phone. You might be the kind of person who wouldn’t mind walking up to the guy working the front desk and letting him know you don’t have reservation but you sure would love a bed. If that doesn’t work out, you could hunt down some WiFi, bring up your trusty app, and find other possibilities of shelter.
If you are the planning type and don’t think you need on-the-go access, keep in mind these apps are great resources to find Hostels at cheaper rates – even if it is $10 cheaper than other sources. Hey, that’s still one or two meals if you play it right!
Download the apps and get out there. The world keeps spinning, so spin with it!