Hostels usually offer accommodation in luxury dormitory rooms, broken down by gender, with shared bathrooms. Most hostels offer a real budget with just the basics. Some hostels, however, offer private rooms, and sometimes these rooms may even have a private bathroom. Many hostels offer a shared kitchen and living area, and some also have internet access on site. Hosting is a popular way for students and teenagers to travel, but most hostels no longer have age restrictions, which means that even middle-aged people and seniors are welcome. It is a simple way of traveling, but one of its advantages is that it offers the opportunity to contact other like-minded travelers. Often, the atmosphere in hostels is very informal, casual and friendly, so even when traveling as one person it should be fairly easy to make new friends.
Some hostel sites also offer discussion forums, travel stories and various travel-related services such as travel insurance, train tickets, adventure tours, flights and car rentals. One of the very nice features of some hostels websites is that they offer assessments of the properties of hostels that have been completed by previous travelers, providing insight into the quality of the property. Hostel sites usually allow you to search for availability by date and online booking.
From March 2005, dorms can cost as little as USD 25.00 per night, with most properties costing USD 30.00 to USD 40.00 per night. Private rooms range from around USD 27.50 per person, with most properties ranging from USD 35.00 to USD 70.00 per person per night.
Here is a list of some of the major hosting sites:
Hostels.com indicates that it offers the most comprehensive range of hostels on the Internet – nearly 7,000 hostels are on the list.
Hostelsclub defines itself as a young and dynamic company offering budget travelers an online booking system for places around the world: in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa. Hostelsclub offers a wide range of accommodation for all travelers on a budget.
Hostelling International (HI) operates a network of over 4,000 hostels in over 60 countries. Their website indicates that the US offers the largest network of high quality hostels.
Hostelweb specializes in the western United States with over 67 hostels in 11 western states. Of course, this is not a choice for New York, but certainly a good reference to travel plans in the western United States.
Hostelworld.com provides online reservations at thousands of hostels around the world. You can check hostel reviews, view photos and read detailed descriptions of all hostels. You can confirm your booking at selected youth, independent and international hostels in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania.
Happy hostel …