Tips For Choosing Your NYC Hostel
I recently received an email from an Italian couple who would be coming to NYC for the first time, and were seeking advice on which hostel to stay at. During my travels, I’ve had the pleasure (and sometimes the horror) of hostels ranging the gamut from boutique-like gems to having actual pigeons nesting in the broken-out windows (I’ll let you use your imagination on which city that happened in!) There are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned to go by though, and this is what I shared with the Italians:
1. Using the right website. I immediately directed them over to HostelWorld, my go-to site for everything hostel booking. You can easily compare prices, see recent photos, and see what amenities each offers. Easy, straight-forward, and the best prices. Period.
2. Picking the right neighborhood. As we locals know, location is everything in New York. Before coming over you should have a basic outline of what it is you want to see and do while in town. Then, book the hostel around that so you don’t spend tons of time and money commuting everyday. Planning on hitting up the big museums? Something on the Upper East Side would be best. Want to do the touristy-midtown circuit? Book a Times Square hostel. Interested in the Brooklyn art scene? Head out to Williamsburg. Location, location, location.
3. Match your hostel to your personality. Like people, hostels have personalities of their own (which can often be determined in advance by reading online reviews.) Some are social butterflies, some keep to themselves, some are night owls, some have curfews. When I was younger, I was more than happy to bunk up in a room sleeping 8 girls, but on my last few hosteling trips I’ve definitely felt it necessary to splurge for a single room. A good sleep equals a happy Jess.
4. Bells and whistles. I’ve stayed at hostels that are more equipped for functional living than my own apartment. Some provide free breakfast/coffee/tea, most provide free wireless. Often times hostels will host pizza night for free or minimal cost, coming equipped with a fun night of charades with other hostel dwellers. Other such extras could include free bike rentals, sheets and towels, and my personal favorite…an on-site furry friend. Nothing says home like a welcome-kiss from Fido.
What are your go-to tips and tricks when booking a hostel?
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen