Some people cringe at the word “hostel” and think it could be a dangerous place full of drunks and homeless people seeking a cheap sleep. However, the reality is, youth hostels are becoming safer than ever and are really cleaning up their act. Why would you stay at a hostel? Reasons include affordable accommodation, top discounts and a great social atmosphere with like-minded travellers from around the world. The question should be “why not?” A hostel’s unusual approach to shared living offers community, security, and comfort to travellers of all ages and incomes.
In this article, we interview Clemente, manager of the Nami House Hostel in the South of France to get his top money-saving tips. He offers us his insider saving tips when staying at a hostel.
Please read below our top 7 tips to save money on your next hostel trip:
1. Use comparison sites to see the different hostels available in the area
To get an idea of the availability of the places in the area, Hostelbooker, Hostelworld and Booking.com are reliable sources. Tip: It is also recommended to look at the hostel site direct if there appears to be no room at the Inn. Dom highlighted “There are often reserved inventory rooms held back for direct to site customers, not seen on comparison sites, so it is always worth emailing the hostel direct”.
2. Book directly on the hostel’s website to save £
Booking with Hostel Booking websites like Hostelworld charge service fees for every booking made, so naturally, hostels often have higher prices on those websites. Visit the hostel’s own website, as often the cost per night could be up to 20% less – or they may be running an exclusive discount. Clemente highlighted that “going directly to the hostel site itself, will always get you the cheaper rate”.
3. Benefit from hostel discounts once you arrive.
The great benefit of hostels, which is often overlooked is the top discounts on offer to guests At Nami House, Will Pointing, Founder of GreatDealsMadeEasy got his bike hire for the day for only 5 euros. It would have been at least 20 euros at an official bike hire outlet. Don highlighted “Hostel owners develop relationships with local suppliers to get discounts for their guests, e.g. Surfing lessons are discounted with us”
4. Cook your own food to save money
Rather than going out to an expensive restaurant, pretend you are at home and cook up your own meal instead. Always check hostels have a cooking area upfront, as this could be a good money saver. and it will keep costs down during your holiday
5. Check if free breakfast is included
From self-service toast and cereal stations to the full Monty of breakfasts, many hostels put on free food in the mornings. Check this is included before booking your hostel, as this is not only a great way to mingle with other guests in the morning, you can also save money in the process.
6. Avoid the high season
Travelling outside of high season means fewer crowds and generally lower prices and cheaper flights. You can save well over half of the price if you book your hostel outside of the peak school holidays.
7. Dorm up
Whether you’re travelling alone or with some people, one of the cheapest options for accommodation is dorm rooms in hostels. Essentially sharing your sleeping space, in the form of bunk beds with a group of strangers. It can be a little daunting if you are on your own and doing this for the first time, but there are great options to choose from in many hostels such as female/ male only dorms and smaller dorm rooms. Also, if you are travelling on your own, it is a fantastic way of meeting new people, as well as saving money!
Will Pointing, Founder of GreatDealsMadeEasy.com interviewed Don Clemente from the amazing and affordable Nami House hostel in Biarritz – A top hostel in Biarritz. Worth considering on your next trip to the South of France.
For any other tips, please share below.