Batad View Inn and Restaurant with new found friends.
I have been a hostel and a dormitory girl ever since… so if I am travelling alone I usually book a dormitory type accommodation. I am a cheap traveler, as I don’t earn that much with my current job. Not all cheap are the best, we all know that, but what matters is we can travel without breaking the bank. I’m avoiding something that I will be paying for so long time. Okay, so maybe part of me is hesitant to be in a mixed bedroom, you know that usual fears of a women and all that, but IDK, I am still trying to be vigilant (and of course I pray for a peaceful night) even when I am sleeping – – IDK how I am doing that, but so far I am safe. Just an overview, here’s what I spent for my dormitory accommodations from Booking.com. You don’t need a lot of money so that you can travel around Southeast Asia.
In Philippine Peso. Prices have had slightly changed as I paid these in local currencies.
Here are some things to remember if you are booking a dormitory type accommodation:
Babylon Garden Hostel in Hanoi.
- Choose a hostel/dormitory that is pretty near to everything (Train station/bus station and or a landmark).
This is for you to not spend more money for train and bus fares to roam around the vicinity. When I was in Beijing, I chose a hostel near Qian Men station as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Hutong are just a walking distance. Also, when I was in Hanoi, I chose hostels near the Old Quarter, well, it’s lively there and everything is just around the corner. Also, if you have enough time, you can always try to use the Google maps and pin these landmarks for you to identify how far these locations are from your options.
- Check out the payment and cancellation rules
One thing I loved with these hostels, is the free cancellation. If plans change, I just can go back and cancel my reservation right away. But you always need to check out the rules. I actually don’t pay through credit card if I am unsure of my plans to avoid the ‘hassle’ on my end.
- 24/7 Concierge-Reception
Steps Guesthouse in Tokyo, Japan doesn’t have a 24/7 concierge. Always check the schedule of the concierge if in case you need something.
If you arrive later than the check-in time, you need to advise the property. These properties are already giving you instructions via SMS or email on how to check-in, your room number and what not.
- Always bring cash.
If you find that the airport currency exchange is expensive, just exchange few of your money to a local currency. Most of my bookings that I didn’t pay online, I usually pay it upon checking in. It’s better to be ready.
- Free breakfast
Free breakfast @ The Babylon Garden Hostel.
Free breakfast @ For You Homestay.
I just love free breakfast. Through this, it actually save me a lot from spending breakfast meals even though it’s only a bread, butter, egg and a cup of coffee. So, I just have to spend my money for snacks, lunch dinner and drinks. Most of the dormitory that I booked offer Free Breakfast (Except in Tokyo). Make sure to ask the concierge of the time of the breakfast as usually it starts at 7AM and ends at 10AM.
- Not all hostels have elevator. If you are very concerned about this, check out with the property. Take the stairs! 🙂
- Number of people in a room.
Joy Resthouse in Brunei – prolly one of the expensive hostels that I booked for a night.
Expect that in a room, there’s always 6-10 persons around you. So always check this our while booking because you always have an option for a number of people in a mixed , just women, just men dormitory rooms.
For dormitories, it’s always shared, so manage your expectations. If you have your personal toiletries, keep it. Some doesn’t have hooks for your extra shirts, so you might also prepare for just a small bag or a hook.
- Toiletries & towel inclusion
There are hostels that offer free toiletries and a towel, while for some towels are for rent and no free toiletries at all. Some will give these to you upon checking in, while the other are on a dispenser. While for your towel, you can always bring a small microfiber towel. You can check this out on the property details before checking out. Most of the time, there are blowers on these hostels.
I learned to bring my own padlock as there are hostels that will let you rent the padlocks and lockers for a certain price, and others do not have a padlocks for rent, others are already included on your key card. In addition, when you check-in, some hostels will still allow you to store your bags, however, at times these are not secured, so you better have to just leave your non-essential stuff, and make sure you always lock your bags.
- Bedroom & Lights
Steps Guesthouse in Tokyo
If the room is air conditioned, then you can just assume that the linens will be pretty good with a comforter. So, you don’t need to bring your own bulky comforters and fleece jacket with you. Most of the bunk beds have small lights on their bed as well as curtains for you to cover your own place.
- Socket and outlets
I always search the socket type of a country, so that I can buy some from the Philippines before leaving. At times, the hostel has ‘for rents or for sale’ sockets for a certain price, but usually, it’s higher from the dept store. In addition, most hostels has only 2 outlets per bunk bed. You might consider bringing an extension wire or buy an adapter that has 3 sockets on it.
- Common areas are very common. Of course, this is where you meet the other travelers. But I am not so friendly, so I chose to just go outside and walk rather than staying in the lounge.
- Food, drinks and bar.
Halley Hostel rooftop.
Most of the hostels that I’ve been to are either self-service or they aren’t operation 24/7. If you think you need a water or a food at midnight, it’s better to always have these.
- At times, the staff will offer a free upgrade
I just experience once, like a staff from the Flying Fish Hostel in Dumaguete City upgraded me from a mixed bed room to women’s dormitory room, does this count? 😊
- Sign-up for free activities such as cooking, English teaching and walking tours.
- Always think that you have to bring all your essentials with you. I haven’t lost anything on a hostel yet, but I read a lot of horror store, that’s why I am not leaving anything essential on the locker.. Do not leave it anywhere.
- Avoid plastic bags that make sounds, as it isn’t fun to pack up at night when you all have these. People are sleeping and they need to sleep, unless you are sure that it’s only you who are staying inside the room. Oh, I think it’s okay if it’s only few seconds.
- Bottom bed is always not an assurance, but it’s better to always ask the property if you can stay on a bottom bed prior to your arrival.
- Alarm clock. Do it once, no snoozing for 3 times. No one wants to hear your alarm especially if they just slept. So be considerate. If you have an early\
- Laundry. This usually varies if where are you staying. For example in Japan, there’s a coin laundry for Y500 in a hostel, while in Bali, there are available laundry shops outside the hostel. So places do really matter when it comes to this. But for sure, you can always ask the concierge for an available option for this.
- Always read the feedback from the other travelers. For you to manage your expectations.
What to bring if you decide to stay in a hostel:
- Padlock for your bag or locker.
- Ear plugs and blindfold eye mask (but usually, bunk beds have already curtains on it, so this is optional).
- Small bag for your essentials where you can keep it beside you even if you sleep or if you are going to the bathroom (passport and credit and debit cards, cellphone).
- Adapter for the country plug type and extension socket that can accommodate your gadgets chargers.
- Your friendly vibe.
For You Homestay common area.
Pros of staying in a hostel
- You can save a lot of money.
- You will meet a lot of people.
- You can join the group activities and met friends that’ll last for a lifetime.
- Most of theses hostels are in a center location.
Halley Hostel mixed dorm room ++ the shower room and bath room in Hanoi.
Halley Hostel 6 bed-mixed dorm room.
Cons of staying in a hostel
- You might not have your full privacy.
- You have to think of others.
- Other travelers are messy. They don’t care about the others and doesn’t know about CLAYGO.
- Common bathrooms for men and women.
- Not all facilities are available on a hostel (Elevator, etc).
- Not all are fully-equipped for kitchen and stuff.
- Risk of theft.
I am only speaking for Southeast and Central Asia hostels as of this writing, maybe sooner, I am hoping that I can experience how the other countries do it. Overall, SouthEast Asia and Central Asia have a friendly hostels. There are good, there are bad. ‘Uncomfortable’ is part of travelling, the more you experience this, the more you’ll learn on what are the do’s and don’ts on your future travels to not these things happen again.
Weekend in Beijing – Where I stayed in Qianmen Hostel- just beside Hutong and a 5-min walk to Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City.
This is not paid post from these site, it just happens that I usually use these websites for my hostel bookings.