The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
As my status says I am currently busy planning a fantastic travelling experience. A friend that recently did the same kind of experience recommended this site to me. My girlfriend and myself went off making our plans and started using this site extensively. Signing up to the site was simple and only needed basic information about you, which included a contact number, address and email address.
On the sites homepage it boosts 17,000 hostels in 168 countries so it is more then likely that you will be able to find a hostel in the place that you want to travel to. The homepage also gives you links to useful information if you are planning a travelling adventure like how to make your pounds reach as far as possible, tips for which injections you need for the locations you are visiting, a free pocket guide for any city that you are staying in and pod casts which are submitted by other members of the site for places that they have stayed.
Looking for Hostels ---------------------------- Now to the fun part of the site! Searching for hostels couldn't be much simpler. You have the option to type in the place name, specify the dates that you wish to stay there and then select how many people it is for.
After searching for your destination with your required criteria. It then displays the hostels on a single page. You cant filter the hostels by Price, Availability or even Name if your have already stayed there once before.
Now choosing the hostel you want to stay is surely going to be the tricky part, isn't it? For example doing a search for Paris provides 173 results. So potentially choosing could be a nightmare. However one really well thought out part of the site is that the hostels also have a rating. The rating is not posted on the site by the site owners or the hostel itself but by other fellow travellers. Obviously not everyone is happy, but it makes it easier to see hostels that score highly from many ratings as opposed low rating hostels from only a couple of ratings. The ratings are broken down into 6 categories comprising
- Character - Security - Location - Staff - Fun - Cleanl iness
Another important part of the ratings is that each rating displays the age range of the person leaving the comment and also the sex of them. For example myself and my partner changed our minds about a hostel in Prague as Guy's liked it but girls hated it. After clicking a hostel on the page it gives you a brief description of the hostel and the facilities it offers. This is uploaded by the hostel themselves is a bit lost in translation in a way that brings a little smile to your face after looking at hostels throughout the world all day.
Finding the hostel ------------------------- Another nice feature is the option to place all of the hostels on a map. If this is a place where there are only a few hostels it makes alot of sense but if its somewhere like Paris, Rome or even London then you may as well not bother. Each review of the hostel does give you the chance to look at a map of the city and the hostels location.
The hostels also give you instructions of how to get there by road, rail, air or even ferry's depending on the location
Site Membership ------------------------ When you become a member of the site you get an account, which allows you to look at any of the reservations that you have made for your travels. While one of my favourites features is the grey map, which turns a country blue when you have visited it - Mine is slowly getting there! Within your account you can upload photo's to show your travelling friends, review the hostels you have stayed in, Make friends (much like facebook) and send messages between each other.
Paying ---------- The dreaded P word
Basically paying for the hostels is really easy as well. When booking a hostel you pay an upfront 10% deposit securing your place. There is also an administration fee of about £1 per transaction. Which baring in mind the transaction may only be £10 anyway is quite a high percentage. You do get the option to buy a gold card for £5 which basically means all of your admin fees are paid for 12 months, which I personally think is very good value as we are planning on staying in about 50 hostels or so.
The site accepts any credit and debit cards and you also have the ability to pay for your stays via pay pal if you wish
Is it rewarding? --------------------- Many travellers don't have much money to spare so every little helps. One thing that I have just found on the site is that each night at a hostel, regardless of the price, gives you 20 points to redeem things. The only thing that is not clear is if this is for 20 points per booking or 10 per person per booking. You can buy a gold card here if you have the points, an itunes voucher or some Amazon gift vouchers. The Itunes voucher works out to be 3000 points which works out as 150 bookings.
Conclusion ---------------- Overall a very well thought out website that is easy to navigate and helps you plan your travelling adventures wherever they may be. I personally like that fact that you can use this website as a social networking site to find any travellers that you have met around the world as well.