Safety and How to minimize your risks
Are hostels safe?
So, you’re thinking about staying in a hostel, but you’re a bit unsure of whether they are safe? You are not alone. You can easily be excused, especially if you are a novice or solo traveler, for worrying whether or not hostels are the right choice for your trip.
Female dorms, mixed dorms, private rooms. I’ve seen them all. Here’s my advice on how to stay in a hostel safely.
Not only have I found many hostels safe, but they have been great ways to meet people, and help you not feel alone in the new country or city you find yourself in.
You also get to keep your accommodation budget in check, so that you have more to spend on tours, activities, and most importantly…. food!
Are hostels safe?
There are some horror stories out there, which is probably why you’re reading this post. Take those stories with a pinch of salt, and do your research.
Of course, there are definitely cases where people have gotten into dodgy situations or fallen victim to theft. As long as you take some precautions, follow your gut and common sense, it is incredibly safe to stay in a hostel.
Here are some general rules to follow to make sure you minimize the risks. If you stick to these guidelines you should be just fine. And you’ll probably find you have the time of your life.
Use a trusted booking website
I almost exclusively use hostelworld to find a hostel to stay in. And, if I don’t use them, I at least always check there first to get an idea of supply and costs in a city.
Hostelworld has a massive network of hostels to choose from in 170 countries, and I find their reviews to be accurate and fair.
That leads me to…..
ONLY book hostels that have some reviews
Just like with any online product or service, always make sure to book a hostel that has some reviews.
This way you know it is not a scam, and it won’t be a complete surprise to you what you are getting yourself into.
Read the reviews
If a property is unsafe, in a bad location, not clean, or people have had belongings stolen from them whilst in the hostel…. it WILL reflect in the reviews.
I will often filter my search results on Hostelworld to only show me properties with reviews and those with overall review scores of 8/10 or higher.
Then, it is a case of reading through some of the good and bad reviews to see what people are experiencing.
What about my things? Will they be safe?
Most hostels have lockers/safes for your luggage.
Also be aware that some hostels have private rooms, and if you are travelling in a couple or with a friend, sometimes these can be cheaper than booking two bunkbeds in a dorm. Not always. If you do stay in a private room, well then you can lock your stuff away while you are out or sleeping in the lockers provided.
Use filters on sites like hostelworld to search for hostels that have this feature, read the reviews, and book accordingly.
Simply filter for “security lockers” in your search, as seen below. Just look how many facility filters you can apply:
Some hostels, like the one we stayed in in Krasnoyarsk below, have curtains which give you a level of privacy. Some, like the one we stayed in in Vladivostok have pods/capsules.
Even if they do not have these, there will always be a bathroom or shower stall for you to change in.
Always remember, the people staying in the hostel with you tend to respect the spaces well, as they also want to have the same respect given to them.
Female and Male only Dorms
There are female and/or male only dorm options, and sometimes there are even female only hostels. If you are a solo female traveler and you feel unsure about staying in a hostel, maybe this option will put you more at ease.
Take the plunge
Once you stay in a hostel and realise how much the experience adds to your trip, it will be hard to spend so much more on an expensive hotel room or guest house ever again. These only end up isolating you and costing you money you could spend on having fun and eating amazing food 🙂
Take the plunge and thank us later 🙂
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