When backpacking through Europe, staying in hostels is usually the most cost effective way to find lodging. However, unless you’ve previously traveled to Europe, it may be difficult to locate good hostels. Here are some tips to finding the best places to stay as well as other tips for backpacking.
While walking until you get tired may seem glamorous, after a couple of nights, you’ll wish you had created more of a plan. First things first, create an itinerary. Be realistic with it. If you’re not used to walking very far in one day, don’t try to push yourself. You’ll regret taking the trip if you’re forced to run most of the way. Once you have your itinerary, you can decide what cities you plan to stay in. Then you can search for hostels in those locations.
Choose the right hostel for you
Like hotels, different hostels have different rules. Some have curfews while others allow guests to come and go as they please. Some offer individual rooms while others have several guests sleep in one room. The latter are usually less expensive, but some people need quiet time to relax while on vacation.
Your budget will play a role in what hostels are available to you. If you stay outside of major cities and use public transportation, the costs can often be reduced by more than half. Make sure you check to see if the hostel offers tours, airport or train pickup, hot showers, linens, towels, baggage storage or whether meals are included. What amenities are offered will also affect price. While it may seem like a better deal, you might not be getting the most bang for your buck.
You’ll also want to read reviews of any hostels. While the website will make it sound like a luxury resort, that isn’t usually the case. If all of the reviews are negative, it might be worth paying a few extra dollars to stay in a different hostel. You can also ask friends and family who have traveled to Europe for recommendations. While researching reviews, pay attention to any mention of crime. You can also look at crime rates in the area where the hostel is located. You’ll want to make sure you stay safe on your trip.
Other backpacking tips
To backpack, make sure your bag is strong enough and large enough to handle all of your belongings. Also be sure you’re not lugging around anything that isn’t essential. What you need will depend on how long you plan to stay.
When heading out on any international excursion, you’ll want to invest in international medical insurance like that offered by HCC Medical.
Lastly, make sure you budget. You don’t want to run out of money in the middle of your trip. Figure out how many times you can eat at fancy cafes or if you’re going to have to spend time at McDonald’s. You might also consider cooking some meals since that is usually cheaper than eating in restaurants.
Once you’ve set up a plan, be sure to check everything off your list before you leave. Be sure hostels have a place reserved for you, you’ve packed everything and confirmed your international insurance. Then you’re ready to have fun on your exciting European vacation.