I’m so happy today because I was given the go-ahead yesterday for a few days off. We’re going to drive down to South Germany to the Black Forest. The first thing to do is get somewhere affordable to stay for the night since the evening temperatures are now already too cold for my comfort for camping. Usually my first port of call is Hostelworld.com.
If you’ve never checked this website out before and are planning a city trip, the free “pocket cityguide download” section is really great. The tips for cheap eats or bars have never once let me down.
I’ll just get directly to the point. Why is it that I can pay 60€ + parking for a hostel room (with no breakfast) and in the same city if I go to a hotel-finding website like hrs.com that I can get a hotel room with parking and breakfast included for about 20€ less? The young people obviously seem to have a lot of disposable wealth and maybe don’t think they can afford a budget hotel. Or are too lazy to look around?
Convenience always costs more… but it just seems like the inverse that hotels compete for business while hostels enjoy a steady influx of customers. I notice how the privately-run hostels that you find first on the google search ranking often have quite fancy websites – which have very informative features, don’t get me wrong – but a lot of effort has gone into getting their site up the rankings to quickly turn clicks into sales.
So what can we do if we still want to have the more lively atmosphere of a hostel? One thing that I like to do is find hostels that are “off the map”. And here’s how:
On googlemaps, search for the location of your town or region that you’re going to visit and then click on “search nearby” for “hostels”. It also helps to search in the language of the country too, so in German this would be “Jugendherberge”. It was exactly this way that I found this wonderful hostel in Saxony-Switzerland and a private double room in a hostel in Stuttgart with parking and breakfast for 48€ in total for the night. In a hostel not half a kilometer away this is the dorm price without breakfast and parking not included. The difference is a few more mouse clicks.