The Hostel Life

by brian on November 19, 2008

The majority of cost for any trip, round the world or your standard one weeker, comes down to where you put your head at night. Housing is the biggest expense and puts most people off on taking extended trips.

But dear reader I have the solution: Hostels.

Not the slasher flick version Hollywood portrays.

Not the crazy, wild, drunken college kid version you hear about.

In the 3 hostels I’ve been in (Hawaii, Tokyo, Bangkok) I’ve seen whole families, single folks, couples, the whole gamut.

I have been using

Hotels.com

Hostelworld

to find and reserve rooms. In Hawaii I didn’t even reserve in advance, I called them from the airport in Honolulu.

Generally I’m looking for hostels with a rating of 80% and above. I want WiFi for my laptop (free preferably) and a central location to the main attractions if possible. Your criteria may be different than mine. The reviews online are a great resource and save you a lot of time and headache. I want more than 20 reviews if possible. If a place has less than 10 reviews, it’s new or not getting much business.

I described what a hostel was like in an earlier post. Let me give you pictures to give you a better understanding.

In Hilo, Hawaii, I was at the Hilo Bay Hostel. It was a nice spot, lots of wood, very homey type feel. They lock the doors at 10PM so if you have to make arrangements to get in after that time. That is pretty standard for hostels that are not staffed at the front desk 24/7 for security reasons.

 The Hostel Life

Terry and Earl, Staff @ Hilo Bay

 The Hostel Life

Bunk beds. Who makes up their bed when on holiday? Not me…Then again I don’t do that at home….

 The Hostel Life

Bathroom @ Hilo Bay

 The Hostel Life

Kitchen @ Hilo Bay

 The Hostel Life

Common Area @ Hilo Bay

 The Hostel Life

In Tokyo, I was in Sakura Hostel, Asakusa. Sakura is a big name in Japan in terms of housing and they have hostels in Tokyo other than this one. I didn’t take too many pics here but I have a shot of the common area and two of the front desk workers.

 The Hostel Life

Nice place but cramped in the room. If you are overweight or claustrophobic, this is not the place for you. But it had all the standards – common area, kitchen, friendly staff, laundry, WiFi.

Here in Bangkok in Lub d (means ‘sleep well’ in Thai), ultra modern, ultra funky. Lots of room and has a boutique hotel vibe. This will be nodebtworldtravel.com’s base of operations in Southeast Asia. Bangkok is central to everything on this side of the world. They have NO kitchen, but food is so cheap in Bangkok and Thailand in general you won’t even bother cooking if you could.

 The Hostel Life

Bunk beds @ Lub d

 The Hostel Life

Computers @ Lub d

 The Hostel Life

Entrance to sleeping areas @ Lub d. They use electronic keys on the standing black column to open the glass door.

 The Hostel Life

Front Desk @ Lub d

 The Hostel Life

Common Area @ Lub d

See? No horror stories? No dark, creepy places suited for a Stephen King novel. Shiny happy people. And I’m still here giving you the 411. Not so bad after all is it?

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