How to Choose a Hostel
Finding an accessible hostel can be tricky and lack of accessibility is common. Unlike hotels, hostels don’t have any information on their website about accessibility. Also a lot of hostel are in older, run down buildings. However I prefer staying in hostels as one they are cheaper especially if you are travelling for a long period of time and also it’s a great way to meet people.
So here are a couple of tips;
- Stick to the main hostel chains these include; Generator Hostels, St Christopher’s Inns, Wombats Hostels, PLUS Hostels.
- The above Hostels have lots of hostels in a number of different cities so it’s worth emailing before you go to see which hostels are accessible in which city
- You don’t have to book hostels in advance but having a list of accessible hostels is handy. I would then book my room a couple of days – a week (especially if staying over a weekend) in advance
- Don’t use Hostel World to make bookings – Hostel World doesn’t list any info about accessibility on its app (which is poor form if you ask me). So you can’t use it to book hostels direct. I did however use Hostel World to get a list of hostels in a particular city and then email those hostels separately.
- Know exactly what you require in terms of accessibility. BE SPECIFIC – When I emailed a hostel my requirements were, that access into the hostel is flat, there is level access or a lift to the allocated room, there is flat or lift access to the bar/common area/breakfast area (otherwise you will feel you are missing out on key socialising time).
- I wasn’t too worried about accessible bathrooms as long as it had enough room for me to transfer onto the toilet/shower and close the door. A lot of the time I sat on the floor of the shower as I’m able to transfer from the floor. However if you need a fully accessible bathroom, lots of hostels offer one if you ask
- Be flexible and have low expectations of accessible –Hostels are not like Hotels. Therefore accessibility isn’t always 100%. If you arrive thinking everything is going to be set out like it is at home you are going to be disappointed. If you are a bit more flexible (obviously to an extent you still need to be able to get into the building) your holidays are going to be a lot more enjoyable. Also not having absolutely ideal accommodation adds to the backpacking/roughing it experience
- Let staff members help you. – Hostel staff are usually super friendly, so if you need anything just ask. They can usually make average accessible accommodation super accessible by fetching chairs, removing doors etc.
- Sometime you do have to stay in a hotel – Especially in smaller towns or in certain countries with low overall accessibility. For example in Warsaw, Poland I couldn’t find any accessible hostels so had to stay in a hotel. However I wasn’t lonely as i joined a walking tour and made friends that way.
Generator Hostel Paris St Christopher’s at the Bahaus St Christopher’s Winston Inn Bruge Amsterdam
rator Hostel Berlin Goodbye Lenin Krakow
Plus Hostel Prague Celica hostel ljubljana Ostello Bello Milan
Island Vibe Port Elizabeth Island Vibe Jeffreys Bay Tube n Axe Storms River