The ability to be your own travel agent is great, and hostelbookers.com really helps in that department. The Website has listings of hundreds of hostels and other cheap lodging worldwide that are rated on cleanliness, location, atmosphere and ammenities. The site also narrows your seach to lodging available between the dates of your arrival and departure. Hostels can be booked online through the site by using a credit card, which makes booking cheap accomodations super easy. I highly recommend booking hostels online through hostelbookers.com.
Really helpful site for booking cheap accommodation around the world and (unlike some other sites I could mention) no booking fee. Plenty of info about where you're headed, plus reviews from other travelers. I've booked hostels in New York, Serbia, Mozambique... and many more and always been pleased with the results.
Helpful guide and travel tips sections, too. They even have a blog at hostelbloggers.com
Fantastic site for pre-booking your European and worldwide hostels. Great range of places, reviews, and rates. Can't recommend these guys enough!
As long as the hostel you're booking with is honest you won't have any trouble, but the first time you chance on a crooked hostel management you will discover what kind of company hostelbookers is: it doesn't give a damn shit about fairness or legality and stops at nothing to get your money, and it helps the crooked hostel to defraud you. They are not open to argument at all, they take your money and help the hostel to take your money regardless. The details of my experience follow below. Their claim that it doesn't cost you anything to book through hostelbookers is also false, of course, as any dimwitted drugdoped traveller will understand. They charge 10% for the booking. Who do you think pays? The hostel? The hostel will put the cost over on you somehow, of course. Many do it by simply announcing a price per night at hostelbookers that is 10% higher than what they charge when you turn up at the door or contact them directly. Others do it by reducing what's included in the price. Why use hostelbookers? A simple search on the web will provide you with a list of hostels in any town, and most hostels have their own website. Contact them directly! Then you save those 10% and avoid the risk of being defrauded. Don't give away your card details to hostelbookers or they will pass them on to the hostel and you will be charged by both even if the hostel doesn't even exist! You may think that booking through hostelbookers is practical because you easily find the hostels in town that have vacancies on the requested dates, but this isn't true either. A hostel may have vacancies even if nothing shows up on hostelbookers. hostelbookers speculates in creating panic among hostel seekers by announcing only one bed left! and giving out the false information that only one or two hostels in town have vacancies left. By means of the panic they induce you to pay exorbitant prices, much higher than +10%. Don't believe them! Don't be fooled! You may end up paying 100% more than it would cost you if you simply phoned the hostel. I certainly don't recommend hostelbookers; it's simply a form of usury and is not really useful. My experience with the crooked hostel Hostelsmeetingpoint in Madrid, Spain: When I turned up they refused to accept the price agreed through hostelbookers. They said that I had to pay 5 euros extra for bed linen. In the booking agreement it says: Please note: Basic 8 bed dorm, doesn't include linen, towels or breakfast. If you require any of these items please ask reception. It's obvious that the guest must be free to choose whether to buy these extras or not. The hostel cannot REQUIRE you to buy any of them. It cannot say: You MUST buy breakfast, and the price is 10 euros! Anything required by the hostel must be included in the price. You are only obliged to pay extra for items that YOU request and that are not included in the price. What's more, it's not clear what's meant by linen in the quoted notice above. It doesn't say bed linen. Bed linen is included in ALL hostels in Spain, so they are obviously out to deceive you. Hostelsmeetingpoint REQUIRED me to rent bed linen at the price of 5 euros, arbitrarily dictated by the hostel manager to my face when I turned up and nowhere announced. I had a sleeping bag and didn't even need bed linen, but the manager didn't accept that and STILL required me to rent bed linen. I refused and sought accommodation elsewhere. I wrote to Hostelbookers and complained but they replied with a standard letter and apparently took no action. Hostelbookers and Hostelsmeetingpoint then charged me as if I had defaulted on my reservation! Of course I have complained with my card issuing bank at home. Hostelbookers and Hostelsmeetingpoint are both crooks.
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