A limited budget is no excuse for staying home when a night or two in an Anchorage hostel is on the itinerary. Popular in Europe for decades hostels have spread worldwide as an economic alternative to more traditional lodging. But beware! All facilities are not equal. Use these guidelines to make an educated travel choice.
The price of a night’s stay ranges from twenty dollars to fifty dollars per night. As with any vacation rental, cost can be indicative of quality. But if the end goal is a place to rest one’s head for the night there is not a better deal to be had.
Dormitories are the rule of thumb accommodating from four to twelve people. Most are single sex rooms with cots or bunks but coed dorms may be an option for those who prefer them. Private rooms are few and far between and cost more when they are available. As many travelers carry their own bed linens, sheets and towels should be requested at check-in.
Restrooms may be the most difficult adjustment for the traditional vacationer. The pain or pleasure of the experience depends on the number of bathrooms available for the guests. Best case scenario the staff is responsible for keeping them clean but ask in advance to avoid surprises.
Kitchens are communal and a standard feature in every facility. Some are better than others but most are stocked with the cooking essentials. Herbs and spices may be provided for guests to use in preparing meals. Free breakfast is a developing trend within the industry and coffee and tea throughout the day is becoming more common.
They say the devil is in the details and this is especially true when it comes to choosing the appropriate hostel. Amenities can make or break one’s stay so ask what to expect. Community lounges are common and a television complete with cable is usually in evidence. Like the kitchen, a comfortable common room is a great place to swap stories. A recent addition to the list of standard amenities is free internet which is available at most places often accompanied by computer for everyone’s use. Lockers, laundry facilities, and transportation services may also be in evidence.
It may seem obvious but location is everything. For example, public transportation is paramount for those who require it. Look for access to buses and subways with stops that include exciting local attractions. Eateries and shopping are more convenient if they are within walking distance. A safe neighborhood should be a priority.
A peaceful environment requires great staff and great guests. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Make the call and ask the important questions. What, if any, rules are in place? Is there housekeeping on site? What are check-in and curfew times? Talk to the owner or manager. The answers will determine the most appropriate fit.
The Anchorage hostel experience can be an affordable, interesting option for anyone blessed by wanderlust but cursed with a small pocketbook. For those who have never taken advantage of these low-cost lodgings now might be the perfect time. Follow these guidelines and do the research. Most of all enjoy the journey!
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