How to Shop for Hostels in Canada

There are a wide range of hostels right across North America. There are the large multi-national hostels with fully computerized membership programs and special discounts to "Mom and Pop" hostels with a phone and note-pad.

Hostels in Canada and USA can be converted old houses, rooming houses, hotels, warehouses, farms or factories. Travelers can choose what type of hostel experience they want from small and intimate to large and busy.

When shopping for a hostel the first item to look for is the style of rooms.

Hostels can be a series of dormitory style rooms or single rooms or a combination of single rooms and dormitory style rooms. The single or sometimes called private rooms can be for 1 person, a couple, family of 3, 4, 5 or 6 people. The dormitory style rooms are usually from six to 20 beds in a very large shared room.

When shopping for a hostel look for the bathroom and shower facilities. Are they private or shared. Book the hostel room and bathroom facilities that you are confortable with.

When booking a hostel - ask what is supplied with the room - do you have to bring sheets and pillows. Make sure that the hostel supplies what you need for your stay to be comfortable.

The second item to look for is the pricing for the hostel. Some hostels charge per person per night and some charge by the room. Usually the price for a dormitory style room is from $15 to 25 per night per person. Usually private rooms start at $40 for single rooms.

The prices for hostels in busy tourist locations like Whistler BC, Yellowstone, Banff and Jasper Alberta and the larger cities like New York, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are the most expensive. The smaller locations like Niagara Falls, Orlando, San Diego, Ottawa and Quebec are usually less expensive.

The third item when shopping for hostels are the facilities. Does the hostel have private bathrooms with the private rooms. Are lockers available. Does the hostel supply all the bedding materials and towels. Are pay phones available, internet access, computers, a TV room a shared kitchen. Are any meals supplied. Is laundry available.

The fourth item is location of the hostel. Is the location close to the attractions you wish to visit, on a public transportation route and in a safe neighborhood.

When shopping for Canadian hostels - travelers should make a list - type of room - price range - minimum facilities - location - when choosing hostels.

When choosing hostels try to find someone who has stayed at the hostel or has posted a travel diary and maybe pictures of the hostel. It is good to have many opinions.

Hostels can be excellent meeting places for travelers to exchange tips, short cuts and savings. Experienced travelers who share information can help you see the best attractions and maybe for less. Hostels often have ads and coupons from local travel services and attractions.

Backpackers Hostel in Niagara Falls

I stay in the "Blue Room" at the Backpackers Hostel in Niagara Falls. It is five minutes away from the old downtown and bus station and a healthy 25 minute walk from the Falls. The hostel has 2 TV rooms, clean baths, men's and women's dorms and private rooms. They also provide breakfast in the price for the room. I like and recommend this hostel.

Their toll free number is 1 800 891-7022 ask for Charles - he speaks French better than English.

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