Preview the facilities on social media
Visitors before you have likely shared images of the rooms or other facilities on social media. A simple Google search for “JetPAK Hostel Berlin Foursquare” will take you to the Foursquare page of that hostel (one of our favorites), complete with all tips and uploaded photos. We like to do this to get a feel for the tone of the place. Is it a party hostel? Good for working? Do the beds look comfortable and with reasonable privacy?
Form a backup staying plan
So you’ve arrived, and the place looks horrible or, even worse, their WiFi isn’t working. Move quickly to snag alternate accommodation by having a nearby place or two already scouted out with the address, Google map snapshot, and nightly rate saved in your phone or jotted in a notebook.
Pack a lock
It need not be a massive MasterLock, but you’ll find a variety of uses for a lock aside from using it to secure a locker.
Compare prices among hostels
Consider that, perhaps, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice privacy for price.
Stock up on tiny toiletries
Depending on the hostel or cheap hotel, amenities like toiletries or even towels may not be provided without an extra fee. This is where the “travel size” section at your local drugstore becomes a best friend. Grab the teensy bottle of purell, a mini deodorant, the bite-size shampoo and conditioner, and consider a dish towel (none of the bulk of a regular towel, but better than nothing at all).