Whenever I travel, I always stay in a backpacker’s hostel because it’s cheap. Apart from the low price, I also love socializing with other travelers and hostels are, of course, great places to do that. Most hostels, however, forget about the very thing that keeps them in business: customer service.
No matter how cheap or “backpacker-friendly” the hostel is, it won’t survive unless it brings good customer service (which is basically about catering to the unique needs of every customer) to the table.
So if you want to know how I define a “bad” backpacker’s hostel, here are 7 signs that I’ve compiled based on my personal experience:
7. The bathrooms are cleaned once a day only
Oh yes! This happens frequently. This is forgivable if you have less than 10 guests for an entire day, but if there are about 30 people in your hostel and by mid-afternoon the bathroom looks like a disgusting / filthy hellhole already, I guess it’s just fair to say that you should not wait for another 10 hours to have it cleaned. Let me ask you this: will removing excess shit from a toilet bowl take up much of your time if you’re running a damn business?
6. It takes 2 hours before a staff member could react to a problem
We have the tendency to leave a request at the front desk. Sometimes we ask for an extra phone charger, a socket, a dryer, or new bed sheets. But there are hostels that make you wait for another 20-30 minutes before giving you what you want (because the staff member had to check his or her Facebook. Stupid but true reason).
5. When you wake up in the morning and you see 8-10 bed bug manifestations on your legs, arms and back.
Do I have to explain this?
4. The blanket smells like body odor.
It only means the hostel failed to wash blankets to save money / energy/ whatever! Goodluck with that!
3. There’s no extra electric socket inside a room.
Impossible right? But I’ve stayed in a few rooms with just one electric socket for the aircon or the electric fan. Someone might say: “well, you’re a traveler, you’re supposed to bring an extra travel power outlet.” My answer to that is: Why should I bother? Hostels should be considerate enough to place even just ONE extra power socket for chargers.
2. If the room literally looks like that filthy room in Hangover part 2
Walls with evil stains, bathrooms with rust, yellowish pools on bedsheets, rooms that smell like ASS. Need I say more?
1. It’s too loud.
This is the problem of most backpacker hostels. They’re trying to create a party vibe within the lounge area without thinking about other travelers who actually want to SLEEP. Isn’t it that hostels should serve as a “refuge”? If you want to party, go to a bar, a disco. Why party in your own hostel? I hate it when owners and managers encourage all the noise without giving the “WE ARE A PARTY HOSTEL” warning.
I know it pays to save money especially if you want to travel long-term, but bad hostels should never be tolerated. Here’s my recommendation:
Book a hostel for one night only. ALWAYS. Because if it starts to suck, you can always check-out. Yeah, you can complain but the manager can only do so much, know what I mean? Better get the hell out before you end up wasting your money and the opportunity for a fun yet relaxing time.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to post on the comments section.