To book hostels in advance or not?

Traveling requires quite a bit of planning and can be daunting if the said destination is one that is unfamiliar. This is all the more stressful if one is new to backpacking and hasn’t had much experience traveling and fending for oneself solo.

One such key stressor is accommodation as we continue to be inundated with questions on whether one should pre-book hostels before traveling to a destination.

The answer, however, isn’t as straightforward as you think and it is for this reason that we have prepared a list of the pros and cons of booking hostels in advance.


1. One less thing to stress about

Travel as we mentioned previously can be rather stressful for the uninitiated and even the most seasoned.

Having a place to feel secure and get some rest upon arrival is a major boon for every weary traveler.

2. Gives an opportunity to book the best-rated hostels

Advance research on hostels will give you the opportunity to read reviews and compare before making a decision.

Do however make sure to compare the prices in booking sites and the hostel site before you do so. Hostel sites we’ve discovered at times are much cheaper.

3. The best option for a destination with concerts

Advance booking is a wise decision at destinations that host events such as concerts or festivals.

4. Allows you time to get your bearings

Traveling to a foreign destination can be a disorienting experiencing and a hostel base will allow you to get your bearings much faster.


1. Might be expensive

Some hostel rates can be bargained down in person.

This isn’t possible if one is making a booking online.

2. Unpredictable

Photos can sometimes lie and one can only get a true feel of a hostel upon visiting it.

3. Restrictive

Plans change and you might meet new friends with whom you would like to go on an adventure.

A bed that is paid for in advance, however, might make you think twice.

4. Not all hostels are listed

As great as the internet is, there are some hostels that do not advertise themselves on it.