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Lodging

Hostels

Now that you've packed your bags and bought your plane ticket and rail pass, you must find a place to stay. Hostels are typically the cheapest option, Jana says.

The more beds you have in a room the cheaper it is. For example, if you stay in what's called a dorm room, you'll pay 20 euro a night to sleep in a room with 20 beds. A room with eight beds may cost you around 35 euros a night.

You can find and book hostels online at different booking services, but you will probably pay a booking fee. You can look hostels up in the areas you plan to travel and contact them directly.

Hotels are an expensive way to go, but in some small towns they are the only option. Some countries also have Bed and Breakfast accomodations for a decent price, with Ireland being the most popular, Jana says.

Jana also recommends possibly camping.

Hostelling Q & A

What should I expect at a Hostel?

You should expect accomodation in dormitories or shared rooms. Hostels have more of a social atmosphere, which comes from shared common rooms, dining areas, laundry facilities and more. They are a great place to make friends and meet other travelers. You can exchange tips on bars, museums and traveling in general.

What is a sleep sheet?

A sleep sheet is basically a sheet folded in half and sewn up the side to form a sort of sleeping sack. Some hostels require you to have one of these and some require a pillowcase as well. It is recommended that you either buy one or make one yourself.

Where do I leave my pack during the day?

According to guideforeurope.com, many hostels have lockers you can use during the day, but you may have to bring your own lock. If the hostel you are are staying at does not have a locker, put all of your valuables in your money belt and daypack and make sure you secure it with a small lock. Then, lock your main pack (minus valuables) with a cable lock to the leg of your bed and secure the zippers with small travel locks. Hostels also sometimes have safes that you can put your valuables in.

What are Hostelling International and Hostels of Europe?

Hostelling International is an organization of hostels that require a membership card. According to the HI web site, they operate more than 4,000 hostels worldwide. They're a non-profit organization that operate clean and affordable hostels, so it's worth being a member. If you do not have your membership card you will have to pay extra. According to backpackeurope.com, many HI hostels have a curfew, sometimes as early as 9 p.m.

Hostels of Europe is a group of independent hostels that offer a %15 discount if you are a member. They will not charge you more if you do not have their card.