Booking a hostel

Trip to Nabari
1: Going to Japan 2: Schedule for Nabari Trip 3: Not going to Japan after all..?
4: Booking a hostel 5: Host Family Info 6: Trip cancelled…
This post also contains general tips discovered by me on saving money when you book a hostel

I received another mail from Nakamori-san, asking about what time we arrived on July 22. Thing is, because Madhatter and I wanted a cheaper ticked and more time in Japan (4 weeks instead of 3), we would be arriving a week early. And that’s when it dawned on me, we had yet to book a hostel! DUN DUN DUUUUUN!!!! *suspense*

I had spent some time looking around for hostels back in late April or early May, but I hadn’t made any reservations because I couldn’t get a hold on Madhatter and because I was a bit short on moneyz. But I figured that it had to be done before it was to late, so I went hostel searching.

I used the site to look for hostels, and in my opinion, it was pretty good and easy to use. It’s search function is able to “weed out” the hostels that do not have room for you. Along with its excellent setup which gives you an excellent overview of the various hostels, their features, accommodations and whatnot, each hostel can write a little about themselves. More importantly though, it has a review part, where people who have stayed at the hostel can rate and review their stay. This is an excellent way of finding out whether or the hostel really is everything it says it is.

When it comes to actually booking the room, then DO NOT use any third party booking sites if it can be avoided (unless the hostel itself redirects you to one). Only use the sites to search for availability and to gain an overview of the various options you have. When you’ve then decided on a hostel, highlight and copy the name of it, open a new tab or browser, go to google, paste it into the search bar, and search for it. Then go to the hostel’s official website (these are usually in English, since they cater to International customers) and book the room yourself via their site directly or by the site they use themselves (just click “Reserve” or “Book room” or whatever, and let the link take care of the rest). “Why?“, you may ask, “I already found it on the booking site I was using, why go through all the extra trouble?” Here is why; to save a ton of money. However(!!!), not all hostel’s have a website you can book from, in which case, you will have to use the booking site.

Hostels often have extended stay discounts or special offers for specific days, or they might have differently sized rooms. Third party booking websites do not take these things into consideration, and already there, you could have wasted tons of money. Some booking website will also claim that they will need 10% of the total amount as a deposit for the room. The hostels themselves usually don’t require such a deposit, so it’s a “scam”, and an expensive one at that, if you stay for an extended period of time (especially if you later have to cancel your reservation). Here is how much I saved by going to the hostel’s own website and booking the room myself (taxes and whatever included, European decimal-system used, so you may need to switch the commas and dots depending on your country):

Booking site prices Hostel’s site prices Saved moneyz
The room (7 nights) €310,21 €313,88 -€3,67
Booking expense €0 €0 €0
Deposit €34,47 €0 €34,47
Totals €344,68 €313,88 €30,8

That is €30,8 (current currency = US$47,6 ~ £24,25 ~ DKK230) saved by simply visiting the hostel’s own site! This is all because I was able to take advantage of their extended stay offer, which the booking site did not mention. You may think that this is no money at all, but you haven’t heard the kicker. The room I ordered via the site preferred by the hostel is about TWICE THE SIZE of the one I would have gotten via the other booking site. Had I gone with the same sized room, I would have saved an additional €20. Lurking moar pays off!

As a final little thing, below you will see images of how the Studios at our hostel look. I believe it is a loop with the images of the 3 types mixed together; Value, Standard, and Grand. Enjoy!

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