I’ve previously mentioned that when traveling I like to stay in hotels whenever possible. In my last post, I also mentioned that due to a wedding, I would be heading to the USA in peak season and therefore doing my first full trip* in youth hostels.
*okay, it’s 90% youth hostels. I did spring for AirBnB in Seattle.
When I decided to save the extra money and stay in hostels, I had a few ground rules before booking:
- Ideally, there would only be four beds in a room, but six would also be acceptable
- The rooms had to be Female Only
- The higher the guest rating, the better, regardless of price
- If there were options for something a bit outside of the stock standard Typical Youth Hostel, I would take them
I spent ages reading reviews and considering my options, but ultimately decided upon the following to make my trip as affordable, yet comfortable, as possible:
LA, San Fran, San Diego
After a bunch of research, I decided that USA Hostels would be my best bet for LA, San Fran, and San Diego. Their reasonable rates include breakfast, linens and towels, and I love the idea of their “privacy pods” which include a light and shelf to screen your head from the others in the dorm when you’re in bed.
While their Hollywood hostel only has six or eight bed options, each dorm room has its own bathroom which is a definite plus. I’d rather share with five strangers than a whole corridor. San Fran and San Diego are both four bed dorms, but shared floor bathrooms. I know I literally just said I don’t like sharing with a whole corridor, but I did live at college for three years and do know how to do the whole “sharing” thing. The hostels were super affordable (even if their July prices are a lot more expensive than at other times) and they offer a whole bunch of activities to see the local area and meet your fellow travelers.
Portland is known for being pretty hipster and alternative, so I knew that an average hostel wouldn’t really be giving me the “authentic” Portland experience. That’s where The Society Hotel steps in. It’s a boutique hotel with dormitory style accommodation which includes privacy curtains, reading lights, and a storage locker. Netflix speed wifi is included, as are all linens, towels, and kitchen facilities. Bathrooms are shared, but as the hotel isn’t a full scale hostel, I’m sure I can deal.
Similar to the Society Hotel, I booked into a boutique hotel with dormitory style accommodation in Santa Barbara. With four – five beds per room, an in-room bathroom, breakfast included and a TV, The Wayfarer looks like a perfect compromise between affordability and enjoyability. The Wayfarer also boasts an outdoor pool, a games area (giant jenga, anyone?), communal kitchens, and regular pub crawls.
Additionally, all of these locations had options to book in advance and pay upon arrival, which is great when you’re like me and like to book while still saving up. They also had convenient cancellation policies, ranging from three days to twenty-four hours in advance. It’s always good not to be fully locked into accommodation (unless you get a crazy deal that you’d be stupid to miss) as life and plans can change so quickly, and it’s always good to have the flexibility to move.
Fifteen days to go! Yay!