Nowadays travelers not only choose hostels because of cost, but also because of what sleeping in a hostel means: sharing experiences, moments, meeting new people. In other words: experiencing your journey in a different way. On a previous post, we answered the question: why stay at a hotel when you can choose a hostel?
But beyond these thoughts associated with hostels, we want to talk to you about things you can do to make travelers coming to your city choose your hostel in particular. These ideas will also help you with reviews and recommendations.
1) More common spaces
Common spaces are hostels' soul. In these places, travelers interact with other guests, share experiences, organize tours or night-outs, or just have a beer talking about different countries or cultures. So there must be physical space for this to be possible, such as gamerooms, a kitchen, a bar or whatever. This will depend on the size and layout of your hostel.
2) Having a kitchen
For guests, it is very important to have a place to cook, not only to avoid spending too much money eating out, but also because the kitchen is a place to establish relationships with other travelers. Guests can prepare group meals or taste foreign dishes. But, if there is a kitchen in your hostel, make sure it is well equipped and post clear rules regarding organization, storage, cleaning, etc.
3) Not so early check-out time
Although there are some exceptions, hostels are targeted to young people. And if we talk about young people, we are probably talking about going out at night and, therefore, a late bedtime. So check-out time is something travelers will take into account when choosing (or not choosing) your hostel. If you are interested in this topic, and you want to know which things you have to consider, we recommend this post.
4) Breakfast included
When setting a daily budget, breakfast represents a considerable expense for travelers. For this reason, if your hostel rate includes breakfast, it is a major added value. And if it is also big and tasty, even better!
5) Free Wi-Fi
Not having Wi-Fi doesn't even count as a possibility these days. However, there are some places that charge for the use of Internet, mainly higher end hotels. But we all know well that when someone is travelling, he or she wants to talk to their family and friends and talking on the phone could be very expensive. So travelers want to use Wi-Fi and will be very pleased if you give it to them free. And if your competitors don't offer this service, be happy: travelers will highlight this on reviews.
6) Nice and useful website
Your website is your first impression and plays a leading role in developing your brand image. Because of this, have a nice one. Make sure it is well designed and that all the important information is displayed or at least easily found. If you want to learn more about how to have a well-designed website, you can read this post where you will also find great examples from other hostel websites.
7) Other services
Any other service that you offer in your hostel will count as one more selling point for travelers when choosing your hostel over others. For instance, organized tours, board games or other games like billiards or ping pong, private lockers, etc.