Traditionally, hostels are the first option that springs to mind whenever gappers or backpackers are looking for cheap accommodation.
Today there is a range of hostels available, which offer clean, safe and reasonably priced accommodation, some even have ‘luxury’ extras, such as internet connection, games rooms and laundry facilities.
There are a number of good apps available for booking accommodation, including booking.com, hostelworld.com and TripAdvisor.
Here’s some advice from a Gapwork.com blogger: “The reviews on the apps are really useful when determining where you want to stay, and sometimes TripAdvisor will show you prices from different sites, helping you find the best price and cutting down on your efforts.
“In addition to the apps, I listen to the recommendations of fellow travellers when deciding on where to stay. The best piece of advice I can offer in respect of reviews you read and hear: think about what it is that you want. I recently stayed in a hostel that received a bad review due to music being played in the evenings, and noise in the common area due to socialising. My response to this was: brilliant! There will be people around to meet! And I booked it and had a great time!”
As for issues of safety and hygiene, our best advice is: use your instincts – if you think the hostel’s simply not up to scratch and too risky, go and find another one.
There are other options for accomodation, of course, such as camping, travelling in a campervan or caravan, staying in hotels, or even in temples and monastries. The pros and cons of each are explored further in the gap-year guidebook.