Top places to stay in London

In London right now and need a place to stay?

Or feel inspired to visit given all the action on TV?

You’ve come to the right place. London is hip happening and fun even when the Olympics aren’t on. Here are some of our top picks for VIP Backpacker hostels in London. Click here for more.

All Star Hostel
Hostel Image

Accommodation London are proud to offer short term mixed and female dorms, double and twin rooms and fully furnished private studios only 15 minutes tube ride to Central London.

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6 top hostels from New Zealand

Should you wish to party, hunker down in luxury, experience the city or the countryside, New Zealand has some absolutely choice places to stay. Here are six of the coolest places to set up a base on the north and south islands.

NORTH ISLAND

Base Auckland
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Welcome to the heart of Auckland! BASE Auckland is the largest hostel in New Zealand, boasting a fantastic central location right off Queen Street. Come and experience first hand the superior facilities and great services that have made BASE Auckland world famous.

Room Types Cost Available
Large Share from $20.80 BOOK
Small Share from $22.34 BOOK
Double/Twin from $55.46 BOOK
Double/Twin (ens) from $70.87 BOOK
Family (ens) from $100.14 BOOK

The hostel experience – 5 reasons not to love it

Backpacking in New Zealand. Pic: J. Lane, http://www.visitedplanet.com

In the last blog I touched on reasons to love hostelling, things that might encourage you to give it another go. But I thought it might only be fair to share some of the things I also don’t like about hostelling. However there are ways around all these problems that allow you to still stay in a hostel and enjoy all the great things about them. So in each section I’ve listed a solution to the problem.

Anyway here’s the ultimate pet hate list:

1. Amorous couples
I have never understood why amorous couples would even bother to stay in a dorm room. Perhaps they simply don’t care if people see what they get up to, but it’s simply plain uncomfortable to come across anyone in your room kissing or doing anything else. Come on! Solution: tell them how you feel, book into a private room

2. Snorers
We’ve all been guilty of this of course so there’s not much to be done – bring your ear plugs if you’re worried about not being able to sleep. And if you do have a significant snoring problem perhaps hostelling isn’t for you.
Solution: ear plugs, roll them over, book into a private room

3. Plastic bags
On behalf of all other people in hostels I beseech you not to use plastic bags in your luggage and not to decide to pack your entire suitcase or backpack in the middle of the room at an ungodly time of night or morning. Plastic bags should be banned from hostels and I personally have made a point of using cloth bags so even if I have to do a pack (normally done outside or the day before) it makes very little if any noise.
Solution: ask them to leave the room (nicely), leave your plastic bags at home!

4. City hostels
Some inner city hostels in big places can be a little dire and you’ll often find the partying types or midnight arrivals/departures here. If you do have the time make sure you research well the type of place you want to stay – a private room can often be a good choice in the inner city hostels if you have any concerns. Generally smaller, country hostels are a lot better in general.
Solution: Review city hostels carefully for location, hygiene, food and reviews

5. Indifferent staff
I have to say this is pretty rare in my experience but occasionally you will come across people in hostels that do seem to have been in the job rather too long. But then again you may have asked the same questions as the last 50 people through the door.
Solution: don’t bore the hostel staff! be chatty and friendly

Well we know we haven’t put you off hostels so please check our our hostel database!!

Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com

The hostel experience – 5 reasons to love it

I’ve been travelling for a long time but I still love staying in hostels – not particularly the part that requires you to share intimate space with people you hardly know or listen to them snore at night – but rather for the shared experiences, the community of travel ideas and the opportunity to learn from others.

Some of my friends ask me rather dubiously if I still stay in hostels as if there’s something wrong with me, but I’m happy to say yes. And here are my five reasons for enjoying it:

N.b. Of course VIP Backpackers’ various accommodation options are backpackers with dorm rooms, but you’ll also find private rooms, family rooms or smaller dorms to choose from.

1. Shared experiences
There’s a real affinity amongst those who live on the road and an understanding of where you’re at. You don’t get that in hotels and other upmarket places. You often meet really great people in hostels. Many of these people have really been out there and seen the world and are open to chat, share their ideas, give tips on what to see/do and learn from each other.

2. The travel network
If you want information on what to see/do/hear/smell/taste in a place go into a hostel. Someone is likely to have done it, seen it or experienced it and can give you the inside info on it. It’s a superb place to get travel ideas and plan an itinerary.

Backpacking in India. Pic: J. Lane, http://www.visitedplanet.com

3. Instant friends and companions
This isn’t so important for me anymore but it was when I was younger. If you’re travelling alone hostels are the ideal place to stay to meet other people. Often you’ll end up travelling with some of them or simply hanging out as you wander along. So don’t be scared to venture out by yourself, you’re never really alone in hostels.

4. Work opportunities
Many hostels are great places to stay to glean a job. If you’re on a work holiday visa or want a work for board situation, some of them advertise for staff or may even display job boards. Or they should be able to point you in the right direction. Hostels are good cheap places to stay while you’re job hunting or looking for some other kind of long term accommodation gig.

5. Financial savings and eating well
Yes you can get get cheap hotel rooms or even B&Bs but I’m happy to put the same amount of money into a single or private room at a youth hostel and utilize the kitchen. I like cooking and eating well when I travel and the kitchen in these places is often just fantastic. Not only can you chat away to people while you cook but often there are free food shelves where you can add bits and pieces to your meal!

What do you love about staying in hostels?

Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com