Is Hostelworld A Safe And Legit Place To Book Hostels

Written by: Chris Richardson

Travelling on a budget can be a challenging experience, especially when it comes to finding affordable accommodation. However, with such widespread free wifi internet available abroad, it’s easier than ever to find cheap and cheerful places to stay while on the road. And the most popular way to book a hostel is to use 

Should you use Hostelworld? Are they reliable and safe to book with? Let’s deep dive into online hostel booking and determine whether Hostelworld is a legit and secure platform when searching for your next backpacker adventure.

Hostelworld is a Legitimate and Reliable Online Booking Platform

It’s essential for travellers to know that Hostelworld is a legitimate and reliable online booking platform. Despite some negative reviews and a near monopoly in the market, the platform provides a wide range of global options for travellers seeking budget-friendly accommodations. Whether they are staying at a hostel for the first time or are a seasoned traveller.

Hostelworld offers detailed and genuine reviews from past hostel guests, making it easier for travellers to choose the right hostel for their needs. The website is easy to navigate, and the booking process is straightforward. 

Having so many hostels from around the world listed in one place that you can easily sort to find the best hostel in your chosen destination is such a luxury. 

The Platform is Popular Among Travelers

It’s no secret that backpackers are always looking for ways to save money on their accommodations, and Hostelworld is a go-to platform for budget-conscious adventurers. As mentioned, Hostelworld is one of the most popular websites for booking affordable hostels worldwide, with a huge selection of hostels listed to book.

The platform’s popularity can be attributed to its extensive network of hostels, its competitive pricing and its user-friendly interface. Whether you’re a solo traveller or part of a small group, Hostelworld has options that cater to different needs and preferences. While some customers have been disappointed with the company’s customer support, Hostelworld remains a reliable and convenient choice for finding budget-friendly hostels. 

Having booked and stayed in hostels around Europe using Hostelworld, I’ve never needed to use their support. I have heavily relied on the millions of reviews left by other travellers to gauge what hostel to book next. 

The Company is a Booking Portal for Hostels

It’s important to note that Hostelworld does not take responsibility for problems with the hostel you book. Hostelworld is purely a booking service, and any issues with the hostel or service must be dealt with directly between yourself and the hostel staff. 

This may be frustrating for some travellers, but it’s important to remember that Hostelworld is not a travel agency. Despite this limitation, the platform does offer genuine and detailed reviews from past guests, making it a useful tool for anyone seeking budget-friendly accommodations.

Overall, Hostelworld is a reliable platform for booking hostels. Still, it’s important to understand the limitations of the company’s responsibility when it comes to any issues that may arise during your stay. It is just a booking site and nothing more.

The Platform Offers Genuine and Detailed Reviews From Past Guests

Perhaps my favourite aspect of what Hostelworld offer is that travellers can leave a review of a hostel they stay at once their stay is over. As it’s impossible to know what a hostel will be like, especially for those new to backpacking, knowing you can read reviews from guests who’ve possibly just stayed there before booking can save you from a nasty experience.

These reviews provide valuable insights into what to expect from a particular hostel. Furthermore, Hostelworld’s review system is designed to prevent fake reviews (but not stop them entirely) and promote honest feedback from real travellers. 

One thing to note when booking a hostel on Hostelworld is the number of reviews the hostel has received. The more user reviews, the better chance the hostel has a good reputation.

On the flip side, as a traveller, it’s also very important for you to leave a review once you end your stay. Hostelworld will email you on your departure date to remind you to leave a review. This self-sustaining system helps those who come after you.

The Website is Easy to Navigate and has a Simple Booking Process

Using the site is simple, making the booking process a hassle-free experience for travellers. The user-friendly interface allows users to filter search results by location, price, the hostel’s amenities and more easily. Once you’ve chosen your preferred hostel, the booking process is straightforward. 

Hostelworld provides all the necessary details about your chosen hostel and even offers the option to book additional services, such as airport transfers and tours, on specific listings.

Consider Booking Directly with Hostels for a Cheaper Rate

While Hostelworld is a reliable platform for booking hostels, it’s worth looking at the hostel’s website or online profile before booking with Hostelworld to see if you can book directly with the hostel for even cheaper rates. 

Booking directly with a hostel can also give travellers more flexibility, as they can negotiate rates and possibly get additional perks offered by the hostel not listed on Hostelworld. Some hostel websites let you book direct, others you need to call or visit in person.

Another advantage of booking directly is that there is no middleman, so no commission is applied to make your stay cheaper. I found that after I’d stayed in a hostel for a few days and decided I wanted to stay longer, booking directly with the hostel staff was far more convenient and, at times, cheaper than re-booking your stay online again. 

If any issues arise, travellers can communicate directly with the hostel staff to resolve them quickly. However, you can’t beat the convenience and ease of use of Hostelworld either, so you need to weigh up your options when it comes time to book.

Is it Okay to Book Through Hostelworld?

Despite some negative customer reviews, booking through Hostelworld is considered safe and reliable. The website has been around for over two decades and is popular among budget travellers looking for accommodations worldwide. 

I have used it many times to book some amazing hostels around Europe, and I have friends who use it worldwide without issue. Once you make a booking, you receive a booking confirmation via email to confirm your booking. This is great to have as it often includes directions to the hostel. 

They provide detailed information about hostels and have a simple booking process. However, to ensure a smooth travel experience, it’s important to read reviews carefully, book in advance, and communicate directly with the hostel to confirm all details if you have concerns.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never stayed in a hostel or booked via other platforms. Booking through Hostelworld is great for those seeking affordable and convenient travel accommodations.

Does Hostelworld Refund Money

When it comes to refunds, Hostelworld has specific policies in place. If a customer cancels their booking online through their Hostelworld account, they may be eligible for a refund, depending on the hostel’s cancellation policy. Just be aware that non-refundable bookings do exist.

It’s important to note that the booking fee charged by Hostelworld is non-refundable in all circumstances. Additionally, due to many cancellations and refunds, the refund may take some time to be processed. 

While Hostelworld does offer refunds, it’s important for customers to read through cancellation policies carefully and understand that some fees may be non-refundable. As they are just booking portal, you have to consider any specific hostel policies as this can vary from hostel to hostel.

What is Better than Hostelworld

While Hostelworld is a legitimate platform for booking budget-friendly accommodations, other options exist. One popular alternative to Hostelworld is, which offers many accommodations, including hostels, hotels, and apartments and often offers free cancellation on many listings.

Another option is Airbnb, which allows travellers to book unique stays in local homes or apartments. While Airbnb may not always be the cheapest option or suitable for backpackers, it offers a more personalized and authentic experience. Ultimately, it’s important for travellers to do their research and choose the booking platform that best suits their needs and preferences.