Before the January 2019 group set out on their journey through South East Asia, a few students had trepidations about one aspect of travel: staying in hostels. Some mentioned they’d pictured more prison-like settings and upon reaching Stay with HUG in Thailand, they were shocked about how nice it was.
How were the hostels chosen?
The Location Managers have scouted for the best hostels they can find before you set foot in Asia. If you’re curious about where they’ve picked, you can find out more about the hostels online. For example, Hostelworld gives each hostel has score out of ten, and the hostels we stayed in in Chiang Mai, Da Nang and Kuala Lumpur have all achieved 9.0 or higher.
So, what is a hostel?
A hostel is like a hotel, but you share a lot of facilities with other travellers. Due to this, they’re a lot cheaper. You will usually sleep in bunkbeds, which could either have the traditional ladders on them or stairs. During our semester, we stayed in rooms ranging from four to eighteen beds. If you’re worried about privacy, most hostels have a curtain.
There will also be communal bathrooms. As said before, the hostels are all of a high standard, so cleanliness isn’t an issue. If it is, report it to reception; it’ll be solved a lot quicker if they’re informed than just waiting until a cleaner appears.
What facilities will there be?
Some will have more than others, but there will almost always be free WiFi, housekeeping, water and maps. A lot of hostels have common areas with board games, food, tours and laundry. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask at reception; the hostels picked out have staff with great English and are very knowledgeable about the local area.
Will I feel safe?
There will be security guards located at the hostels. They aren’t imposing- all of the one’s I interacted with seemed lovely. You will also be able to lock your things away, either in lockers or drawers under the bed. Not every hostel provides locks however; make sure to pack one in your bag!
Will I meet new people?
Hostels are great when it comes to social lives. You will be able to find a regularly changing crowd of people from varied backgrounds. Since you’ll be staying in the study hub locations for a period of time, you will start recognising familiar faces. Additionally, a lot of people will be travelling through similar routes so you may see them again- we met some friends we made in Thailand during our road trips.
What about the location of the hostels?
Because they’re cheaper than hotels, you can get a centrally located hostel that won’t break the bank. Additionally, in South East Asia’s case, transport is cheap so if you’re not much of a walker, you can get to the main points around the city for a small price.
I have a question that hasn’t been answered!
Not to worry! Feel free to either ask the Global Grad team on either the website or through one of their Social Media channels. If you already have an offer, then you can join the new Facebook group, where you can ask questions and start getting to know potential peers. Either way, any fears or confusions you have can be solved within minutes or hours of you having them, you don’t have to worry right up until arriving at the hostel.
About the author
Jasmin Dawling is one of Global Grad’s January 2019 students and is completing a full-time Bachelor’s degree with the Open University in International Studies. While this is her first time formally blogging, she has had plenty of writing experience in the past, from novel writing since the age of six to working on the school newspaper. Apart from seeing the sights of South East Asia and working on her degree, Jasmin spends most of her time either procrastinating or writing down her novel ideas, be it on her travelling-inspired new ideas or the 7-part series she’s been toying with for almost ten years.