New Europe hostel booking website & hostel adventure writing competition

Friends at have extended their budget travel services and launched a new site for youth-hostel booking in Europe — A much needed feature these days if you want to be an authority in budget travel, but for that same reason, you are up against a good number of websites providing exactly the same services.

I must congratulate for getting all the core services right, before they plan to expand and enhance on their features. On their website you can search through 10,000 hostels across Europe and sort the results by a variety of unique factors including Editor’s picks, Distance to city center and Highest rating. They also have a feature where you can see hostel locations on a Google Maps, differentiated basis whether they cost over or under $50. Over and above, in this early phase, they have managed to give expert city guides to 38 destinations in Europe.

However, a few downsides: you can’t sort basis availability of the dates you want accommodation, a very important information criteria. When you request a search, it does say “searching for availability”, but it’s not clear whether it means the availability of hostels or the availability of rooms on the search dates. Also, they only have 10,000 hostels (others have over 15,000; has 23,000), and the site takes a little longer than the rest to load after making a search request.

Two of the most well-known websites for hostel-booking in Europe and worldwide are and; these are the only two websites I’ve always used to book my hostels and they are excellent. Other than being strongly user-based and providing all the right information quickly, they are full-fledge portals that provide all the possible information you may need on a city ( does it in 22 languages!). Other than on, you can’t avoid a booking fee, but it’s always minimal, so I don’t consider that an issue.

In other words, competition is very high; at this stage, getting customers who have been using sites like or to switch to using is going to be a tough challenge for Also, there are a dozen other sites that I have never used, but also look decent like:,,, and the list goes on.

All that said, the one thing you can bank on is the commitment and reliability of the people behind this The management is the same as that of, undoubtedly one of the best sites for information on traveling Europe on a budget. So I have no doubt that as they develop, they will more than match their competitors. Worth a check out.

On a separate note…
While we are talking about hostels, San Francisco based company Hostelling International, is seeking short (150-250 words), personal stories from travelers about their experiences hostelling. Stories can be funny, serious, romantic, touching, as long as they’re true. You can get full details on this here.

(*phew, yes, long post!*)

Posted by | Comments (2)  | June 24, 2008
Category: General

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