Hostel Interviews

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Claire Lynch

  1. Current Age?

  2. Nationality

  3. Where do you live now?
    Maidenhead, England

  4. Occupation

  5. When it comes to travel accommodation (but leaving out crashing with friends, family or people you meet on the road), how often do you stay in hostels?
    Sometimes a hostel, sometimes a hotel or B&B, etc

  6. Where have you hosteled?
    Europe, South America

  7. Would you stay in a hostel again on future trips?

  8. Why or why not?
    You have to be carefull. Some hostels are great. They are personally run and really want to try hard to give the budget traveller a 1st-class holiday. Others are just out to make money and charge over the odds for little more than a flea-ridden mattress.

  9. Out of all your experiences hosteling, what was your:
    • Best Moment
      An extended 10-day stay in Ushaia, Argentina in Cruz del Sur private hostel. It was everything hostels should be. Thanks to Luca and Sebastian, the owners.

    • Worst Moment
      Christmas in a big HI Hostel in El Calafate, Argentina. No one had a clue what was going on, we had no room, just a maid letting herself in, telling us we had to get out. It really spoilt what should have been a very special Christmas.

    • Biggest Hurdle, Obstacle or Difficulty?
      Booking in advance: Most places don't, and those that do are really bad at it.

  10. Do you ever book any of your hostel accommodation in advance?

  11. Why or why not?
    Not very many places do, and every time we have, we have been told that there has been a mistake and someone else has our room. By not booking, you don't get disappointed.

  12. Who is the most memorable person you met in a hostel and why?
    A French guy was staying in the hostel mentioned in Ushuaia. We asked him how long he was staying and he started to giggle. "100 days" was his answer. This seemed a very strange amount of time. It turned out he was under house arrest in the hostel. He had been caught by the Argentinian police, smoking dope on the streets. When they asked what he was smoking, he replied "Maté!" which to anyone who knows Argentina, it is the frequently drunk, herbal tea concoction. Funnily enough, he was arrested!

  13. Why do you stay in hostels, as opposed to other types of accommodation?
    If you are on your own they are often a great place to create an instant social circle. There are usually the "experts" there who have been staying there for more than a week and have learned from their predecessor "experts", where the highlights are.

  14. Is there a hostel you'd recommend to other travelers? If so, what is it and where?
    Cruz del Sur, Ushuaia, Argentina

  15. What is the biggest myth people have about hostels and hosteling?
    That they are all full of geeks who want to be in their single-sex domitory beds by 10.30 at night.

  16. Why do you like to travel?
    Why not? New people, places, experiences, cultures. I am in Bolivia at the moment and outside this internet cafe, is a little old woman dressed in traditional clothes, selling whole dried llama fetuses to keep the bad spirits at bay. That's got to be worth a trip.

  17. What is your advice for other travelers wanting to stay in hostels?
    Go on your instincts. Talk to the people there and always look at the room befor you commit. If you get a chance ask some of the people there what it is like. They all seem to be quite honest.