Hostels.com

I’ve been living in Asia for 2 years now and travelling fairly regularly. With the exception of Shanghai (a guy on the street helped me find a nice hotel) Hostels.com has been my main booking device for lodging. Hostels.com and other services like Hostelworld and Hosteling International provide electronic booking for guest houses, hostels, and barracks like shared rooms in apartments almost everywhere. So far it’s helped me find a very cheap hostel in Taipei and the rather nice Asha Guest House in Bangkok. Friends have used it for rooms in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, and elsewhere. Hostels.com works a little like eBay. Stayers rate the hostels afterwards on a variety of different scales, and the hostels are ranked by ratings. It requires a very minimal confirmation fee via credit card and then pay once you get there. If you’re looking to travel on the cheap, it’s definitely the way to go to avoid potential overbooking etc. I’ve had no problems with it, and found the ratings to be fairly accurate.

– Andrew Jones

[It's pretty cool. I had no idea you could get dorms in downtown San Francisco for $19. Nice service. From any internet cafe in the world you can book a simple bed in one of 7,000 inexpensive hostels. -- KK]

Hostels.com

Sample entries:

San Francisco Backpacker Hostel-Pacific Tradewinds
680 Sacramento Street
Pacific Tradewinds is a friendly, small, clean, and homelike place for Backpackers. Centrally located in a good neighborhood, walking distance from bus and train stations, Fisherman’s Wharf, night life, one block from cable cars and Chinatown. No Curfew, Lockout. Free Internet, linens, tea/coffee, security lockers, kitchen use, luggage storage, help and smiles from our international staff.
Dorms From:
$27.00
RATING: 90%

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Ginkgo Hostel, Budapest, Hungary
Ginkgo Hostel offers you a clean, quiet, non-smoking and safe budget hostel right in the middle of downtown area. We are within 10 minutes walking distance of:
-The 500 year-old Turkish Termal Bath Kiraly next to the Danube River, so no matter what season it is take your swimsuit with you
-The St Stephen’s Catholic Basilica
-The Jewish Quarter with its famous Great Synagogue
-200 pubs and cafes within 200m/600feet
Dorms From:
$17
Privates From:
$28
RATING: 88%