Over the past few years, on many trips, I have used HostelBookers to book beds in Asia, South America, Europe and the Middle East - it's definitely the way to go. Tap in dates and destination, and flick through the options, with prices calculated for you. The range of accommodation is wider than on other booking sites, and you only pay a deposit on booking, the balance when you show up. The best thing is the detailed reviews by previous guests... easy to get a real view of whether the staff are helpful, the showers clean, and the mattresses bedbug-free! You can believe the "We're just great!" statements on individual hostel/hotel websites and be disappointed, or you can read the reality on Hostelbookers and actually book somewhere that is what you really want. For me, it is definitely the most hassle-free, economic way to get the right place to stay for my needs.
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