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Which are the best websites for booking hostels?

Although simply rocking up at a hostel to bag a bed can work in low season or in lesser touristy destinations it often pays to book in advance. So, which sites are best? No one site tends to continuously come out as the leader for finding budget options because it can depend on a variety of factors. It always pays to check out at least a couple to ensure you are getting the best prices. Otherwise, the best booking sites for hostels vary with regard to usability and features which can all be super useful in ensuring you don't simply find the cheapest hostel but the one which exactly matches your personal idea of perfect.

Typically you will be able to search by filters such as price, rating, room type and facilities while many also have maps showing all the property options locations together. A number also include blogs, destination articles and advice.

www.hostelbookers.com – Often offering the greatest number of hostel choices and best prices, Hostelbookers also allow you to see what kind of traveller a reviewer is with regard to traveller type (single, with friends etc), age and trip type (gap year, sports, adventure or outdoor activities etc) and offers a heap of useful resources such as guides and blogs.

www.booking.com – With exceptional usability and design which offers tons of useful info in an at-a-glance format, this website usually comes up with a huge amount of hostel options. A summarised information panel appears on each property listing page with such things as 'guests love......' and the traveller type it is most popular with – groups of friends for example. Reviews – which are displayed in an easy-to-read plus and minus elements format - can be filtered by type. Booking.com also offer cash rewards if you introduce friends.

www.tripadvisor.com – Although not typically offering the best of the booking site prices Trip Advisor does have a great review system which can also be filtered by traveller type.

www.hipmonk.com – Although unlikely to offer tons in the way of hostels this website has one invaluable feature which you can use purely to find a great location. You can list an interest such as 'nightlife' and up pops a map with the best accommodation choices.

If you are going to use reviews to help you find your ideal hostel don't forget one person's idea of a nightmare ('people were partying there all night long') might be YOUR idea of paradise so always read why a property has been rated as great or terrible. Check out all the hostels in New Zealand in our dedicated backpacker hostels section.