When it comes to choosing the right backpacker hostel the location should be your first priority. Where will you arrive in your target destination? Airport? Railway station? Subway? Ferry terminal? Bus terminal? Local bus stop? And how can you make your way to the hostel? These are the questions to be considered. Walking distance is always nice, especially if you have plenty of hostels to choose from on your way from the bus stop or nearest station. This is the case in smaller ‘backpacker towns’ as you can find them in Australia or New Zealand. In bigger cities such as London or Sydney this isn’t an option.

We always recommend to prepare yourself properly for your next destination at least 2 days in advance. Get yourself a proper map of the next city, which includes public transport routes for bus, subway and tram. A good travel guidebook such as the famous Lonely Planet (THE backpacker bible) is always a worthwhile investment. A proper map always needs to have a scale, so you can estimate the distance and the time it would take if you would walk all the way. From our own experience, it usually takes about 10-12 minutes per 1 kilometer, that’s 5-6km per hour. This is without traffic lights or steep hills and mountains in between. Your heavy luggage might make you walk at even faster speed than you would normally walk. Nowadays people already use smartphones with built-in GPS and map applications that allow finding the fasted route to the hostel in a matter of seconds, given nothing is obstructing the view to the sky for proper satellite reception.

If you can’t make it on foot, cheapest option is using public transport – just as the locals do. You might want to refer to the bus or train schedules, otherwise just ask any locals for directions. However, many locals aren’t of much help as they just know their own routes and areas in the big cities and might not be familiar with the place you want to go. What you can try in this case is just asking the ticket counter staff at the stations or the visitor center, in case there is one just nearby.

Some of you might prefer hitchhiking, but we would not recommend this for safety reasons. Remember that the driver is choosing you, not you choosing the driver – so you could fall victim to all kinds of crooks. Last option should be Taxi as it is the most expensive way to reach your target location. Popular backpacker hostel locations include city center, city outskirts & suburbs, national parks, forests or places near the beach. But remember, first find a way to actually get there before booking a hostel.