Backpacking? Looking to explore a new city? You can do it, for next to nothing, if you stay in a hostel. And there’s no better way to book a hostel than to have experienced travelers pick the best hostels in your destination for you.
That’s the beauty of WeHostels, the new IOS app that lets you browse the best hostels in your city, book your favorite for cheap, and socialize with other backpackers staying in your hostel at the same time, before you even leave home. The app connects to Facebook, so you can compare common interests with your hostel mates and make friends around the world. Best part? The app is beautiful, and each hostel profile details amenities (they should all have free wi-fi) with awesome pictures that really give you a sense of where you could potentially be staying. When you book your hostel, you only have to pay 10% up front and, oh yeah, staying in a hostel only costs about $15 to $20 a night. And, just because it’s inexpensive, doesn’t mean it’s cheap. The hostels in WeHostels are gorgeous and have great reviews.
WeHostels originally started by offering hostel bookings in 10 of the world’s most popular destination cities, but it’s since expanded into over 100 cities across Europe, South America, Asia and Australia – and it’s adding new cities every single day. Recently, I got the chance to talk to Chris Piazza, WeHostels’ COO, about what it’s like to stay in a hostel and how he and his team created the increasingly popular app. He told me that staying in hostels is the best way to explore new cities, because it gives travelers the opportunity to meet new people. But, you’ve got to know where to go. Chris says the WeHostel team created the app after staying in their share of hostels that were not up to par. “Our selection process is more art than science. We use all the resources available to us on the web, our own personal experiences, as well as the experiences of travelers we know and trust to make sure hostels are fun, safe, and friendly.”
Chris’s biggest tip for travelers using WeHostels? “Don’t be shy. Staying in a hostel is a social experience and, to get the most out of your hostel stay, you have to be open to meeting new people.” He also gave me some tips on other ways to use a smart phone when you want to travel for cheap. Chris says he’s a huge fan of Hotel Tonight, which lets users book last minute hotel rooms at steep discounts, Trello, a collaboration tool that lets team members work long-distance, Foursquare (Chris loves the “Explore” feature), and Hipmunk, an easy way to book flights.