A hostel (or backpacker) establishment is aimed at the budget traveller and generally attracts a younger clientele. Bedrooms are in a dormitory style (shared) and bathrooms are shared, although private bedrooms may be available. When you book yourself into a dorm room, you book yourself into one bed of that dorm room, while the rest of the beds will be occupied by other backpackers. Light meals may be available in addition to the room rate.
Facilities in a dorm room
Most dorm rooms only consist of the beds with linen and no other facilities. However, sometimes they might include an en-suite shower room and toilet, lockers, luggage storage, a rubbish bin, table and chairs.
Most backpacker hostels in Zambia provide a communal kitchen, that gets a lot of use from hostel guests. Cooking for yourself in hostels is one of the best ways to save money while on the road.
Backpacker hostels always have somewhere to hang out. They will often have a lounge area with sofas, tables, board games and more. They may also have outside communal areas too. The communal lounge is where many hostels differ, with some providing the basics to others going all out to keep backpackers entertained. Some, but not all, hostels have computers and Internet access.
The hostels usually have a laundry facility. This usually includes washing machines and tumble driers. Sometimes, there will be a washing line outside to hang your wet clothes for drying.
If it’s your first time hostelling, it will probably pay off to always book ahead so you know where you’re staying. Most hostels will take reservations as well as walk-in guests. Making reservations online is now one of the easiest ways to plan ahead when traveling, and many hostels now offer guests this option. The staff of a hostel will also often be happy to offer recommendations for sightseeing or other fun things to do in the area.