I just finished reading Rick Steve's article about hostels in the latest issue of International Travel News. Of course you should read the entire article but here are some quick tips I got from it:
• stay in Northern Europe hostels (much less expensive than standard lodging)
• skip hostels in Southern Europe (budget lodging is plentiful)
• city and on-the-Eurail-path hostels are overrun with younger travellers
• rural and off-the-train-path hostels are more quiet with mature travellers
I must admit that I have only stayed in hostels in Anchorage and Cairns. I have seen my share of budget lodging in Europe (rooms, inns, the car) but have not tried any of their hostels. Next trip...
© 2009, Charles McCool