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Should I pay a hostel booking fee?

It's a good question, and the answer depends on your budget and how you like to book hostels.

With the birth of third-party hostel booking engines came the booking or reservation fee (on top of the 10% deposit for your entire stay). Prior to this, you may have booked hostels without paying a fee through student travel agenices but they generally marked up the cost of the room much more.

Today, a number of hostel booking sites charge approximately $2 per reservation or booking (not a per night fee). And some do not charge anything. But if you book a hostel bed directly with the hostel itself, like you can do from bakpakguide.com, you will seldom, if ever pay a booking fee. Now $2 might not sound like alot of money but when you make multiple reservations across a 2-3 month European backpacking extravaganza, it certainly can add up - maybe the cost of a cool walking tour in Berlin or a few rounds of beer for you newly annointed pals at the local hostel bar.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid booking fees:

1) Book direct with the hostels listed on bakpakguide.com

2) Use Hostelsbookers.com. They do not charge booking fees.

3) Hostelsclub.com does not charge a booking fee if you purchase their annual membership (10Eur).

4) Hostelworld.com does not charge a booking fee if you purchase their annual Gold card ($10).

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