Announcing My Partnership with Hostelworld

By Nomadic Matt | Published March 23rd, 2012

hostelworld main pageGreat news everybody! Today, I have an amazing announcement: The accommodation booking site Hostelworld and I have teamed up together and I am pleased to announce that Hostelworld is now the official accommodation booking site of Nomadic Matt.

Ever since I started traveling, I’ve been using Hostelworld. They’ve always had the best user interface, most availability, and largest selection of hostels, budget hotels, and guesthouses. When I go to book hostels, my brain enters autopilot and types in Hostelworld. I’ve never found any other hostel website that has a selection as good as theirs, so when the opportunity presented itself to strike up a partnership, it seemed the right step forward. I like them, they like me, travelers I know like them – it’s the perfect trifecta.

Last November while I was in London, I attended the World Travel Mart conference. At one of the social meetups, I spoke to a representative from Hostelworld. We touched on the subject of a partnership and I was intrigued. I said “Let’s talk more” — and talk more we did. And over the last few months, we’ve hammered out a great partnership. And over the last few months, we’ve hammered out a great partnership.

Which brings us to today! Now, Hostelworld is the official booking sponsor for this site.

Why? Because Hostelworld has all these amazing features:

  • The best availability out of all the booking sites.
  • The largest selection of budget accommodation.
  • A steller user interface.
  • Easy to use search feature.
  • A travel blog with lots of interesting travel tips. (I’ll be contributing to it monthly now so it will be even better!)
  • Travel store where you can get insurance, LP guides, phone SIM cards, and more.
  • They also have cool videos from destinations around the world that can help you plan your trip.
  • They have video walkthroughs of hostels so you can see them before booking.

They are a really great company and I’m proud to be working with them.

It’s so great to have Hostelworld part of the this website. I really love using them and really love when companies want to work with me and offer great things to my readers. And, I think saving money on booking fees is pretty damn good.

Editor’s Note: As the comments pointed out, yes, at one point I did use the site Hostelbookers. When I started traveling in 2006, I used Hostelworld but briefly switched to Hostelbookers mainly because, while they lacked a lot of the good qualities Hostelworld had, they were friendly to bloggers. But eventually, I switched back to Hostelworld because of the larger inventory and features. I just kept finding what I wanted there and not on Hostelbookers. I am sorry for not making the clearer in the original post.

comments 32 Comments

Dsldkjfldkjf

**********This comment has been removed because well, it was clearly fake and made by a troll.************

Seriously man? Why are you even here? Criticism is fair game but if you’re going to do it provide something constructive and actually leave your name.

I think its understandable, with a name like ‘Dsldkjfldkjf’ I imagine this person would have developed a complex where they became sensitive to grammar and linguistics.

NomadicMatt

While “Dsldkjfldkjf” is clearly a troll and had his comment removed, he was right. I did miss 1 grammar mistake. Then again I did write this on a Friday night at 2 a.m.

Thanks for the defense!

Congrats on the partnership Matt. When I’m not traveling on the company dime, I use hostelworld almost exclusively. They’re easy to use and I’ve never had a problem booking easily over 100 stays through them.

Matt,

Congratulations! It’s really cool that you were able to make this happen!

Hostelworld are fantastic, I use them all the time and haven’t had a single complaint. Love the deal with the gold card too – anything that helps save a bit of cash sounds good to me! Nice work Matt!

Judith Kramer

Good for your partnership, but it’s strange at the same time, cause on this article

http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/favorite-travel-companies/

you mentioned

“I always go with Hostelbookers. Force of habit, and after being on the business side of things, have found their staff a lot friendlier than Hostelworld and a lot easier to deal with. I always like supporting companies with nice people.”

now you said Hostelworld is the best of the best! It’s a little contradictory, don’t you think?

Cheers!

Really contradictory – I noticed this too. Makes you seem a little less trust worthy, Mr Matt.

Chris Wood

I noticed that as well…what a big change around in opinion….its obvious he secured the partnership with Hostelworld and had to say all these nice, amazing stuff about them..even if they aren’t that great.

Cherry

Yes very contradictory, I would be interested to know what the actual truth is, or is it a case of whoever pays the bills?

NomadicMatt

There it is! I was waiting for someone to find that old blog post! I was just surprised it took so long! Yes, I used to use Hostelbookers a long time ago. But that blog post is from 2009 and it’s now 2012. I actually stopped using Hostelbookers in 2010 because:

1. Their hostel selection just wasn’t that good.
2. I kept finding room on Hostelworld not on Hostelbookers.
3. The friendly staff was no longer that friendly.
4. They kept doing a lot of really shady SEO stuff.
5. They always seemed to want something from me but would never help me out when I asked them anything. (See #2)
6. I kept finding better search results on Hostelworld.

So yes, at one point I did use them. That is very true. But I haven’t in a long, long time which is why they haven’t been mentioned since 2009.

On the same note, I used to talk about how much I love Canon cameras but now I have a Nikon and think they are way better. I was once a PC but am now a Mac.

Opinions of companies can and do change over time. My opinion of Hostelbookers has changed greatly since 2009. I haven’t spoken about them in years because of that reason.

You could probably find contradictory opinions about travel on this site as my opinion on travel has changed and evolved since I started this site in 2008.

I hope that addresses the concerns people have.

The problem with hostelbookers is that they’re now the number 2 site in the market and as a result many hostels have a lower priority for allocating beds to them. In many countries the selection also just isn’t there. In Japan where I am now, HW has a lot more choices – for example my next destination, Nara – Hostelworld has 11 results coming up, compared to only 1 for Hostelbookers.

The one thing I’d like Hostelworld to fix though is to give an average price for a search, rather than just the lowest price for the period because many hostels are gaming the system and giving one day of really cheap beds so that they come up first in search results.

As several people have mentioned, Hostelworld has the best selection, but Hostelbookers typically has better prices.

The good news is you don’t have to choose between the two… Hostelz.com lets you search both sites (and other booking sites like Hostelsclub) at once, and lets you always choose the best price and availability from all of the hostel booking sites. Hostelz.com doesn’t typically pay bloggers for sponsorships, so you don’t see it mentioned on sites like this one, but it really is the best way to book hostels.

Danny

Holgs, I do not believe that HostelBookers gets less availability, having travelled 3 continents in the last year, HostelBookers is loved by quite a lot of properties, and believe it or not, some properties work exclusively with HB, I remember once a property in Asia treated me super nicely because I was a HB customer, they said the reason for that is because the company is approachable.

David, Hostelz has been smashing for me too, the ability to compare all providers is great, the problem is that the booking fees are with some, those put me off, so I just use HB (booking fees for my gap year would have been something like $150 for year, better spend it on something else)…

I’m also a blogger, and know that sometimes, companies ask you to recommend them through an article and give you some $—- in return, but sometimes, you have to refuse because it does not reflect the truth…

Paul Smith

I think the problem is that your support of Hostelworld in the post above is absolute, which means it’s contradicting past posts and the explanation above:

“Ever since I started traveling, I’ve been using Hostelworld. They’ve always had the best user interface, most availability, and largest selection of hostels, budget hotels, and guesthouses. When I go to book hostels, my brain enters autopilot and types in Hostelworld. I’ve never found any other hostel website that has a selection as good as theirs…”

Opinions do change, but you’ve been travelling for five years. According to the 2009 post and the comment above, you used Hostelbookers for over three years. According to this post, it’s been Hostelworld since the start and there’s never been any competition. Hostelworld can’t have *always* had “the best user interface, most availability, and largest selection of hostels, budget hotels, and guesthouses” when you were happily using another company until last year.

If you’d said “for the past year, Hostelworld has been the only choice for me… ” that’d have made more sense than claiming you’ve rated them above the competition since day one, because that doesn’t seem to have been the case.

These deals are part of your income, but you also sell your advice to other bloggers and you’re a key influencer, so it’s important there’s some consistency and transparency. It’s a dream partnership to land, but the hard sell in this post feels a little disingenuous given previous recommendations.

NomadicMatt

I actually used Hostelworld when I started traveling 2006. I didn’t even know about Hostelbookers until much later on. I used them for a bit and liked them mostly because they were receptive to bloggers. They always had a weaker selection of hostels. However, thing changed, I went back to Hostelworld because I just found myself using them anyways due to the larger selection of hostels. It’s why I haven’t really talked about any booking company in a long, long time.

The 2009 posts doesn’t imply I used HB from the start, it just states I used them then, which I did. In fact, there is nothing ever written on this site about the companies I used when I started traveling.

Given that it has been over 3 years since I wrote that post and Hostelbookers been mentioned since then, I didn’t give the issue much thought. I didn’t think a 3 year old blog post would be used against me.

I apologize for my lack of clarification in the blog post.

Unfortunately..there will always be someone to criticize this type of partnership.

They’d rather spend their time complaining about what others are doing than actually doing things themselves..it’s easier :)

Congrats on landing this partnership.

Ewan

I believe being transparent is as important as the partnership itself. Having used both companied, I can tell you there’s not much difference apart from the booking fee with HostelWorld and none with HostelBookers. the amount of properties is extremely similar, the user interface depends on your taste, I could say Hostelworld cancelled one of my booking once or vice versa about HostelBookers, but the truth is, we all look for the cheapest deal, and if HW comes to $14 + 2$ booking fee, and HB $17, I’ll take the cheapest, till now, it’s been 50/50 between the two companies, in clear, both good.
They both have good availability, a similar amount of hostels, both do hostel and city videos, easy to search, good user interface, travel blogs…

Ewan

Emily

Well done Matt,

Ewan, I sort of agree with you, coz the stock is similar as an overall, but obviously, HostelBookers is stronger is a lot of destination, and so is Hostelworld in others.

I remember travelling Italy, and HostelBookers is really strong there, also Hostelworld is really strong in Japan (As I remember Holgs talking about Nara for example…)

It all depends where you travel to… :)

Emily

Saving the booking fee? I think you are now my hero.

I received a newsletter 10 days ago (not 3 years ago) with ‘Nomadic Matt’s Best Travel Companies’ and hostelbookers was listed with the following description: ‘I use Hostelbookers to book my hostels and guesthouses because they have a large inventory and, unlike Hostelworld, there’s no booking fee’.

So yes, the change of mind is a dent in your credibility. But this just shows that being a trustworthy blogger and running a business at the same time is a fine balance act.

J

I just recently started traveling in hostels, but we haven’t really used hostelworld. We wanted to book a room at one in Manila, but hostelworld was charging us 700 pesos each for one double room, so 1400 pesos and just e-mailing the hostel cost only 700 pesos. They seem to charge by person, but I’m guessing we just don’t completely understand how it works. Any idea what I’m misunderstanding?

NomadicMatt

Well, all booking sites (Hostelworld, Hostelbookers, Hostels, GoMio) price per person not per room. (It’s something I really hate! I don’t know why they don’t do it!). But I don’t know why the hostel itself was 50% cheaper if you booked direct. That is unusual but good for you!

Chelsea

I love your blog. I may have just missed it, but when will the Hostelworld Gold Card be available? I’m signed up for your newsletter, and I have an upcoming trip… I’d love to take advantage of the savings!

NomadicMatt

The sign up is in the newsletter. Just open it and you will see it.

I’n 9 years of travel I think I’ve only ever actually “booked” accommodation two, maybe three times. Every time for huge events. Like Oktoberfest in Munich.

Hostelworld and hostelbookers etc… are fantastic for finding hostels and reviews, but I always found booking to be far too much effort. Plus there is the added risk that you loose the money you’ve paid online when you 1)can’t find the hostel, 2)don’t make it to the city the day you thought you would, 3)you meet someone who will let you crash at their place. 4)you meet a group of really cute girls on the train and they are staying somewhere else.

And I think if Matt does what most backpackers do… he probably searches for a hostel on hostelworld, then checks with hostelbookers to see if he can save himself the booking fee booking fee

Anna

Long time reader first time commenter. How do I get this deal that you mentioned with the hostel world gold card. I am signed up but can’t see any link…..??

NomadicMatt

When I send out my newsletter, there is a section in the newsletter where you click the link and it takes you to the sign up page. It’s only in the newsletter. I send those out on Sunday so you’ll see it in your inbox tomorrow.

Maloula

Hi Matt,

Great news.

I was just wondering if the gold cards will keep coming, or if it’s just one, because $2 fee per booking seems a lot, and the other company does never charged booking fees…

Thanks for your reply,

Maloula

NomadicMatt

You’ll be able to get the gold cards for some time to come.

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