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Backpacker accommodation 

Consumer facts for the traveller

Are you looking  for a place to stay? Backpacker accommodation is one of the most popular alternatives for travellers on a budget. Backpacker hostels and hotels can be great places to meet new friends of similar interests. There is a broad network of backpacker accommodation across NSW in locations that vary from the hottest nightlife districts to splendid natural settings.

Generally these establishments provide good, clean, low cost accommodation. Some include additional services and facilities such as meals, laundries and internet access. Most are well run and provide you with the perfect base to see what NSW has to offer.

Here are some tips to help you choose a backpacker hostel or hotel. Also included is information about what you can do and who you can contact if you have a problem with your accommodation.

Before you check in

Find out about the accommodation before making a commitment to stay:

  • talk to other travellers, this can be the best way to find out about the accommodation
  • when you first arrive, ask to see the accommodation
  • check if it is clean
  • check if the amenities are up to standard
  • check if the advertised services and facilities are available and operational
  • if there are other guests around, ask for their opinion
  • check for smoke alarms, fire exits as well as other safety equipment and facilities
  • check that exits and passageways are not blocked or obscured
  • check that the place is not overcrowded
  • when you are happy with what you see and hear then make your booking.

Remember to book only for the time you need. You may be required to pay the cost of accommodation for the remaining period if you want to cancel a booking.

If you want to extend your stay, make a booking straight away and get written confirmation so you won't be disappointed.

Are you getting what you paid for?

Backpacker hostels and hotels advertise the services and facilities they provide. Some advertise meals, internet access and other services. When you book in and pay for your accommodation, you may find that some of these services and facilities are not available, or are only available during certain periods or for an additional fee.

Read any advertisements for accommodation carefully. Check with the backpacker hostel's staff that the advertised accommodation rate will be available when you arrive. Also, check the conditions of the advertised rate. Is the advertised rate available for one night's accommodation or does the rate only apply for a minimum stay of several nights? If you are interested in a particular service or facility, make enquiries about its availability, the times it may be available and if there are additional charges.

Confirm your booking

If you stay in a backpacker establishment, make sure you get something in writing to confirm your booking and the duration of your stay. Some backpacker accommodation establishments over-book to ensure they are always full. Written confirmation of your booking will help you if another guest arrives with a booking for your room and someone asks you to leave.

Keep your receipts

Make sure you get and keep your receipts for all payments, as this might be your only proof if you have a dispute regarding overpayment or non-payment.

In the event of a dispute

If you have a dispute with an accommodation provider, try to contact the owner or manager. If you cannot settle the problem by mutual agreement, then contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20, or lodge an enquiry or complaint on our website.