OK, forgive my ignorance, as i've never stayed in a hostel before. my husband and i need to stay on-the-cheap in europe this may. is it possible to find hostels that can accommodate us in a private room?
when staying in a hotel or B&B, do we ask for a double or single room? does double = two beds?
i stayed in a hostel in Germa for the first time last february. Hostels are really great places just make sure you know what youre getting. Double = a room for 2 people with one double bed. Twin= a room for 2 people with two single beds. A good idea might be to join the youth hostels association. Its about £15-20 and all their hostels i would consider safe. I did this but then ended up in a completely different hostel and it worked out great. It was cheap (about 20 euros per night for the room not per person). If you want a private room avoid the word dormitory -youll end up with other travellers you dont know. Some people like this some dont.
If you have any other questions ill try my best to answer them. Out of interest where are you planning on going?
if your looking for the international youth hostels association there will be a link on the website
When I went to Poland last summer I stayed mostly in hostels and private homes in various polish cities. This is by far the most convenient way to lodge yourself, if you are on a budget.
Hostels are easy to find. You have a list of them in the accommodation section here in travellerspoint.
You can also check hostels.com and youth hostelling international http://www.hihostels.com/openHome.do).
There are nevertheless other hostels not listed in these websites offering neat, clean and cheap accommodation. Always ask for a double room!!!! Although they may only have twins, in which case you just have to join the beds (I have done this few times... it's not like a double bed, but it works!!!).
As far as private homes... The only way of finding them, at least in Poland, was directly in the Tourist Office, or in local agencies or just wandering around looking for them. This can seem tricky. We had really good luck, although sometimes I got a bit desperate... But it was really fun, we have good memories of those days...