Filtering the Hostels from the Hostiles

I’ve been scouting around for places to stay during my trip over the past few days. Using sites like http://www.hostelworld.com, http://www.hostelbookers.com, and http://www.eurotrip.com. I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a couple options for each city and scope out the prices before I get there even though I’ll still only be booking as I go.

Hostels seem to be pretty varied along the way. Ranging from super cheap to this is still a hostel right? This is a budget trip and I’ve never been too proud about where I stay just as long as its fit for human habitation. Reading some of the reviews can be kinda funny and a little bit worrying. You’ve got people rating places at 90%+ saying how clean, friendly, and great the place was, the next one down says the complete opposite. I suppose you can’t please everyone and I definitely haven’t seen a hostel with 100% happy reviewers so I’ll just find out for myself I suppose. That is unless some of the reviews say that the place is full of crack heads and its in the middle of bum town but hey.

For the most part I can find some good and cheap hostels around the place. Italy gets a little more expensive, and Paris too, but still in the affordable range. Zurich on the other hand charges a minimum of $50 a night for a hostel bed and I can’t seem to find any hostels in southern France between Avignon and Carcassonne at all. Are these not backpacker friendly destinations?

I wonder how many nights I could actually go without sleep? Is it that important or am I just a cheap bastard?