Hostels Experience and Preparation
Hello everyone, my name is Jaime Sanchez and I have been here in Spain for about 4 days now. Since hostels are such a commodity in Europe, I would like to share my hostel experience with you. I arrived in Madrid one day early and booked a hostel about 4 miles from the Madrid airport. After I retrieved my bags, I requested transportation via uber. (side note: the Madrid Airport has different levels and it was kind of confusing to make sure I was at the right level to find my uber driver). Once I found my uber driver he was extremely helpful and very accommodating. He was explaining the area and talked a little bit about Avila, since I mentioned I would be living there. In my experience most Spanish people have always been kind and very sociable even if you are not fluent in spanish. As we pulled up to the Hostel he helped me take my bags down and drove away.
I walked inside the hostel only to find that there was no reception desk and as night began to fall I started to feel on edge. I called the hostel and unfortunately my spanish skills were not as efficient as I initially thought in order to understand what the manager was saying (they speak very rapidly). About 5 minutes later an employee from the Hostel found me and graciously walked me around the corner to the main entrance and reception desk. This was my first eye opener since I realized there was plenty of work to be done to close this language barrier gap.
My advice to you would be not to panic in this situation, go with the flow, and preemptively download a map of the city that does not require data/internet. Have the phone numbers printed out on hand and make your phone calls if they are extremely necessary. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet for the cell phone charges or establish an international plan right before you leave. Either way the Spanish people are more than willing to help you if you ask. Have your hostel papers ready and/or print out some maps especially of where you are staying that first night so you can at least point to the map and tell them where you are trying to go. After I found my hostel I sat down and enjoyed a terrific three course meal in the dining area and easily fell sound asleep. Keep an open mind and realize that sometimes plans may take more time, but eventually it should all work out in the end.