San Diego FAQ

 

Have questions? For answers to questions about check in, pricing, general room amenities, cancellation policies,and other questions, please click on our General USA Hostels FAQs. For answers specific to the San Diego location, see below.  If you can’t find the answer to your question here don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Am I allowed to have friends come and hang out at the hostel?

Only paying hostel guests are allowed on hostel property. This includes the patio area.

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Can I be in a room with my friends?

We try our best to put friends traveling together in the same room. However, sometimes due to booking patterns and availability this is not always possible. In cases where we have to split groups we try to get at least 2 people together in a room. Please contact us the hostel directly to make a special request to try to assure being in the same room.

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Can I bring children?

We do not recommend young children stay in our hostels as they tend to have a more adult atmosphere and we allow our guests to bring alcohol into the hostel. We do not have cribs, nor can parents share beds with children per city occupancy regulations. Each person needs to have their own bed. Guests under 16 cannot stay in our San Diego or San Francisco locations, unless they have a parent/chaperone, and guests under 18 are not allowed to stay in our Hollywood and Ocean Beach locations.

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Can I bring visitors into the hostel?

You are welcome to visit with friends in the lobby of our hostels (or in Hollywood, on the patio). Visitors are not allowed beyond the reception and lobby areas. This is for the security of all our guests who expect we can identify everyone in our building and provide a secure environment. Please understand there are no exceptions to this rule and we’ll be happy to point out several coffee shops, bars and restaurants you can take your visitors to.

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Can I check in early?

The check in time for dorms and privates is 3 pm at all locations, but if a bed or room is available and cleaned, we are happy to check you in earlier. Please keep in mind that check out is 1o am (San Francisco and Hollywood) and 11 am (San Diego and Ocean Beach) so we cannot guarantee you that a bed or room will be available earlier than the posted check in time. If you arrive early and your accommodation is not available, you can leave your gear in our storage for free, help yourself to our free breakfast and grab a shower if you wish!

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Can I get a top or bottom bunk ahead of time?

We don’t assign beds here at USA Hostels. All beds are on a first come basis. However, feel free to switch bunks if someone checks out. If you have a restriction that requires you to have a bottom bunk, please tell our receptionists at check in and they will try to help you out with this.

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What can I do with my gear after checkout?

You can store your luggage in our day storage for free after checking out. Just be sure to pick it up before 10 pm. There is a $5 fee per bag for overnight luggage storage in San Francisco.

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Do I need a membership to stay at your hostels?

No membership is required to stay at our hostels.

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I want to send a package to the hostel, what do I need to do to make sure I get it?

Please make sure the person addressing the package puts:Please Hold For: (Your name) Arrival Date: (Date you are arriving) Please note that we do not take responsibility for any mail or packages sent to us, even if we sign for it. All items sent are at your own risk.

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Are the private room prices by the person or the room?

Private room prices are listed by the room. So if you are one person or two people it is the same price. Our private rooms cannot sleep more than two people except in the San Diego location which has one room that can sleep three.

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What is a hostel anyway?

Traditionally, hostels offer affordable accommodations for people traveling internationally on a tight budget. Accommodation is usually in dorm rooms, which may have a bath in the room or down the hall. While hostels are a cheaper alternative to hotels that’s not the only reason travelers, especially young travelers, have been using them for years.

Hostelling is a great way to meet other travellers and learn about the places you’re visiting from people who have already been there. Beyond that, as hostels are becoming more popular, they are varying more and more. At USA Hostels we have both dorm and private rooms, include bed linens and daily breakfast in the cost of your stay, and do not have curfews. For more specifics about hostelling with us, keep reading!

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What time is check out?

Check out in San Francisco and Hollywood are at 10 am. San Diego and Ocean Beach have an 11 am check out.

Late check outs may be charged for an extra night.

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Do you have check-in requirements?

We run our hostels in order to serve international and domestic budget-conscious travelers.We welcome guests from everywhere outside of the county in which the hostel is located. At check in, international guests must present a valid passport. US residents must present valid government issued identification (ie: drivers license, state id card, passport). Guests may also be asked to present proof of onward travel. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. Guests under 16 permitted only in private rooms unless an entire dorm is rented. Parents with young children must contact the hostel prior to booking.Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate locals or relocaters, because we know they have many other accommodation options. That said, if we were about following all of the rules all of the time, we wouldn’t be working at a hostel. If you feel like you actually fit into our target group even though you are from the local area, and are travelling with friends, (not relocating) , please contact us and we’ll see if we can make an exception.

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What time is check in?

Check in starts at 3 pm for all of our locations.  If you arrive before the scheduled check in time we can store your luggage for you free of charge until your room becomes available.

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Do your prices include taxes and breakfast?

Yes! Our prices include a breakfast of fresh fruit, oatmeal, a variety of bread choices, juice, and coffee and tea all day. Bed linens are also included and towels are available on request.
Taxes are not included. The local tax rate for each hostel is located in the Terms and Conditions section when booking a bed and also on the hostel’s first information page.

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Is there somewhere secure I can charge up my laptop/camera/cell phone?

Yes! We have installed power points inside our guest lockers at all our locations. Be sure to lock your electronics inside the locker to secure them. If you don’t have your own lock, you can buy one at reception.

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Do you have lockers in the rooms? Are they large enough for my luggage?

We have lockers in all of our dorm rooms big enough for a large backpack and measure 37.5 inches tall by 14.5 inches wide by 16.5 inches deep (95.25 x 36.8 x 41.9 cm).In addition, each has a powerpoint inside so you can charge up your cell phone or laptop securely. The lockers are free but you need to use your own lock. If you don’t have a lock you can purchase one at our reception desk.

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Should I bring a sleeping bag or other linens?

No! We provide linens, a blanket and a pillow. We also have bath towels available for a small fee. We actually do not allow sleeping bags in the rooms.

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How are economy rooms different from other rooms?

Economy rooms have all the same amenities as their regularly-priced counterparts, but since they are located in higher traffic, noisier areas of the hostel, they are discounted.These rooms are best for late night partyers and heavy sleepers.

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Do you give student discounts?

You can get $1 off per night if you have one of the following cards: ISIC, IYTC, VIP, or Nomads.

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Is there a curfew?

No! We aren’t keeping tabs on you – you can stay out experiencing the nightlife until the wee hours, but we ask that you are quiet when you return and not disturb other guests.

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Do you have wireless internet?

Yes, we do! If you’re traveling with a laptop, IPAD, smart phone or anything else that hooks up to wireless you can connect to our network for free!

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What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellations must be made before 6:00 p.m. the day prior to your day of arrival. If you do not show up for your reservation, or you cancel after this time, your credit card will be charged for each bed or private room reserved for the first night of your booking.

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How can I make sure to get a quiet room?

We cannot assign beds ahead of time, but be sure to ask the front desk staff at check in. Please keep in mind however, that we are in the entertainment area of Hollywood and on club nights there is some street noise in most places in the hostel. We are also known for late night activities.

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Can I be in a room with my friends?

We try our best to put friends travelling together in the same room. However, sometimes due to booking patterns and availability this is not always possible. In cases where we have to split groups we try to get at least 2 people together in a room. Please contact us at hollywood@usahostels.com  if you want to try to assure being in the same room.

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What amenities are in a private room?

Our private rooms have either a double bed or a bunk bed. Each room has cable television, air-conditioning, comfy duvets, full bathroom, hair dryer, magnifying mirror, mini-fridge and an iHome clock radio.Complimentary towels during your stay are also included.

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Is there parking at the hostel?

We do not have parking but there are parking lots near the hostel. Rates start at $12 for 24 hours. There is also metered parking near the hostel.  Meters are free from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. from Sunday through Wednesday and 8 pm to 11 am on Sundays. For Thursday/Friday/Saturdays metered parking is until midnight. and all day Sunday;Please note that the meters north of our building are a tow zone at 8 pm on certain nights. So, we do not recommend parking by the hostel because of the many restrictions, making it easy to get a parking ticket. You can ask on arrival how to get to the pay lots. Our favorite in only 2 blocks away on Cherokee Blvd.

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How do I get to Magic Mountain?

If you have a car while you’re in Hollywood, then buy your admissions ticket at the reception desk any day of the week and follow the directions given on the Magic Mountain website.

It is possible to take public transportation, but we don’t recommend it as it takes several hours instead of the 45 minutes or so it takes by car.

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How do I get to Disneyland?

You can purchase tickets to the park at the front desk. the best way to get there is to take public transportation. For more information speak to the front desk after you check in.

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How do I get to Beverly Hills?

Every Monday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. you can join one of our staff members on a guided tour of Beverly Hills and Bel Air. Otherwise, once you arrive, ask one of our hosts or receptionists for directions using public transportation.

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How do I get to Universal Studios?

Buy your discounted admission ticket at the reception desk, then take the Metro one stop to Universal Studios. A free shuttle to the park entrance picks up from the Universal Studios Metro station every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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How do I get to the hostels from Amtrak/Greyhound or the airport?

Click here for our directions page for complete information on getting to the hostel.

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How do I get to downtown Los Angeles?

All it takes is a quick ride on the Metro. Because of varying times, it’s best to ask at the hostel front desk for specifics.

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How do I get back to the airport?

Our receptionists can book you a SuperShuttle back to the airport. Just be sure to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance. Our receptionists can also tell you how to get to the airport on the subway.

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How do I get to Santa Monica and Venice beaches?

Take our free shuttle which leaves the hostel Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m.  If you would like to visit Santa Monica or Venice Beach on a day when our free shuttle does not run, please ask for bus or car directions at reception.

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Is the hostel located in a safe area?

In any large city you are not familiar with, it pays to use a little caution. We wouldn’t suggest that you take a long, lonely walk in the middle of the night, but as long as you use common sense you’ll be just fine. Los Angeles is just like any large city – some parts are better than others. Regardless, we take precautions for your safety. There is someone at the reception desk 24 hours a day, and each guest must present their room key to enter the hostel.

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Do you have an airport shuttle?

While we don’t have airport pickup, you can take the Xpress Shuttle for about $11. Just follow the signs for Ground Transportation. Taxis wait in the same area as the Xpress Shuttle. A taxi will cost you around $14. Or for only $2.25 (exact change required) you can take local bus #992 to within a few blocks of the hostel.  For detailed information, see our directions page.

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How do I get to the beach?

To get to the beach you just take a trolley to Old Town ($2) and transfer to the #35 to Ocean Beach or buses # 8 or 9 to Mission and Pacific Beaches. Our receptionists can give you more specific information once you’ve arrived.

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What events are there in San Diego?

That depends on what time of year you come to visit. Check out SignOnSanDiego for information on what’s going on all over the city, or www.gaslamp.org for events right around the hostel.

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Is there a grocery store nearby?

Yes, there is a large grocery store located just three blocks from the hostel.

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Are there bathrooms in the rooms?

All rooms in this hostel are shared bath with two mixed-gender common bathrooms on each floor. Each bathroom has 4 sinks, 3 toilets and 3 showers.

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What amenities are in a private room?

Our private rooms have either a double/ queen bed, bunk beds or twin beds and have cable television, comfy duvets, a mini-fridge,and an iHome clock radio. Complimentary towels during your stay are also included.

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Do you sell tickets to Sea World or the San Diego Zoo?

Yes. We do sell discounted tickets to both the San Diego Zoo and Sea World. Prices vary with the seasons but they are cheaper than the prices at the gate. Check with reception when you arrive.

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How can I get to Tijuana?

Every Saturday at 3:30 p.m. one of our staff members leads a guided tour of the most popular parts of Tijuana. Join the tour ($17, includes round-trip trolley fare) and be ready for an afternoon of eating, shopping, and plenty of drinking. Any day of the week you can catch the Blue Line Trolley ($5, round trip) right to the border and walk across. Once you get over the border, just follow the artisan stalls right to all of the bars and restaurants.
**You will need your passport and your multiple entry visa to re-enter the United States**

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What is something exciting and different I can do while in San Diego?

For an exciting way to experience San Diego, we recommend you try skydiving with Skydive San Diego! You can do a tandem skydive with an instructor, or you can take a full day course and take that big leap yourself! You can find out more at www.skydivesandiego.com or ask us to call our favorite instructor when you arrive (he’s got 14,000 dives and hasn’t lost a student yet!)

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Is there parking nearby?

Because of our downtown locations, we do not have our own parking. The least expensive location is called Park it on Market at Market St. and 6th Ave. Overnight parking is about $15.There is metered parking on the street that is free from 6 pm to 8 am but check signs for changes and restrictions.There is some street parking without meters, but those locations are about 10 blocks away from the hostel.

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What is the best way to get to the hostel?

There are a few ways to get to us. Please see our directions page for more information.

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What amenities are there in a private room?

Our private rooms have either a queen bed or a bunk bed. Some rooms come with a bathroom. Each room has cable television, comfy duvets,microwave, mini-fridge, hairdryer and an iHome clock radio.Complimentary towels for your use during your stay are also included.

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What tours and activities do you offer?

Check out our activities page to find out all about what you can do while you’re in town!

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Where can I park my car?

The cheapest parking lot nearby has in and out privileges and is $19/night. Called Best Parking, it is located at 525 Jones St. From the hostel, you turn right on Jones, go a block and a half and it is on the right  side of the street.

If this lot is full, there is also RT Park and Valet Service at 80 Hemlock Alley. It is $14 per day. From the hostel, go two blocks to Taylor St. and make a left. Then go up two blocks and make a left on Sutter St. Take a left on Polk and the next left into Hemlock Alley.

Limited parking is available on the street. Street parking is free between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. and all day on Sundays. If you choose to park on the street be sure to look for signs saying which days the street gets cleaned. If you leave your car on the street on cleaning day, it will be ticketed.

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Will there be a bathroom in my dorm/private room?

We have both rooms with bathrooms and rooms that do not have bathrooms. Our shared baths are private (no gym style) and are cleaned twice a day. There are 2 full bathrooms, 3 shower stalls, 2 toilets stalls and 3-4 sinks per floor.

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