Today I’m going to share with you my travel experience from one of my last vacation trips.
Last year, I spent 2 weeks in one of my favorite countries, it’s right next door, but since I lived there for almost a full year, it still has a special place in my heart.
You might’ve already guessed it: Spain!
So the plan was to spend one week in Madrid. As in all trips, the excitement begins early – with the planning, and you can be sure I did have a great time choosing the hostel I was going to stay, and the places I was going to (re)visit.
All the memories were coming up!
Anyway, the flight day had arrived and since I took the 8 AM flight, I would be able to enjoy the entire day in Madrid.
It was 11 AM, I had just arrived and I was heading to the hostel hoping to leave my luggage there. I am a light traveler, but even so, walking around the city with a backpack and a trolley, it’s not the ideal.
To my surprise, when I got there the receptionist told me that she couldn’t keep my stuff there before check-in hours… “Policy” she said, no exceptions could be made.
This was starting with the wrong foot, but I decided that this episode wouldn’t ruin my stay after all this was my fault, I was the one who arrived earlier for the check-in!
So there I was in the middle of Plaza Puerta del Sol walking around loaded with my luggage… for 3 hours. This was almost a forced fitness class! ????
I took the chance to walk the streets – see all the busy people living their lives, and felt this Spanish vibration that I enjoy so much!
Suddenly I realized that I was at the door of the first fast-food restaurant I have ever been to! So I walked in, ordered the same burger, the same drink, and the same dessert I had 40 years before… it was just like a time machine.
At last I was able to do my check-in. The place was very well decorated, great design, and also cozy and comfortable.
My only complaint was that I had very little space to drop and store my stuff: a small shelf placed right next to my bed. The receptionist tried to comfort me saying that was secure, and not to worry about it, that made me feel uncomfortable.
I took a shower and got prepared to adventure myself into this great city.
During the next days, I lost myself in the streets, trying to avoid the touristic places, but it was inevitable to visit Prado Museum, the Plaza Mayor, the Zoo, and some typical barras with delicious food named tapas. I really had a great time with no plans at all, days went by.
The day of return had arrived, and I really wished to stay a few more days. I woke up very early, after all, it was my last opportunity to seize the day, I had a flight back home at 8.30 pm.
I packed my stuff and checked-out the hostel. Once again, I asked the receptionist to store my bags just for a few hours, after all I stayed there for an entire week!
But no, as a return to my best smile, I received the exact same answer. I had to carry the backpack and my trolley with me, like a turtle! ????
While walking those streets one last time, I decided to have lunch in the best non-tourist tapas restaurant in the area, so I went to a nearby hostel to ask for suggestions.
The receptionist suggested a restaurant she usually goes to with her friends, it was just a few blocks away!
I thanked her and started walking away when she told me:
– “If you want, we can keep your stuff, we have lockers for that!”
Obviously, that sounded great to me, I rented a locker for the next 5 hours, and still felt like she was doing me a favor!
Right in the middle of Madrid, a Hostel with a Smart Locker for luggage. Who could have guessed?
The restaurant would easily pass under the radar… it didn’t have any sign outside just a door and a couple of tables placed on the sidewalk.
I picked a chair, studied the menu, listed on a blackboard, and ordered a beer. What happened next was definitely the best gastronomical experience I had the entire week.
Soon it was time to go, and since I had left my luggage in the hostel locker, I decided to make a quick incursion to Gran Via to buy some souvenirs, before picking up my stuff and heading to the airport.
Overall, it was a very pleasant week with lots of experiences and memories coming back with me. The biggest downside was the difficulty of finding a place to leave my luggage before the check-in and after the check-out.
Next time, I’ll definitely be looking for a hostel with lockers – I thought at the time.
Now, working at Bloq.it – I can see the clear advantages of Hostels offering a smart locker solution like ours.
Being able to use an App on my phone to track the well-being of my luggage and the map, to get back to my locker after a few hours walking around it’s a luxury I couldn’t have imagined at the time.
If you’re a hostel owner – trying to increase the user experience, increase revenue satisfaction, and earnings – like the hostel with a Smart Locker for luggage I found, we can help set up the perfect solution.
*Read this article in Portuguese