Debb70 - you asked about the hostels. In Ghent, we stayed in a room in a private woman's apartment. We had an upstairs room and private bathroom, and shared the kitchen and backyard with them. She was very nice and helpful with questions. Her boyfriend (while HOT!!!) didn't speak much English. In Amsterdam, our hostel was on a boat. We had bunks, a tiny WC with hilariously small shower and not much else, but there was an outdoor deck and an indoor social room upstairs. Both were in fairly central areas so that was nice. We were able to walk everywhere.