Hostelworld is the latest travel dot-com to be tipped for a stock market listing with a valuation of up to £250 million.
The Irish company is reported to be exploring a possible flotation with a duel listing in London and Dublin.
However, a sale to a larger online travel group has not been ruled out, according to The Times.
The company is majority owned by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, while its chairman is Richard Segal, the former chief executive of PartyGaming and Odeon Cinemas.
Segal is also chairman of On the Beach, the online travel agent that floated last month with a £240 million market value.
Hostelworld, founded in 1999 by IT entrepreneur Ray Nolan, lists about 33,000 properties in more than 180 countries.
It acquired rival HostelBookers for €100 million two years ago in a move that valued the group at about €390 million. The company also owns the Hostels.com website.
Bookings grew by 20% last year, with revenues of €80 million and underlying earnings of €27 million.
The company, under chief executive Feargal Mooney, recently took a lease on larger headquarters in Dublin’s Number One Central Park development.
Nolan sold to Hellman & Friedman in 2009 for an estimated €200 million.
Hellman & Friedman is now believed to be selling the majority of its stake, the newspaper reported.