Hostels get a pretty bad rep, especially from people who have never actually experienced staying in one. And it doesn’t help that movies tend to depict hostels as dirty, cheap, and dangerous, either. Though I can admit that you probably won’t get starched, sparkly white bed sheets, hostels are an experience in themselves that all travelers should discover. Here’s why…
Hostels are filled with like-minded individuals looking for adventure in an unknown city. Sharing living space with these peeps puts you in touch with a diverse community happy to exchange travel tips, itineraries, and insider info. It’s easy to meet new people from all over the world who can instantly become new friends, or even travel buddies. Shared dinners are common, and nights out are simple to arrange with others. However, if you aren’t feeling social, no one will understand that more than your bunk buddies. Sharing space isn’t easy and this group knows it. The party stays in the lobby most times so you can enjoy your bunk space with as much privacy as possible.
When you share a dorm room with 10 other travelers, you’re definitely paying for the cheapest option. You’re guaranteed a bed and pretty much nothing else. Most hostels have lockers available, so bring a lock to keep your stuff stored while you’re out.
Private rooms are also available for a bit more if you still want to experience the hostel lobby vibe, without actually sacrificing your own room. In most cases, this is still a cheaper option than a hotel room.
If you’re looking to party, definitely stay at a hostel. It’s like a huge pre-game that may or may not turn into the main event. Hostels are catered to a younger crowd on a budget, so chipping in for bottles of alcohol before a night out is not uncommon. This is usually accompanied by drinking games from all over the world making for a fun, learning experience 🙂
You need to eat to live, and not having a kitchen at a hotel ensures that you’ll be spending money dining out. We all want to try the local cuisine, but when you’re staying in a hot destination spot, those coins add up. Hotels tend to be equipped with kitchens so you can make your own food, helping to keep your budget and diet in control. Again, shared dinners.
Tour Packages & Discounts
Hostels are usually flowing with discount coupons for every tourist attraction you can think of. While most hotels offer information, they usually have a live representative signing you up for a full-price excursion. Knowing that people staying at hostels tend to be more conservative with their money, they’re offered some of the lowest rates around. Still, it helps to do your own research, but again, chat up a fellow bunker and see what the deal is.
You won’t find the staff at a hostel dressed in fancy uniforms which closely mimic those of the airplane stewards. The staff at hostels are mostly down-to-earth locals interested in casual chats with the guests, and divulging info on their culture and their country. They’re happy to give you the scoop on the best local eats and things to do in the area so you get an authentic experience without breaking bank. Sometimes they’ll even hang with you after their shift for a personalized tour.
Location & Convenience
Hostels can be found right in the heart of the hottest destinations; near restaurants, bars, museums, galleries, theaters, shopping, and more. If you’re traveling in a group, it’s a great option to book a room together cheaply, while solo travelers can easily meet others. Although hostels are perfect for smaller budgets, there are actually luxury hostels which provide security, comfort, and style hotel goers are looking for. Still, the vibe remains more friendly and easy going making a hostel the perfect choice for anyone.