A Hostile look into the world of Hostels
If you grew up in the USA during the early 2000s, then you can understand why the word “Hostel” brings up terrifying memories of a B horror film. That may be the main reason why the thought of staying in a hostel is odd in the states but economic and socially accepted in the rest World. So upon broadening my horizons during the start of my travel blog, I can honestly say hostels are both the best and worst places for a traveler. So if I’ve offered absolutely no words of encouragement up to this point, check out my Pros and Cons list of what hostels have to offer for my fellow budget travelers.
- Cheap Prices: Often the best reason to use a hostel, The affordable price really takes the bite out of paying for a trip. With most hostels under $100 and some even under $50, the cheap rates cannot easily be beaten anywhere else.
- Great place to meet people: Hostels offer a great opportunity to meet people especially if you are traveling alone or with a small group. The “world-wanderer” atmosphere brings together a lot of like minded people with similar interests, and usually everyone at the hostel is super friendly.
- Discounts on attractions: Since hostels are usually for foreign travelers, the concierge offers tons of discounted tickets to attractions all around the city. And the staff is always very helpful in pointing out useful information for tourists and seem much more willing to help than the ordinary hotel management.
- Awesome Lounge Areas: Hostels promote a friendly community for meeting new people, which is evident in their multiple lounge areas with recreational activities for all to use. One thing is for certain it is extremely difficult to be bored at a hostel.
- Great Location: Most hostels are placed right in the heart of that particular city. This is great for easy transportation to all the big sightseeing attractions and super convenient for nightlife excursions.
- Planned Events to attend: A new city can bring an overwhelming amount of options to choose between. Many hostels offer events that bring together residents for activities you may not have even considered. For people that hate planning or like having lots of activities, this a great addition to a cheap stay.
- Questionable room quality: Although I’ve had more good than bad experiences, there is a potential risk for questionable and cringy housing conditions. Broken amenities, bug infestations, outdated utilities, pretty much the worst you can imagine. Budget travel is not for the faint of heart.
- Limited privacy: This one is a big one since you never know what kind of person you’re liable to get. And since I have a terrible roommate history ever since college (maybe its me, I can’t say for sure) there’s a good chance there may be some creative differences between your co-habitants. Most rooms range from 4-8 beds so you’ll be sleeping in a room with random strangers. I haven’t gotten murdered yet so I guess that’s a win.
- Low quality beds: Sometimes you get what you pay for with no exception to the bed situation. Usually just a twin bunkbed which is thin with an even thinner blanket and one pillow. I’m paying to see the city, not for a good nights sleep. One pillow nights ain’t easy.
- Loud Atmosphere: With a shared room comes the possibility of different sleep schedules as well as lots of people using the lounges and other areas at disruptive times of the night. If you are the quiet, early night, introverted type of traveler this may not be for you.
So the verdict? That’s for you to decide. If you’ve never stayed at one and haven’t considered it, I would encourage trying it out for yourself. My experiences have been much more decent than terrible, and have in fact made a handful of very great friendships from various hostels. For people with the self-proclaimed title of traveler, Hostels are definitely the way to go. If anything else, they always reward me with lifelong memories for better or for worse. So if you were like the younger me, there’s no need to be fearful of being kidnapped or tortured (probably). Check out Hostel World for some ideas of where to stay. As always thanks for the read and keep leveling up.