Hostel Life Unveiled
What comes to mind when you imagine staying in a hostel? There are a lot of misconceptions out there and I'm determined to help clarify!
What are Hostels?
Hostels provide inexpensive lodging options for travelers. Most have dorm style bunk beds in a large room you share with other travelers. I’ve stayed in rooms with 24 beds, 4 beds, 12 beds… it just depends on the hostel. There’s usually an option to get a private suite for an extra cost if you’re not comfortable staying in a room with other people. Many hostels will also have all female/male rooms or mixed rooms (mixed rooms are typically a couple dollars cheaper). Women and men have separate communal bathrooms with the essential things you need.
Why Choose a Hostel over Hotel/Airbnb?
If you’re trying to plan an economical trip and you want to meet people along the way – a hostel is for you. Airbnb can be cost effective, but you won’t have the luxury of waking up to 20+ likeminded travelers. Hotels can be pricey, and you don’t really get cultural experiences.
I’ve stayed in hostels in Japan, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. Depending on the location the prices ranged from $6/night to $50/night. It all depends where you are and how fancy of a hostel you want.
One of the major reasons I LOVE hostels is because of the activities they have for guests. One of our hostels in Thailand offered free Thai lessons. The staff from a hostel in Japan rounded everyone up to explore nightlife together. Our hostel in Peru had ping pong tournaments and karaoke nights. Activities are a great way to bring all the travelers together and meet amazing people.
If you’re concerned about your safety while staying in a hostel – don’t be! I’ve found them to be very safe and haven’t had any issues. Most of them will have lockers near the beds where you can hold your valuables if you’re worried about theft. The lockers will be big enough to fit a backpack but not your whole suitcase so it’s really just for electronics or expensive items.
All hostels are different, but some will have a person at the front desk 24 hours. If not, then there’s usually some kind of electronic lock system that makes it safe for guests to enter and exit the building.
Where/How do I pick the right Hostel?
www.hostelworld.com is where I search for hostels. They have 36,000 properties and are in 170 countries. You can trust their site.
Criteria to look for when picking your hostel:
· Location – it’s important your hostel is centrally located to all the activities you plan on doing so you’re not wasting time/money navigating around
· Price – compare a couple of hostels to see which is a better deal. Higher priced hostels will have comfier beds and advanced technology giving their place a more modern feel
· Reviews – I only pick hostels with an 8.5 rating or higher! I always look for reviews that mention cleanliness, safety, and hostel life activities
· Free Breakfast – it’s a plus when hostels provide free breakfast, or even breakfast for a couple dollars so that you can start your day right away
· Description – I thoroughly read the descriptions to get a feel if the hostels are more social or if they’re quieter and chill
For those who have always doubted hostels - give it a try! I hope this helped clarify any false stereotypes. If you have more questions, comment or contact me.