Is it fun to stay in a hostel? Here’s why you should try it

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  • Hostels are a great place to meet new people
  • Hostels offer more flexibility than hotels

Veteran travelers often say that their favorite travel experiences happened in hostels. The idea behind a travel hostel is that it provides an affordable, safe, and social environment for visitors to rest and connect with people who might have the same agenda. Guests are generally expected to be away most of the day and use the hostel as a place to stay. However, as the travel industry grows, there are options for hostels that cater to visitors working from home who are looking for a finer balance of sociability, privacy and comfort. I found why stay in a hostel could be the best decision a potential traveler can make.


Hostels are affordable

Youth hostels are, on average, a bit cheaper than hotels. This is because they naturally have dynamic pricing. Most hostels will have options for shared dorms with four, eight, or even twelve bunk beds. Each berth usually has its own curtain, reading light and charging port, making the experience surprisingly intimate and comfortable. Since the facilities are shared, the costs are also shared without cutting into the profits of the owners. Since owners are well paid, often earning higher markups than a hotel, basic amenities are taken care of without hesitation. This means shared bathrooms and kitchens are cleaned thoroughly and regularly, and Wi-Fi is guaranteed to be fast.

An example of a well-rated and well-run hostel is Mustache Escapes, which is a chain of hostels in India that caters to international and domestic travelers. In the “Yoga Capital of the World” of Rishikesh, Mustache Luxuria Hostel offers a range of accommodation options including mixed dorms, female only dorms, twin rooms and private rooms. The hostel has a lounge where all guests can relax on plush sofas and watch TV, play chess, work on their laptops, read a book or even play pool.

  • Hotel: Luxuria Mustache
  • Location: Rishikesh, India
  • Price for mixed dormitory with A/C: $6.7 per night
  • Price for mixed dormitory without A/C: $4 per night
  • Price for female only dormitory: $6.7 per night
  • Price for a private double room: $45 per night
  • Approvals: Central location near yoga and music studios, mountain views, luxury lounge with pool table

Related: 10 best hostels around the world

Hostels are a great place to meet new people

One problem with solo travel is that it can feel lonely. It’s also a daunting task for first-time travelers to make friends with locals who may or may not regard tourists with slight disdain. Fortunately, hostels provide a soft landing for beginners. The staff is usually made up of locals who will be the main point of contact in the city. They will advise visitors on the best ways to get around, prices for taxis and recreation, and whether it is safe to travel to certain places.

Most of the hostel staff are also well-connected in the city and will point guests in the right direction when it comes to finding great places to eat and choosing a tour or rental agency. Hostels often have partnerships with third parties and can offer competitive deals to guests who want to join guided tours or rent mountain bikes and scooters etc.

Besides the staff, hostels are also great places to meet other travelers from all over the world. Most people who stay in hostels are willing to band together and take on the task of exploring as a team. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and extend a friendly hand to shake. It’s unclear who ends up becoming a lifelong friend.

ClinkNOORD hostel in Amsterdam offers a classic European backpacker hostel experience. Overall, European hostels tend to be more expensive than hostels elsewhere, but they are still cheaper than most hotels.

  • Hotel: ClinkNOORD
  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Price in a mixed dormitory: $39 per night
  • Approvals: Communal kitchen, central location, international clientele, personal changing rooms, bike rental

Related: Spend a night behind bars at this luxury hostel-turned-prison

Hostels offer more flexibility than hotels

While hotels are generally aimed at families, couples, and business people, hostels are almost exclusively aimed at no-frills adventurous travelers. This means that unlike many hotels in small towns, which may have restrictions on opening hours or access to facilities, hostels are relatively lively throughout the night. In fact, the slowest time in a real backpacker hostel is probably in the afternoon, when all the guests are out.

It’s normal for customers to go out very late and return at 4am for a game of pool (with a slight case of double vision, perhaps).

In short, hostels are a good option for travelers who expect to indulge in heavy recreational activities. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules. Quiet hours apply, and for general decency, guests returning to a shared dorm overnight should be aware of other guests who may be sleeping. Don’t turn on the lights and try to be quiet. Use a mute flashlight to find a bunk in the dark, and use headphones to listen to music.

An example of a recreational travel hostel is the Books Hostel in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Some of the most authentic party-oriented hostels can be found in Brazil, especially during peak season and during major festivals and parades.

  • Hotel: Book Inn
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Price in mixed dormitory: $12 per night
  • Approvals: TV with PlayStation, party friendly lounge, clean shared bathrooms

Next: 10 NYC Hostels That Don’t Look Like Budget Lodging

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