Hostels seem to generate a fair amount of unneeded hate in the United States for no reason. Granted, there are a few horror films dedicated to them, but since when does Hollywood actually show how the real world works? Not only do I love the convenience of hostels and how cheap they are, but I love the friendships that you can develop in them.
Hotels are great for luxury and romantic nights where privacy is needed, but if you’re just looking how to explore the world at the cheapest cost for your budget, hostels are the way to go and here’s why:
1. They Are Cheap:
You can rent a bed in a hostel in the heart of Paris for $25 a night, whereas a hotel room next door can easily cost upwards of $150. That gives you either six more nights in Paris or a fatter wallet for when you come home, whichever you choose. Also, if you want to get a private room, you can rent one out for only a few dollars more per night. In many places, hostels are even cheaper than $25 a night and have just as good of ratings as a more expensive one in a bigger city.
2. You Can Make Friends:
Hostels are filled with travelers who love meeting new people and many have common rooms that you can gather in to meet with other travelers to share stories, play cards, or make plans to go do things. Hostels like to put together activities to help their guests get to know one another.
3. They Can Come Loaded:
While this isn’t guaranteed for every hostel, many of them include things that the average hotel does if not more, making them an even better deal. It’s pretty common to see hostels with WiFi and a locker for your things. Plus the staff will know all the best places to eat around town and they team up with businesses to offer discounts for food and activities. Some even come with kitchens, bars, and free breakfast.
4. Each One Is Unique:
The chances are good that you will rarely run into a hostel that’s the same as one you have previously stayed in. Many of them have their own themes and a cool uniqueness that goes with each one. There is one in Belgrade, Serbia that has a ‘Pop Art’ theme accompanied with paintings of Jimi Hendrix that I have been dying to stay at. Sadly, some of the more famous hostels like that one, are booked solid for a few months at a time.
5. You Can Find One That Suits You Online:
I like to use sites like hostelworld.com to find good hostels. The benefit of using sites like hostel world is that they show the price index, room availability, many different types of ratings like security and cleanliness from people who have stayed at the hostels, and the site also allows you to book online among other things.
Just like hotels, you will stumble upon some bad hostels every now and then that looked good originally. That’s life and sadly all we can do is move on and find another place to stay the next night. Chances are, if you think a hostel is terrible, so will other people. This recently happened to a friend of mine who had to move to a hostel across the street from the one he was staying at in London. To his delight, after talking to some people about his bad experience at the new hostel, they told him it was going to be torn down soon.
This article was originally published on “ThoughtCatalog.”