5 Reasons You Should Stay in a Hostel When Traveling Abroad
Years ago one scary movie came out about a group of teenager's terrible experience in a hostel and now some travelers avoid hostels like the plague. I admit, the first time I was told I would be staying in a hostel I wasn't all that thrilled either. Honestly, I had no reason not feel that way because I had NEVER stayed in one or heard much about hostels to even form a fair opinion. Don't be like me, be better. Stay in a hostel. Here's why:
1. Everyone is Waldo
One of the many great things about staying in hostels is that everyone is a tourist, and they're not locked away behind their room doors, you're surrounded by them. They're out in the lobby talking to one another, or in the tv room sharing stories about all of the crazy places they've been, or on the patio winding down with new friends after an exciting day in a new city. Staying in hostels is a great way to meet people that are in a location doing the exact same thing as you; exploring. I've met many of my greatest friends from simple conversations which began inside of a hostel. Whether it's joining a bar crawl with a group of 20 strangers and dancing the night away, or participating in a walking tour and exploring the city with people you meet while walking around the halls, it's a viable option for those looking to make the most out of their vacation.
2. Hostels are made for budget travelers
One of the most frequent excuses I hear from people not wanting to travel is the cost. When I ask them where they are staying they immediately run off a list of hotel chains that they think don't have bedbugs and come with a continental breakfast. Staying in a hostel in certain places can cut accommodation prices nearly in half. While the names may not sound as luxurious and familiar as major hotel chains do, you certainly don't lose much when choosing the cheaper alternative of staying in a hostel. Hell, with some hostels you actually benefit more. If being $200-$300 dollars over budget is what's holding you back, then you should definitely swap your hotels out for a hostel.
3. It may look and feel like college, but it's not
Yeah, most hostels provide dorm style living and while some of us are cool with it others aren't. If you're not a fan of co-ed living, there are all male and female options available. If you don't want to sleep in dorm style quarters but still want to reap the benefits of hostel life, you can spend a little more and get a private suite for yourself or you and your buddy. Every hostel is unique in its own way and they try to create a feeling of community. The important thing to remember is that these aren't teenage college students residing in these halls. It's most likely filled with young adults traveling solo or in groups looking to meet and interact with people just like you are. It's seriously refreshing, especially if you made it through the freshmen dorm experience yourself while in college.
4. Knowledge is power
Hostels workers come in all shapes and sizes. Whether they've been on the job for one week or one year you can pretty much guarantee they've been asked the quirkiest of questions. Not only do they have to know their stuff in regards to the area and city that the hostel is situated in, they have to be prepared for the off the wall questions that come from more unique travelers. How this benefits you is that a wealth of knowledge awaits you just downstairs behind a desk. There's never a reason to not know what to do or know what there is to do.
There's just a different feel from a hostel compared to a hotel. Hotels are good for basic information but people don't generally gather in hotel lobbies after an adventure or a night out to discuss the goings on and reflect upon the experience itself. This gives hostel helpers a little more insight into exactly what may work for you and what the best options are in town for food, entertainment, and sight seeing. Knowledge is power.
5. United we stand, divided we fall
If nothing else, hostels bring us together. Whether it's through an organized tour that departs from the hostel that you participate in with your hostel mates, or a cost effective bar crawl that takes you all around town with the party people across the hall. Hostels have a way of uniting even the strongest of introverts. If interacting with different people from all over the world and saving money is an aspect of travel that you cherish, then staying in a hostel may be the choice for you.