I hear many people claim that hostels are for cheap travelers. Hostels are for those who don’t care about decency, for those who have no money, for the hippies, for the slackers and so on. You probably heard the snobs bash hostels and you probably got as angry as I did. Yes, hostels are cheap and they do have their fair share of disadvantages… but bashing them like that is just silly.
So I have decided to write an article today, sharing with the world why hostels are better than any other type of accommodation: even if you afford staying in a five star hotel. Sounds like pushing it too much? Well… read on to find out my thoughts on this matter and why hostels are better than anything else!
I personally stay in hostels all the time. I can afford not to, but feel they are better for solo travel than a hotel is. Here’s why:
Quick, easy way to meet new people
When I was staying in a hotel in Vientine, Laos I walked into my room one night to put something away in my bag and got talking to the people in my room. It wasn’t long before we all decided to go out for dinner and drinks. There was about a dozen of us and we met other people while we were out and had a few drinks with them. Before I knew it, I’d been out a few hours, was full of $1 beers and felt really happy with all the interesting people I’d met. Not only do hostels push everyone together into one room, but hostel dwellers tend to want to have these experiences so they happen more often.
Hostels are international
I love that I can have dinner with people from every continent easily when I stay at hostels. The things I’ve learned and the conversations I’ve had about people, culture and food with people I’ve met in hostels that have spurred me on to travel more and made the world seem that bit smaller and more friendly have been amazing!
Hostels are run for your benefit
Staying in a hotel is nice: you got a big bed, soft towels and room service. In a hotel you’ve very comfortable but, at the end of the day you’re only really renting a room and hotel owners and workers see it that way. It’s very uncommon to stay in a hotel and meet all the other guests, have the owners take you out for a bar crawl and meet tones of locals too. In the best hostels, these things are just a normal nightly occurrence. For people who’re time-poor, this is the best way to get the most out of a place before moving on.
Hostels are full of good stories
I was backpacking my way through Europe when I met two girls who had just been in the city I was going to. They recommended an amazing hostel that had great nightlife and a wonderful roof-top balcony. They also told me about this guy who’d been staying there when they were there – they were just there. I laughed at the tales about how this guy kept getting caught hooking up with girls at really bad times, like when one of the girls was having a fight with her boyfriend who came home to find her with this guy. Although the stories weren’t positive, when I met him at the hostel I couldn’t stop laughing as I re-told him his own stories. He had a good sense of humor and could laugh at himself.
In the end, I truly believe that traveling is or should be all about the experiences – about seeing new places, getting to enjoy the local culture and meeting new people. Luxury is not a necessity when it comes to constantly traveling, nor is it a must if you reach a certain age or social status. Do what makes you happy, but try to learn to allow experiences and not money to make you happy!
Do you love hostels? Hate hostels? Comment bellow and share your thoughts about my favorite means for accommodation!