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What is a Hostel?

By September 29, 2022 October 7th, 2022 No Comments

For people who are looking for private rooms with a private bathroom, a hostel may not be the solution for them. Other travelers who are more interested in exploring the area than the amenities when it’s time to sleep may really enjoy living the hostel life.

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What is the purpose of hostels?

One of the main purposes of hostels, in general, is to provide a safe, lower-cost option to travelers. There are other benefits including getting to meet fellow travelers and participating in other cultures as part of your overall travel experience.

How can you get the best deals booking a hostel?

Nearly all hostels are cheaper than other local options, but there are always exceptions. You can always find a way to save even more money when booking your stay whether or not you choose to use one of the hostel booking sites or not.

You can book hostels in advance which is typically one of the easiest ways to save. Here are some additional ways to save money when you are planning your trip.

  • Before you book look for the average price for the area on sites like HostelWorld or Booking.com.
  • Try to find a hostel that advertises as “owner-run/managed” The room rates here are likely to be far more flexible because you are dealing with the owner directly. The more that you can do (booking/confirming) by yourself, the lower the cost will be.
  • Travel during the off-season if possible. For example, if you know there is a special event in October visit that area in September or November. You will find the hostels less crowded when the peak travel season is done.
  • If you can, do not stay in a hostel immediately in the area you are visiting. Hostels that are more distant may have far lower rates plus you will find them quieter with a more authentic atmosphere. If you find one in a central location, you could take day trips to several cities or tourist sites and then return in the evening to sleep.

Is staying in hostels safe?

Yes, the hostel experience is usually a safe and positive one for most people. There are plenty of travel tips to make sure that your vacation is not ruined by theft or worse. For solo travelers and women, the hostel may provide a chance to see more of the world, meet fellow travelers, and still be safe.

One option is the newer, boutique hostels. These tend to be closer to a hotel in terms of privacy and amenities but should still be a little more budget-friendly. Women may also want to book their stay in a hostel that provides female-only dorms if that option would make them feel safer.

While most hostels offer bunk beds in a dorm room setting, private hostel rooms may be available. Here are some of the common sense travel tips that may help make your stay safer.

  • Read the hostel reviews. A hostel’s online reviews can give you an idea of what to expect and how best to prepare for your stay there or can tell you that you should really find a better place to stay.
  • Use any available lockers or other security measures. Bring your own lock. When hostels provide lockers they may not provide the locks for them.
  • Do not leave your items unattended.
  • Try to be courteous and friendly with the other guests and they will be more likely to watch your back.
  • Look for hostels that have onsite hostel staff, 24 hours a day. There should also be some type of security systems like cameras and alarms even in the most inexpensive accommodation types.

Is a hostel better than a hotel?

Everyone’s needs and tastes are different so it depends. Young people who throw some stuff in a backpack and head out hoping to see as much of the world as they can be more interested in hearing from fellow travelers than in having a private room in some chain hotel.

On the other hand, if you need your own space, room service, and a private bathroom, you may find hostels to be less than relaxing.

How long can you stay in hostels?

The length of your stay may depend on the policy of the hostel itself. Some hostels restrict stays while others may allow for stays of up to six months at a time. Because some hostels have laundry facilities, younger travelers may stay there as the base camp for a backpacking trip.

Is it cheaper to stay in a hostel?

Generally speaking, it is cheaper to stay in the average hostel than to pay for a hotel room. The difference is in the special things that you get from the latter like extra privacy. But, you still get some amenities from most hostels including free coffee and/or free breakfast.

Do you tip at hostels?

It depends on the hostel and the location. Remember, in many parts of the world, tipping is not a part of the culture at all and can be considered rude. Check with local guides or reach out to hostel owners about tipping in the area.

What do you wear to sleep in a hostel?

Your hostel sleepwear should be comfortable, casual, and respectful of the others that will be sharing your sleeping space. Now is not the time to break out the satin jammies or the see-thru negligees. A good choice is an oversized tee shirt and shorts or sweatpants. If you tend to be cold at night, you can wear a hoodie as well.

Because most people who stay in hostels tend to pack on the lighter side, you may not have a robe so wear something that will still be acceptable for trips to the bathroom in front of as many as 15 strangers.

How do you shower in a hostel?

Remember that many hostels use a shared bathroom set up so you will have to make some concessions when it comes to showering. First, bring everything you will need with you. You can’t just dash back to get something once you get started. Here are some additional things to remember for showering.

  • There are peak times when the showers will be most busy, during the morning and during the evening. Try to shower outside of these times if possible.
  • Keep your shower as brief as possible. Get in, get done, and then get out.
  • Do not use all of the hot water.
  • Even if you have the voice of Pavorotti, try to keep your singing to your own bathroom at home.

Can couples sleep together in hostels?

It can depend. Not all hostels allow couples to stay together even if they are married. If you can book a private hostel room, you will be able to stay together more comfortably. In many hostels, you can stay in the same dorm room but not in the same bed.

Be mindful of the other hostel guests especially if you are in a dorm situation.

Final thoughts

The hostel life is not for everyone. But, there are changes that are being made including the addition of the “party hostels” that are meant to bring in more young people with the addition of bars, clubs, or more attractions.

Staying in a hostel dorm is less expensive than your typical hotel and lets you experience a new way of traveling.

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