You’ve already shelled out over a thousand dollars to get to your dream location and still there’s more to pay! What started out as an exciting soul searching adventure is now turning your wallet into a barren landscape. Paying for lodging, food, activities, and souvenirs can quickly rake up your precious dollar bills. And, if you’re not careful can overextend your travel budget. However, traveling doesn’t have to be overly expensive for you to have a good time. There are many ways in which to hop, leap, skip and tiptoe around travel expenses and today I am going to talk about one- Hostels!
What Is A Hostel?
Hostels, also known as youth hostels, are the holy grail for the budget traveler. Like the love child of a hotel and bed and breakfast, hostels are a budget-friendly type of accommodation which focuses on maintaining a shared social experience. While the majority of hostels will offer a couple of private room, their primary accommodation is shared rooms with enough bunk beds to house a small army of travelers. Rather than paying for a room like you do with hotels, in hostels you only pay for the bed and sometimes food. As a result, privacy is limited, but at an average cost of 10-30 dollars a night and the added mix of a thriving social scene, it’s pretty worth it.
No two hostels are alike, but for the most part, they usually offer several options for the type of dorm room you stay in. Typically, there will be all male and all female rooms but mostly they are also unisex. These rooms are great for when you’re traveling with a group of friends or with your significant other (should they be of the opposite sex). Rooms will also often vary in the number of people they can hold (around 4-18 people).
As travel blogger @glographics states “With a hostel, you get half the price for twice the fun.”
How Much Does It Cost?
On average a bed in a hostel will cost you anywhere from $10+/night to $30+/night. Prices are dependent upon the location of the hostel-popular cities will definitely cost more-room size, amenities and overall prices from surrounding competitors. A private room in a hostel can cost anywhere from $40+/night to $130+/night, making it equivalent to a hotel. Even though a private room costs much more than a shared room, you can still save money since hostels typically host a communal kitchen, free wifi and free guided tours of the area.
As a general rule of thumb, hostels are one of the cheapest types of accommodations out there because you are sharing space with other travelers.
Who Will You Meet?
The range of people who stay in hostels is as diverse as Crayola’s crayon colors. Most travelers are between the ages of 18-30, but it is not unlikely that you will meet people outside of this age group. From my experience, there is often a lot of Americans, French and Australians staying at the hostels. However, it’s not unlikely that you will meet people from across the globe. Most people tend to stay in hostels for a couple days, however, there are usually a few people who will stay for a month or two. You never know who you are going to encounter when staying in a hostel and personally, this unknown adds an extra element of excitement when traveling.
Finding An Awesome Hostel?
it is incredibly easy to find and book a hostel. Like, many of the mass booking sites for hotels you see, like hotel.com, hostels have them too. Sites like HostelWorld.com allow you to not only look up hostels in and around your travel destination but also allows you to read past reviews of travelers who have stayed there before. Additionally, you can also filter your search results based on price, room, rating, and amenities, further tailoring your results to what you want.
Personally, I am a big fan of HostelWorld because it is one of the larger sites and thus has a pretty massive review/community base. Similar to Airbnb, all you do is input your travel dates and location and it will pull up potential hostels for you to view. Accompanied by each hostel are several photos and videos that can give you a better idea of the hostel you are interested in. Once you find the hostel you want to stay in, you book your reservation by putting down 10% of the total payment on your credit card and then paying the rest upon arrival.