lodging, travel tips

Where should I stay when I travel?: Hostels



I feel like hostels are the classic travel option for backpackers around the world, particularly Europe. People that want to see the world but don’t necessary have a lot of money love this option. It is also the favorite option of people looking for new friends, solo travel, and trying to party their way around the globe.

My personal opinion is that hostels are not a great option in the US. I’ve heard of people paying $70/night to stay in a dirty hostel in San Francisco. I stayed in one hostel in Chicago that was full of families and people in their 70’s. Nothing wrong with them trying to save money, but it really messes up the hostel vibe. In any more expensive country (US, Norway, Iceland), you are often better off with another options ESPECIALLY if there are more than one of you.

However, eastern and southern Europe, Central and South American, and (from what I’ve heard) Southeast Asia, are all excellent hosteling choices. A bunk can often be obtained for as little as $10/night. Of course you can always pay a bit more and get a private room as I did with my girlfriend in Madrid. We got all the benefits of the social environment of a hostel, still paid a total of about $50/night, and got a clean, quiet, private room with a bathroom as well!

Hostels really are the prime social environment. Mix numerous young enthusiastic travelers, often solo, with an environment that forces you to be in close contact and gets you out of your comfort zone. Add in the frequent party atmosphere, planned or readily available events, and cheap alcohol, and you have a great recipe for new friends, adventure, and hopefully a few wild late night stories. All for a couple of dollars a night.

My last few hostel stays (at the age of 30) I’ve felt that I’m starting to out grow the full hostel scene. In  the future I’d see myself staying in a lot more hostels but focusing on smaller more intimate ones with private room options and perhaps a more mature crowd. I stayed in a wonderful hostel last year in Budapest, Hungary, that was full of happy young people cooking and mingling together and actually building relationships which is what travel is all about. Later that same trip I got wild at a famous party hostel in the same city. I don’t remember much of that but the intimate hostel will never be forgotten.

In the future, I hope to review some tips on hosteling and also to suggest some good ones that I’ve enjoyed.


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2 thoughts on “Where should I stay when I travel?: Hostels”

  1. Great to read your view on hostels 🙂 I agree that you can’t beat them as places to meet other travelers. I’ve also had some of the same feelings as you regards outgrowing hostels – being in the over 30 age group ;P, but personally I’ve found it might be a result of me being overly self conscious. I’ve read elsewhere younger travelers saying they enjoy seeing more mature backpackers in hostels and even find it inspiring. While staying at a hostel in Budapest last year – yes some amazing hostels there! – I met an 80 year old traveler who goes from city to city to try out all the different dance clubs! He really inspired me 🙂 Some of the younger people I’ve met in hostels have also told me they prefer there being a mix of ages as it creates more balance. I definitely agree.

    Can’t wait to read your upcoming hostel tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome! about the 80 year old. As long as they are chill and not creepy, I’m all about it! I definitely don’t feel self conscious just sometimes want a bit more quiet as I do love the parties but enjoy some other things in life more now too!

      Liked by 1 person

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