Is a hostel a good alternative to a hotel?
If you’re on a tight budget is it worth staying in a hostel vs a hotel? Firstly what do you think about when you think of a hostel? It’s quite likely that you’ll have all kind of preconceptions about what a hostel will be like and you might think it’s not for you. Of course, you might be right. But on the other hand, you might be very pleasantly surprised at what amazing value for money a hostel can be.
Isn’t it all bunks beds and communal showers?
If you think a hostel means dorm rooms with bunk beds and communal showers then you’d be equally right and wrong. Although this may be true it’s quite likely that in a modern hostel you’ll find a much wider choice of accommodation. So, if you’re on a tight budget and you’re quite happy to sleep in a bunk bed in a dormitory with other travellers you’ll probably get a fantastic bargain.
Until I discovered that I really couldn’t afford a central Sydney hotel on one of our trips to Australia, I had no idea that hostels were a good alternative. For some reason, I had a vision of hostels as noisy, overcrowded and a bit grubby. Not for me – or so I thought. With a limited budget, I wanted good value. When I looked at hostels I found they were nothing like I imagined.
We stayed in the Central Sydney YH. Firstly it was very clean. It wasn’t particularly noisy – lively, yes but in a nice way. Just other tourists, like us, enjoying themselves. Most importantly for me, I discovered they offer private double rooms with their own ensuite. Call me fussy if you like but that’s what I prefer. Obviously, you pay more for an ensuite room but it’s still fantastic value.
You’ll also probably benefit from a great location. You’ll find that hostels are often particularly well located in tourist areas. You can stay in a great location at a much lower cost. cost than a city centre hotel.
Not only for young people
My other misconception about hostels is probably associated with their name, youth hostels. I always thought they were aimed at younger people and I’m afraid we’re someway past being referred to as young. Although I like to think we’re still young at heart I will admit it’s some years since we were in our twenties. And that’s the sort of age group I expected to see at the hostel. Would they think we were odd staying there with all the young people? Well, if this worries you too then don’t let it. We’ve met people of all ages when staying in hostels. They don’t discriminate by age and so you’ll find yourselves equally welcome. Yes, there are lots of young people too but in my opinion, that’s a good thing. I love to see young people travelling and widening their horizons. I wish I’d caught the travel bug earlier.
Have I convinced you to try a hostel vs a hotel?
So, have I convinced you to give hostels are try? I think what’s important is to realise that you don’t necessarily have to stay in the same kind of accommodation all the time, or on every trip. Mix it up a bit. Make your travel budget go further by trying something different. I firmly believe that one of the best ways to make independent travel successful is to have a flexible attitude.
You can book hostels on booking.com or try one of the specialist hostel booking sites such as hostelworld or hostel bookers. You can either book via one of these sites or use them to help search for your ideal hostel then book direct.