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  • Writer's pictureDan Brighurst

Why Hostels are the Ultimate Choice for Budget Travelers

Updated: May 25

The Appeal of Hostels

When it comes to budget travel, hostels are my go-to accommodation. While Airbnb can sometimes offer great deals, nothing beats the social atmosphere and cost-effectiveness of a hostel. The bigger the dorm room, the cheaper the bed, which means more money left for exploring new destinations.

Meininger Brussels

Addressing Concerns

Sure, you might have concerns about strangers, snoring, or the occasional oddball, but these are minor inconveniences compared to the benefits. Over my 7-week journey, I've only encountered one extreme snorer—nothing a pair of SnorBlok silicon earplugs couldn’t handle. And the occasional odd person? Just ignore them and enjoy your adventure. Hostel staff are always there to help if you run into any real issues.

Five Elements Hostel, Frankfurt

The Range of Hostels

Hostels come in all shapes and sizes. From my first hostel experience 25 years ago in Spain, with its non-descript entrance and tiny rooms, to today's hostels with English-speaking staff and extensive facilities like kitchens, laundry, lounges, and game rooms. Some hostels, like the Meininger chain, feel more like hotels with dorm rooms. They are clean, appealing, and have their own bar, though they might lack a bit of character.

Unique Hostel Experiences

The real charm lies in the quirky, unique hostels that each have their own style and atmosphere. These are often the places where you’ll meet the most interesting people and have the most fun.

Meininger, Venice

Finding the Right Hostel

When searching for a hostel, I prioritize secure lockers and a good location. I walk everywhere, so anything more than a half-hour walk can be inconvenient. Most hostels offer great locker facilities, which is crucial when travelling with valuable equipment. Always bring your own lock, as not all lockers come with one.

Using the HostelWorld App

I use the HostelWorld App to find and book hostels. It offers discounted rates and detailed information on facilities. But the best part is the chat function. Once you book a hostel, you're added to chat groups for the city and hostel, making it easy to meet other travellers. This feature has been incredibly helpful for me as a solo traveller, despite some frustrations with unreliable notifications and the public profile feature.

ControVento Hostel, Trieste

Making the Most of Your Profile

Your profile being public can be a double-edged sword. While it helps people feel secure, it can also lead to snap judgments. In my case, as a 47-year-old solo traveller, younger travellers might be hesitant to connect. However, those who give me a chance often find I’m great company, and capable of keeping up with any adventure.

City Dynamics and Group Activities

City dynamics also play a role. In some cities, like Frankfurt and Trieste, the chat groups were quiet, while places like Venice and Split were lively. My advice? Instead of asking what others are up to, suggest an activity and create an Instagram group. This worked wonders in Split, where our initial group of five grew to 40 by the time I left.

Lazy Monkey Hostel, Zadar (My favourite so far)

Final Thoughts

HostelWorld is a fantastic resource, but regardless of how you book, I highly recommend trying dorm rooms in hostels. They offer unique experiences and the chance to meet amazing people.

Have you used hostels? What were your experiences? Any tips or tricks to share? Leave your comments below!


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1 comentario

24 may

I liked hostels but found it odd the common rooms closed during the night (being that people are coming from all over the world and time zones). I had jetlag but there was nowhere quiet I could go to read without disturbing others sleeping in my room.

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