5 reasons to stay in hostels

Posted on 29 July 2013

People often say that when you’re young you don’t have enough money to travel and then when you’re a bit older and eventually have enough money to travel, you’re tied down to commitments and don’t have enough time (Are you a traveller, a tourist or a backpacker?). Well I’m still young and don’t have that much money, but I have a passion for travel. And I’m not letting money get in the way.

I recently went on a five-week trip around Europe and managed to stay under my budget. I cut on costs whenever I could while still managing to experience the best of Europe – the food, the sights and the culture. This was my aim of the trip – to experience Europe. I stayed in hostels for most of the trip (the rest was with family) and I think that this played the biggest part in all of the amazing experiences that I had.



Here’s why you should stay in hostels


The Price

Hostels are at least two-thirds cheaper than hotels. This means that you save a bunch of money that you can rather spend on doing an activity, taking a tour or eating a nice meal. If you are going on a holiday that is filled with sightseeing and daily activities, you are hardly going to be spending much time in your accommodation anyway. It is purely a place to rest your weary head after a busy day. So rather splash out on a fun filled day – you will remember going to the top of the Eiffel Tower more than a comfortable bed in a hotel.



If you do your research well enough you are likely to find a hostel that serves breakfast. Granted it won’t be as good a buffet as a hotel would have, but it’s something. Hostel breakfasts can range from a good selection of cooked foods and cereals to a few slices of bread and some jam. You have to take your chances on this one, but if you’re lucky you could find yourself in breakfast heaven – and at a great price.

Now here’s a tip (and you didn’t hear it from me) – if you really are holding your pennies tight, take a Tupperware to breakfast and sneak a few slices of bread into it. This guarantees the basic ingredients for a picnic lunch later on in the day – just make sure you enjoy it far enough from the hostel to avoid judging stares.


The people

Oh the people you will meet in hostels! If you take the option to stay in a dorm room you will most likely meet some really interesting people from all over the world. I met the loveliest Venezuelan couple, a cute guy from New Zealand, some crazy (slightly creepy) Mexicans, a famous sax player from the Netherlands, an elderly Australian couple cycling through Europe and a German male nurse – just to name a few. It is just so amazing to sit around with a bunch of people all from different countries and hear their stories, learn about their culture and become friends. You forge a special bond with them, because at that moment you are both on the same mission – to travel and enjoy yourself.



At two of the hostels that I stayed in they offered daily activities to get everyone in the hostel to come together and have a good time. The hostel I stayed at in Nice had a champagne night (free champagne all night…) and a spaghetti night. Then in Prague our hostel had a beer tasting night, cooking nights where we all cooked local dishes together and a gluhwein night. These nights were all so much fun – not only do you get to interact with the other hostel stayers but also the locals.

There are many hostels out there that offer equivalent activities; again just do some research beforehand.


Central locations

There are always a few hostels located in the centre of a city and the rest generally in central locations. Hostels are usually located somewhere that is easy to get to. If you are carrying a backpack you really don’t want to have to walk for miles (trust me), so before you arrive make sure that you have good directions on how to get there.

Being centrally located means that you can easily move around the city that you’re staying in without having to travel too far. If you are travelling in Europe then make sure you are near a train station/metro station/bus stop or tram stop for when you want to move around the city. Otherwise there should always be shops and a few sights in walking distance. Again, do your research beforehand.


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