If you’ve ever spent hours scrolling through gorgeous hotels and Airbnbs, only to settle on a grubby but cheap hostel, trust me – I’ve been there. I’ve stayed in my fair share of hostels over the years and to be quite honest, I’ve learned to love them.
Whether you’re setting out on your first solo adventure or you’re travelling Europe with the girls, here’s why it’s time to say a big fat yes to hostels!
Ease yourself in
If it’s your first time away from home without your friends or family, you’re likely to be a little nervous about the adventure ahead of you. Sleeping in hostels is a fun way to ease yourself in, with everything you need at your fingertips to eat, sleep, wash your clothes, book day trips, make friends and more.
As long as you book a hostel through a registered website (Hostelworld and Booking.com are both great), you’ll be in safe hands.
Say yes to organised fun
The right hostel can be a LOT of fun! Some of my best travel memories come from staying in hostels, even if they do look a little gross in their pictures. Lots of hostels (specifically youth hostels) organise fun events for travellers to enjoy, from pub crawls to boat trips and everything in between.
Getting involved in these is a great way to see the city you’re staying in a little bit more, often with a beer in hand. If you’re a hostel guest, you’ll often get discounts for these trips and activities.
Meet lots of people
One of the best parts of travelling is getting to know lots of other like-minded people. Hostels give you the chance to do this; unless you’ve booked a private room, you’ll be sharing a dorm with another group of travellers!
It’s kind of difficult to not get to know each other when you’re sharing a bunk bed, so take this opportunity to make friends with the people around you. If you’re travelling solo, this could be your chance to find a new travel buddy.
Save the pennies
For many of us younger travellers, getting around on the cheap is a must. Staying in nice hotels is a luxury not many of us can afford, so you’ll be pleased to know that hostels offer a cost-effective alternative. Of course, staying in a hostel won’t be quite as glam, but it’s worth it to save the pennies.
Many hostels even offer private rooms at much lower prices than hotels. This gives you the freedom to sleep in your own room if you’d prefer (ideal for couples) while still cutting costs.
Find job opportunities
Not quite ready to finish your gap year? Getting a job on the go is a great way to fund your travels and prolong your adventure. In fact, many hostels are run by travellers who booked a bunk bed and never went home.
From cleaning the dorms to serving drinks at the hostel bar, there are often loads of jobs to choose from. Your pay probably won’t be great but you’ll get food, accommodation, and the chance to stay in your dream destination for a while longer.
Boost your bucket list
When you stay in a hostel, you’ll be exposed to loads of people from across the world. Some will be just starting their trip, others will have been on the go for a couple of years. Everyone will have a story to tell, so start conversations with everyone you bump into and see what you can find.
Every time I stay in a hostel, I find my bucket list growing longer and longer. There’s nothing better than comparing travel plans with other like-minded individuals to find new activities and learn travel secrets.
As I’ve mentioned, I love staying in hostels. Some of my best memories were created under the roofs of great youth hostels in Rome, Hanoi, Ubud, London and beyond. Are there any particularly great hostels you’d recommend?