Hostels have always been popular among the budget-traveling crowd, or backpackers. They tend not to spend more than just a couple of days in one spot, and rarely spend more than just a few hours at their room, sleeping, because they’re too busy wandering around the town, sightseeing, or finding a place where they can eat on a budget. Those tourists don’t look for luxury – they look for a bed and a way to save some money. Also, they often travel alone so staying in a hostel can be a good way to meet other backpackers, exchange some experiences, help the backpacker community.
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But, backpackers aside, are hotels really good for an average tourist who usually doesn’t travel alone, but with their friends or even family? A tourist who doesn’t seek adventure and wants their holiday to be interesting, but also relaxing?
An average family, a few years ago, probably wouldn’t even consider staying in a hostel as a solution for their accommodation. They would think: Even though they’re cheap, we want to enjoy our time, this is vacation, after all and we want some rest.”
Well, that’s fine. If you want to spend the money you’ve been saving the whole year and your free days the way you want and the way you deserve, that’s understandable. Plus, you don’t even have to spend a lot of money either. Practically everywhere you go, you’ll have a thousand options of where to stay, and some decent ones will certainly fit your budget. Or go to a 5-star hotel, order some room service, splash out a little, whatever you like. This is your time.
But let’s not categorize hostels as a cheap option for adventurers who don’t care about their safety, hygiene or privacy, okay? Hostels have changed, they have evolved. They have some faults, but they can also be a perfect solution sometimes, even for families. Hum, let’s see.
You’ve all seen the movies; hostels are cheap, unwelcoming places, right?
The PROS of Staying in Hostels:
– Hostels are more affordable than any other option: You can find them for just a couple of dollars in most countries nowadays. Depending on the number of beds in a room, their prices can vary, but they are still going to be more affordable than any other hotel, for instance.
– You CAN have your privacy: The best thing is, you can CHOOSE. If you want to stay in 8-bed room, that’s great. The price will be better, too. But most families don’t. So you can ask for a room with as little as 3 or 4 beds. The price will be a bit higher, but, as we said, it is still a ”hostel price”, and every family of tourists can use some extra cash they saved for a room.
– Most hostels are safe: You have your lockers which only you have keys for, AND you have a bunch of hostel reviewing websites, to make sure hostel you booked a safe hostel. Those things leak quickly.
– Hostels are the place where you’re most likely to meet people of other nationalities, other age groups, people who are tourists just like you and who may have problems in a foreign country or with a foreign language, just like you. Those people and their experiences can be really helpful, so appreciate the fact they’re all down the same hallway as you are.
And now CONS of Staying in Hostels:
– Some hostels, not all but some, have age limits (often 30+): Those are hotels meant for young people, often students, traveling for cheap and meeting their foreign pals. But, it’s fine – while searching, you’ll see which are not age limited and which are, and just write the latter off. You’ll still have a wide choice of hostels to choose from.
– You can choose how beds you want in your room or do you want your private bathroom or you don’t mind sharing it with other guests, but you won’t have the same privacy you would if you were staying in some hotel.
– You’ll probably want peace and silence when you’re in your room, especially at night, but it’s possible there will be guests who will be coming back to their rooms in the middle of the night, probably be noisy or walking around. You can’t really complain about that.
– There is a certain standard you can expect when you decide to stay in a hotel. You want nice towels, or a nice view, or a maid coming to your room only in the afternoon? Forget about that when you’re in a hostel. You’ll have your bed, your locker, your own bathroom if you ask for it and hot water in it. Everything else is optional and you’re going to have to pay for it in addition.
After studying all options available, our maybe expanding your budget, you’ll either find that hostel is a perfect solution for your family, or that you’d rather be anywhere else or even not travel at all, then book a hostel room. It’s all up to you. But you’re probably reading this because you’ve never been to a hostel, so maybe that’s another pro for it. You should try it and see for yourself. At least you’ll have a good story to tell when you come back.