So you love to travel, right? Well I hear you. So do I. Many people tend to be a little “highfalutin” (as my mother would say) when it comes to accommodations. They want to find 5-star hotels. What that translates to is higher price tags.
The alternative is a hostel. Hostels are low-cost accommodations, typically in a dormitory-styled sleeping space shared with others – often bunk beds – including shared bathrooms. Though you may be lucky to find private sleeping rooms and bathrooms, that isn’t the norm as far as hostels go. Your room might have as many as 6 or 8 or more bunk beds. Sleeping large numbers of people in a single room offers cost savings to the provider. Consequently, those savings are passed on to you, the guest. If you’re a couple traveling together, this might be a turnoff, particularly because many hostels are not coed; they’re often separated by gender, though as stated earlier, private rooms are sometimes available. Some may also be coed too. But often the space is typically shared by persons of the same gender. But the good news is the cost savings might make up for any shortcomings of hostel living. It’s all about what’s more of a priority to you. If it’s a discounted place to get some sleep, then a hostel is your best bet.
Hostels are available throughout the United States and all around the world. As an example of the cost efficiency of a hostel, if I wanted to visit Milan, Italy in late August of this year, I could book the Hotel Brasil (a hostel in downtown Milan) and I would pay between $24 and $50 per night depending on the particular room I chose, a savings of $150 or more per night from what a typical hotel might charge. A week’s vacation in a hostel could save you up $1000. It’s a good deal when you consider the main purpose of a room is a clean, safe place to lie down and close your eyes. Once you’re asleep, you won’t know the difference anyway. You can find many hostel Internet sites. A popular site is Hostel World, but a simple online search can yield other hostel sites.
If you happen to be one of those highfalutin people I mentioned previously, then you can find some boutique, luxury hostels. Many of them have big screen LCD televisions in the room, a roof top Jacuzzi, kitchenettes, spa services, and a top notch fitness center on the premises. Some of them may even have a full-service bar in the lobby as well as restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; however, you can expect to pay about $200 or more per night, plus a daily cost for Wifi. Obviously, booking one of these high-end hostels would defeat the purpose of using a hostel in the first place, but you will feel much more comfortable. If you decide to stay in one of these luxury hostels and want to add some activities to your itinerary, then consider doing the Zegrahm luxury tours.
Like any other product or service, there is the good and the bad. Do your homework. You can find a fabulous hostel in the middle of a dilapidated, run-down neighborhood. You also might find a run-down, poorly-managed hostel in the heart of a very nice neighborhood. One common complaint is a hostel situated near train tracks, hospitals, or firehouses. It’s also not uncommon to find others up reading or doing computer work or talking to one another while you’re trying to sleep. I once heard of a hostel patron complaining about some sexual activity going on across the room. I guess some people aren’t ashamed to take care of business, even in front of a room full of strangers. Ear plugs and a sleeping mask for your eyes can help hide that distraction.
The last thing I’ll say about hostels is you might make some new, long lasting friends. Since you’ll be living communally with lots of people, you can’t help but be engaging with one another. Even if you don’t become close friends with your roomies, it could at a minimum be an opportunity to share information about the place you’re visiting. So don’t ignore the viability of a hostel for your next trip. It’s an ideal accommodation for budget-minded travelers.