Beginners Guide to Hostelling: Why stay at a hostel and not a hotel?
Okay, so we all know that hostels are a cheaper than hotels, which is the main draw for most people, but there are a whole load of other reasons why you should choose a hostel over a hotel. Here’s my list of top reasons, if you have any add, go ahead and leave your comments below:
You’ll never be alone
I guess this can be a good or bad reason depending on how happy you are at sharing space with people you don’t know. Many people tolerate it; some people embrace it and love meeting all the new people in the hostel and others just hate it. In most hostels you can usually find a quiet place for some ‘me time’, and many hostels have private rooms, so if you really don’t want to share, you don’t have to. However, I have always found that staying in a dorm has mainly been an enjoyable and pleasant experience and my fellow room mates have been considerate and given me my personal space and respected the quiet hours. Just remember to pack your ear plugs, treat people the way you want to be treated and all will be A-OK!
Mates for life
I have never stayed in a hotel where I met a like-minded person and added them as a Facebook friend, decided to hang out with them for a day, or even continued my onward journey with them. I guess what I am trying to say is, in hostels you meet people who are often just like you, share your interests and can become your BFF. :)
Yes really, hostels can help you out at times and give you a few additional social skills. Both my co-worker and I have had the same experience. You turn up alone, you’re kind of nervous and shy and not really used to the whole networking thing. But you suddenly realise you’re in a fantastic place and you want to make the most of it and not sit in a corner wishing someone would come and talk to you. You have to pluck up the courage to say “Hi my name is blah blah, what’s your name?” Once you have done it a few times, well I mean the world is your oyster! It really does boost your confidence. To quote my co-worker Lisa “When I arrived I was an introvert and when I left I was an extrovert”.
The staff is just like you
There’s no stuffy concierge at hostels, just front desk staff who are often travellers themselves. So what does that mean, slack customer service? No way, well I can’t speak for every front desker out there, but on my travels I have found them to be full of information and travel suggestions. They always know the cheap places to eat, where you can get a good discount and the best tours to take. What’s more they tend to have a real passion for the destination.
There’s always fun and games
Many hostels have events and activities for you to partake in. So if you haven’t managed to pluck up the courage to chit chat in the common room, then this is your chance. From guided to walks, to pub crawls, pizza nights to all you can eat hot dog marathons, it’s all going on.
Our home is your home
At hostels you are not confined to the four walls of your dorm room, you can chillax anywhere (usually). Most hostels have TV rooms, libraries, games rooms, common rooms and outside areas for you to socialize. Some even have on-site pubs and restaurants too.
Being young is number one
Sometimes hotels don’t like having young people hanging around, yet in hostels young people are their main customer so they love you! That does not mean that they don’t like guests over the age of 25, guests of all ages are welcome, I have stayed in dorms with 60-70 year olds and 21 year olds.
Got anything to add? Leave your comments below.