Hostels are known to be dim, full of smelly backpackers and roaches. But they’ve actually improved since the time of smelly, dim digs. Hostels, for those who are not familiar with it, are budget priced accommodations that do not offer the frills hotels do. Hostels will not have coffee machines in your room or free soap. And most hotels have shared rooms. They also have lockers for you to store your things instead of your classic hotel closets and dressers. You will also be sharing bathrooms, kitchen, lounge rooms, and work stations. And while you are not offered free toiletries, most hostels sell them for cheap.
Most hostels have upgraded. Some have even started marketing themselves as luxury hostels. The digs are clean and the environment bright.
Some hostels have free pool access, free breakfast, and a few community activities.
A few are even located in prime locations. Take for example Freehand Miami. They have free iced coffee, are two blocks away from the beach, and have cheap housekeeping starting from $30.
There is even a Swiss spa hostel in the Saas-Fe mountains. This hostel has massage showers, whirlpools, saunas, and water slides. What fun! This place even has an indoor restaurant that overlooks the Alps. And all for the starting price of around $64 a night.
If you are traveling with your partner or even with your family, most hostels now have private rooms with queen or king sized beds. Others have family rooms. These private rooms will be a bit pricier than shared rooms but still only cost a fraction of what hotels usually charge.
Hostels are also a good way of meeting people. You can meet travelers from all over the globe just by hanging out in communal areas or participating in activities like free walking tours, welcome parties, and movie nights.
Hostel amenities may fall short of your expectations if you expect their amenities to be like hotels.
You may lose a bit of privacy. Even in the private rooms, you will still need to share common areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
And if you do not do your research, you may end up spending more on your commuting expenses and meals than anticipated. Especially if you booked a place a bit far from the places you want to explore.
If you are looking for a cheap place to sleep and the opportunity to make the most of your travel budget, hostels can be a great choice.