3 Good Reasons for Staying in Hostels (with 25 Important Tips!)

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Staying in Hostels…Have you done it? If not, than it’s time you discover the allure of these budget-friendly accommodations.

You’re missing out on a uniquely positive travel experience!

Embarking on your first-time travel adventure at a hostel can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. The accommodation choices you make play a pivotal role in shaping your experience. But don’t shy away from staying at a hostel, regardless of your age.

In this article, you will get a taste of the benefits of staying in hostels. From cost-effective stays to vibrant social interactions, hostels offer a unique blend of experiences that you won’t want to miss. And, you’ll learn 25 tips for your hostel stay.

So, continue reading and begin planning a great hostel stay!

Staying in hostels
Staying in hostels offers a host of benefits beyond being budget-friendly.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn why staying in hostels can be exciting as well as economical, including:

What is a Hostel?

A hostel is a type of accommodation that is budget-friendly and usually involves sharing a dorm room, bathroom, and shared spaces with other travelers. However, you can sometimes rent a private room in a hostel, too. Dorm rooms usually sleep four to eight people, but sometimes it’s shared with 12 people or more.

Why Should First-Time Travelers Consider Staying in a Hostel?

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More than 10 million people go backpacking every year, and traveling the world has become somewhat of a rite of passage in the West.

For first-time jetsetters or seasoned travelers, it can be a daunting prospect with so many uncertainties.

However, there is one way to make sure the trip gets off to a strong start: Check in to a hostel as soon as you arrive in the first country on your list.

You’ll discover countless benefits to doing so.

In fact, here are three good reasons you should consider staying at a hostel.

1. Budget-Friendly Accommodation

family hostel space | Enjoy Travel Life
Hostels offer a shared space, but some have private rooms you can book, too.

One of the key reasons why staying in a hostel is a great idea for travelers is that it’s budget-friendly.

Usually, you’ll be packed into a dormitory room with a few other people and share a bathroom. You might find yourself in a bunk bed or in a private pod that encloses your sleeping space for the night.

It may sound scary at first, but this is the perfect way to get more bang for your buck.

You might also be able to book a private room at your hostel (single, twin, double, or family) or a gender-specific shared room, such as an all-female dorm.

Some hostels even include a free breakfast and use of their kitchen facilities. Others have pools, patios, game rooms and co-working spaces you can use.

It’s all about changing your mentality and treating the trip as an adventure rather than a holiday.

Your overnight accommodations generally make up a big portion of your travel expenses. By saving money on your accommodations, you can have a lot more to spend on other activities to make the most out of your travels.

For instance, the money saved could go towards an airline ticket to add another country to your list. Or you could use it to take a course or embark on some other local experiences.

2. Instant Social Connections

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The best thing about staying in a hostel is the fact that you’ll instantly be able to make friends with some travel buddies.

The hostel setting is an ideal place to make instant connections. When you’re staying in the same dorm as others and sharing the same common spaces, it’s pretty hard not to make friends.

And that goes for all ages. You might think of hostels as a place for young, hip, backpackers – and they are. But you might be surprised to find there are plenty of youthful-minded middle-aged people who stay at hostels.

However, it is useful to know a few icebreakers.

For starters, you want to be friendly and approachable. A smile or “good morning” may be all it takes to get the conversation goins.

Taking a deck of cards with you is one of the easiest ways to form a connection with people straight away. Learning a few magic tricks in advance will make people warm to you, too!

Another option is to host well-known card games in the dorm, such as blackjack. To be able to do that, you’ll simply have to study a few blackjack guides before you jet off. These will tell you everything you know about strategies, charts, and odds.

Then, you’ll be able to host games and let other players know the rules before playing.

3. Cultural Immersion and Expert Knowledge

Another reason why hostels are better than many hotels is that they often reflect the local culture more than a sterile hotel room.

Communal areas will often be filled with a unique charm, added to by all the countless travelers who have passed through the same space. Everyone has a chance to leave their mark and others can witness their legacy left behind.

Hostels are also a hotbed of expert knowledge. You’ll meet some travelers in the residence who have been around for longer than others, and usually act as leaders.

By socializing with local experts like this, you can get your bearings quickly and easily.

But you’ll find just about everyone staying at the hostel will have something to offer. Whether that’s a shared travel experience, insights about getting around, or stories they tell, hostels provide a unique opportunity to learn from other world travelers.

adults hostel | Enjoy Travel Life
Once known as “youth” hostels, most hostels welcome all ages. Some do have a minimum age for guests, so check the requirements.

25 Important Tips for Staying in a Hostel

Here are a few tips for staying in a hostel:

  1. Read online reviews before booking a hostel.
  2. Make sure the hostel is in a location you’re comfortable with, safety and noise-wise.
  3. Some hostels require a membership, like Hostel International (HI) in order to book your stay.
  4. Consider the public transportation options that are nearby, or whether there’s parking on-site if you have a car with you.
  5. Look into how long you can stay at the hostel. Some offer longer term rentals, while others may limit your stay to a few weeks or 30 days.
  6. Find out if they are a cash-only hostel (many avoid online booking to keep costs low).
  7. Bring a copy of your booking confirmation with you for easier check-in.
  8. If you’re running late, let the hostel know so you’re bed is not given away.
  9. Set your expectations accordingly. It’s a hostel, not a 5-star hotel.
  10. Learn and adhere to hostel rules.
  11. Clean up after yourself.
  12. Bring your own toiletries, towel, and flip-flops for the shower.
  13. Respect everyone’s privacy in the dorms.
  14. Choose a bunk or pod with access to outlets, if possible.
  15. Pack the day or night before so you can leave quietly in the morning.
  16. Stay organized, and avoid flashing valuables if you need to repack your bags.
  17. Consider using a VPN instead of the public Wi-Fi.
  18. Bring locks to secure your backpack, suitcase, and/or locker. Theft happens.
  19. Observe quiet hours and use a flashlight or phone if you must navigate after dark hours.
  20. Don’t stay up scrolling on your phone when everyone else is trying to sleep – it’s brighter than you think!
  21. Pack earplugs and an eye mask for a better night’s sleep.
  22. Be considerate with your phone alarm. The best option is vibrate and tucked under your pillow. Avoid hitting snooze, too.
  23. Make use of and enjoy the common areas! That’s the best place to socialize, especially when others are sleeping in the dorm.
  24. If you had a good experience, think about joining a hostel membership, like HI or Youth Hostel Association. Depending on the membership, you’ll enjoy preferred booking and a price discount worldwide.
  25. Use popular apps, like Hostelworld, MyHostel, or even Booking.com that make it easy to choose the right hostel going forward.

Final Thoughts on Staying in Hostels

There are myriad reasons why hostels are the best choice, especially for first-time travelers.

Along with throwing you into full cultural immersion, you can find friends straight away. They are also a great place to find out about organized activities and tours.

Staying in hostels can be a life-changing experience for you at any stage of life, though. They offers affordability, social connections, and the chance to explore prime locations like a local.

With the right mindset and packing essentials, your hostel stay will be an unforgettable part of your travel journey.

Go ahead and embrace the opportunity, make friends, and create lasting memories in hostels around the world!

Jackie Gately at the beach

About the Author: Jackie Gately

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.

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