Have you always wondered why some people prefer to stay in a hostel instead of a hotel when they travel? I mean, isn’t staying in hotels more comfortable and you get more privacy?
Is it because people who stay in hostels are a bunch of cheap-asses who don’t want to shell out the extra money for a nice hotel?
Possibly. But I think we need to really figure out the main reason why staying in a hostel might be superior to staying in a hotel.
Reason #1: Meeting new people and making new friends
Meeting new people and making new friends is the #1 reason why people would stay in a hostel. When I travelled around the world for 380 days, I vividly remember every single friend I made during the trip and saw again later at a later time. That’s right, people that I befriended and wasn’t just my friend for the duration of my stay in those hostels. Rather, I actually saw them again later in another country or in their home country.
11 out of 14 people that I met in hostels I met again later on and stayed in touch with them to this day. That’s a whopping 78.5% of the friends I met during my 380 days of travel!
Staying in hostels is hands down, the best way to make friends with people from all over the world. And those people you meet, chances are, some of them will be life long friends!
Reason #2: They’re cheaper and I don’t mean just the cost of having a place to sleep and stay
It’s obvious why hostels are cheaper. Sometimes, you need to share the room with other travellers. And if you get a private room, the washroom might not be ensuite. (Yes, hostels do have private rooms with ensuite washrooms also)
On top of a cheaper accommodation, many people overlook at the fact that hostels often times also offer the cheapest local tours. And many times, these local tours are the exact same quality as the higher end one you pay if you booked with tour company.
Hostels often times also offer pick up from the airport at a fraction of the cost of paying for a taxi. There’s just so many benefits financially to staying in a hostel besides the obvious.
Reason #3: Being able to cook your own food
Maybe you’re health conscious or you just want to save money. Staying in hostels often times means having access to the kitchen. Having access to the kitchen means you can cook your own food. And cooking your own food means you have the ability to either eat healthier or save money from eating out.
Reason #4: Some hostels are more enjoyable to stay at than hotels
While travelling in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Karen and myself discovered something strange. The hostel we stayed at was a much more memorable experience than the hotel we stayed at.
And we didn’t stay at a shabby hotel either. We stayed at Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera hotel thanks to redeeming my Marriott points.
The hostel we stayed at is Hostel 365 For U and we were blown away how comfortable our stay there was! The location was close to the famous old town in Dubrovnik and each bunks had curtains to add a layer of privacy. Lockers were available and the washrooms were all clean. We definitely had a great experience there because of comfort, people we met, closeness to the places we wanted to see and the budget friendly price.
Which websites can you use to book hostels?
The list below are some websites where people typically book their hostel stays. I personally have used hostelworld, booking.com, Agoda, and Hihostels. Hostelgeeks is something I might want to check out in the future because I like staying in hostels but not necessarily the cheapest and most run down hostel.
- Hostelworld.com – Most popular website for booking hostels
- Booking.com – Best all around website for booking hostels or accommodations in general
- Agoda.com – Best website for booking accommodations in Asia
- Hihostels.com – Hostelling International is a chain of hostels with a consistent experience throughout
- Hostelbookers.com– Generic hostel booking website
- Hostelsclub.com – Website for booking budget hostels
- Hostelgeeks.com – Website for booking five star hostels
So as you can see, there are many benefits to staying in a hostel as oppose to a hotel. The type of hostel you stay at will also differ on your personality. So if you’re the type of person who likes partying, then you need to stay in a party hostel. If you want peace and quiet with pleasant conversations with people in a more low-key setting, then you can have that as well.
I would personally stay at nicer hostels because I do prefer staying in a nicer and more comfortable place. It also weeds out annoying penny pinchers that controls their spending to cents or crazy high activity kind of travellers. (Not my crowd).
In the next article, I will talk about why you should stay in a hotel instead of a hostel.