Hostels are a solid alternative for accomodation when you’re travelling, though many people are afraid of trying it out. It’s hard to imagine a hostel being comfortable, safe or sanitary. You’re sharing a room with sometimes up to 12 other people and it’s dirty cheap. No luxury here right?! Well here are a few myths you should forget about next time you’re planning your travels!
Cheap means basic and low quality.
Just walk into a hostel, and you’ll see how much this is a myth. Hostels are just hotels with way more beds, a little less privacy and a much cheaper price. I’ve been in hostels where the lounge and reception area was nicer than some hotels. They’re also usually in really great areas, close to downtown or to public transport, making it even easier for travellers to explore the city. You can also find some boutique hostels that are themed and quite luxurious while still being at a low price.
Hostels are dirty.
Hostels, just like hotels have a cleaning crew that clean the rooms and bathrooms every day. You can your sheets and linen (which are almost always neatly folded and ironed) when you check in and put them in the laundry basket when you check out.
It’s not safe.
For the most part, hostels are quite safe. There are usually lockers where you can store your backpack or suitcase (though you usually have to bring your own lock), the rooms often use a keycard system like in hotels and there is always a safe at the reception for your valuables. Of course, there are bad people no matter which country you’re in, but people who stay in hostels are generally quite nice and assume that you will be too.
As a solo female traveller, you can also decide to stay in a female-only dorm, or even have a room with less people, or even totally to yourself.
Hostels are for the young and the party animals.
Well, as a non-party animal, I can definitely tell you it’s not the case. Of course, whenever you travel, you are sure to encounter the ones who are only there to explore the bottom of whatever bottle they can get their hands on, but there are also families and older travellers who simply enjoy the ambiance and budget-friendly accomodation. Some even live long-term at hostels. The majority of hostels also have a quiet-after-11pm policy, so you may actually be able to get a bit of shut-eye. Either way, you are definitely guaranteed to meet all sorts of people from all over the world!
Hostels are full of weirdos.
Just because you choose to pay a little less for accomodation does not mean you will be surrounded by drug addicts and homeless people. Of course, “weird” is a relative term. There are weirdos everywhere, and for all you know, you are one too! But isn’t that the beauty of it? When you can find the same type of weird as you, you’ve just found yourself a friend. It’s an especially great place to meet people when you’re a solo traveller. I’ve met a lot of amazing (and weird) people in hostels, some of which have been lifelong friends!
There are you have it! If you’re planning a trip and are on a budget, or just want to meet more people, don’t be afraid of hostels! As always, use your common sense and look at reviews before booking, but I still highly recommend trying it at least once.