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What is a Hostel? Top 8 Advantages of Staying in a Hostel


People socialising in Selina NQ1 Manchester shared accommodation and hostel
What is in this blog? Table of contents:

Unlock the doors to a world of cheaper travel and meeting new people as we embark on a journey to discover the advantages of staying in hostels. For those intrepid knowledge seekers seeking to experience an adventure without draining their wallets, hostels are the hidden gems of the travel industry. Step into a world of shared stories, new friendships, and unforgettable experiences that redefine the way we explore the world.

Let’s unravel the secrets of what a hostel truly is and delve into the top 8 advantages that make staying in a hostel an unmissable experience. Get ready to explore the universe of budget travel with a touch of authenticity and a whole lot of excitement.

What is a hostel?

A hostel is an affordable and communal lodging option, where guests can rent a bed, often in a shared dormitory, and revel in the camaraderie of fellow explorers. These hostels may come with mixed or single-sex rooms, boasting both private and shared bathrooms. While some hostels offer private accommodations, it's their vibrant dormitories that lend them their true essence.

Embracing the sharing economy, hostels are the go-to choice for those seeking memorable experiences without breaking the bank. Step into their social atmospheres, where common lounges and kitchens encourage laughter, storytelling, and the forging of lifelong connections with travelers from all corners of the globe. Unlock a world of adventure and authenticity while saving on accommodation costs.

Let the spirit of hostel life propel you into new territories, where unforgettable moments await alongside newfound friends. So, pack your wanderlust and embark on a journey of discovery, enriched by the charm and allure of these spirited hostels.

an hostel room with bunk beds which include a curtain
Photo credit: Trip.com (Selina NQ1 Manchester, United Kingdom)

Are hostels safe?

Hostels are considered safe places to stay, but it's essential for travelers to be aware of certain risks and take necessary precautions. Among the potential risks are petty theft, sexual assault, and drug use. However, with some simple safety measures, travelers can minimize these risks and ensure a safer stay.

One of the key safety tips is to conduct thorough research before booking a hostel. Reading reviews from other travelers can provide insights into the hostel's safety record and overall atmosphere. Additionally, most hostels offer lockers for guests to secure their valuables. Using these lockers to store important items like passports and money can significantly reduce the risk of theft.

Being aware of one's surroundings is crucial while staying in a hostel. Trusting your instincts and avoiding uncomfortable situations are essential for personal safety. Female travelers can take additional precautions by opting for female-only dorms and carrying their own locks for lockers if necessary. If ever feeling unsafe, it's important not to hesitate to seek help from the hostel staff, who are usually willing to assist guests in ensuring their well-being. By being proactive and vigilant, travelers can enjoy a pleasant and secure hostel experience.

What are hostel rooms like? What is the standard size for a hostel room?

Hostel rooms can be either mixed or single-sex, and they can have private or shared bathrooms. Private rooms are typically more expensive than shared rooms, but they offer more privacy and space. Most hostel rooms have a few basic amenities, such as a bed, a desk, a chair, and a locker. Some hostels also have additional amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen, or a laundry room.

When choosing a hostel room, it's important to consider your budget, your needs, and your preferences. If you're on a tight budget, you may want to consider a shared room. If you're looking for more privacy, you may want to consider a private room. And if you want to have access to additional amenities, you may want to choose a hostel with more amenities. Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing a hostel room:

  • Budget: Hostel rooms can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive. It's important to decide how much you're willing to spend on a hostel room before you start looking.
  • Needs: Do you need a private room or are you okay with sharing a room with other people? Do you need a private bathroom or are you okay sharing a bathroom with other guests?
  • Preferences: Do you want a room with a view? Do you want a room with a desk and a chair? Do you want a room with free Wi-Fi?

Once you've considered these factors, you can start looking for a hostel room that's right for you.

People in a coffee shop drinking and socialising
Photo credit: Hostelworld (Selina NQ1 Manchester, United Kingdom)

Top 8 advantages of staying in a hostel

Here are eight benefits of staying in a hostel:

1. Affordability

Hostels stand as a beacon of affordability in the world of travel accommodations. With beds in shared dormitories available for as little as $10 per night, they offer a perfect refuge for budget-conscious travelers, backpackers, and students. By choosing a hostel, travelers can significantly reduce their accommodation expenses, freeing up their budget for more exciting experiences and local delicacies.

The cost-effectiveness of hostels extends beyond the initial booking, as many hostels also offer amenities like shared kitchens and free Wi-Fi, allowing guests to save on food expenses and stay connected without additional charges.

2. Meeting new people

The essence of hosteling lies in the opportunity it presents to meet people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Travelers from around the world converge in hostels, creating a melting pot of stories, experiences, and perspectives.

Within the shared dormitories and inviting common areas, friendships are forged, and fellow explorers become like-minded companions on the journey. Engaging with fellow travelers opens doors to new friendships, cultural exchanges, and adventure partnerships, making hostel stays an unparalleled opportunity to expand one's social network globally.

3. Social atmosphere

One of the defining characteristics of hostels is their vibrant social atmosphere. Unlike the solitude of hotel rooms, hostels foster an environment where guests can gather in communal spaces, share tales of their travels, and plan future adventures together. Common areas equipped with comfortable seating, games, and sometimes even musical instruments create an inviting ambiance for socializing.

Hostels often organize social events, city tours, and cooking classes, further enhancing the sense of camaraderie and providing ample opportunities to connect with like-minded souls.

4. Amenities

Beyond their social charm, hostels offer a range of amenities designed to cater to travelers' needs. Many hostels provide shared kitchens, allowing guests to prepare their meals and save on dining expenses. Laundry facilities on-site enable guests to refresh their clothing during extended travels. Access to free Wi-Fi facilitates communication, navigation, and research for upcoming adventures. These amenities not only add convenience but also contribute to a more economical and comfortable stay.

5. Flexibility

Flexibility is a defining advantage of staying in hostels. Unlike traditional hotels, where advanced reservations are often required, hostels generally allow travelers to book beds just a few days ahead. This level of spontaneity grants travelers the freedom to adapt their plans on the go, accommodating unexpected changes or extending their stay in a captivating destination.

Additionally, most hostels offer cancellation policies that come with minimal or no penalties, providing further peace of mind and adaptability to travelers' itineraries.

6. Location

Another perk of hostels is their strategic location, often situated in the heart of cities or near major tourist attractions. Their central positions allow guests to explore the local culture, landmarks, and hidden gems with ease. Being close to public transportation hubs makes moving around the city more efficient, saving precious time and resources on commuting.

7. Safety

While safety is generally a priority in hostels, it is essential for travelers to exercise caution and research their chosen hostel beforehand. Reading reviews from fellow travelers can offer valuable insights into the safety record and overall atmosphere of a particular hostel. Basic safety tips such as being aware of surroundings, utilizing lockers for valuables, and not leaving belongings unattended can further enhance the security of the stay.

8. Unique experience

Staying in a hostel offers an unparalleled and unforgettable travel experience. The communal nature of hostels allows travelers to immerse themselves in the stories and experiences of others, gaining insights into different cultures and ways of life. The bonds formed in hostels often lead to lasting friendships and shared adventures. Hostels become not just a place to rest but a transformative space that leaves travelers with cherished memories and a broader outlook on the world.

Some quick essential tips for staying in hostels

Are you looking to stay in a hostel? Well, here are things to know about staying in hostel:

- Keep your items safe

When staying in a hostel, it's essential to secure your belongings, especially in shared dormitories. Utilize lockers, if available, and carry a padlock to safeguard valuables and travel documents.

- Bring shower shoes

Hostel bathrooms are often shared, so bring flip-flops or shower shoes to maintain hygiene and protect your feet.

- Respect your roommates

Being considerate to roommates fosters a harmonious atmosphere. Keep noise levels down during rest hours and maintain cleanliness.

- Be social

Hostels are excellent places to meet fellow travelers. Engage in conversations, join common activities, and embrace new connections.

- Take Advantage of free or discounted Items

Many hostels offer complimentary amenities or discounts on tours and activities. Make the most of these perks to enhance your travel experience.

- Breakfast

Some hostels provide free or affordable breakfast options, making it a cost-effective way to start your day with a hearty meal. Enjoy the fuel for your adventures!

Final thoughts

Undoubtedly, hostels offer multi-faceted advantages for adventurous and budget-conscious travelers. From affordability and social atmosphere to fostering connections and enriching experiences, hostels go beyond typical lodging. With a sense of community, travelers forge global friendships and gain a broader perspective on the world. The freedom to be spontaneous and the assurance of safety make hostels an appealing choice for unique exploration. Whether a seasoned traveler or a first-timer, staying in a hostel promises a heartwarming adventure that shapes one's perspective on travel.

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