Hostels: a cheap and comfy alternative to pricey hotels

Whether you're a student, on vacation with family, or travelling for business,hostels are a cheap and comfy alternative to pricey hotels.Here's why.
They have all theamenities

For anyone who has never been to a hostel, it's a bit like being in a college dorm—but in a good way.

  • Hostels typically have communal living spaces where travellers share kitchen and bathroom facilities, as well as rooms for sleeping.
  • Many modern hostels also have a restaurant, bar, and sometimes even pools and lounges on the premises as added amenities.

If you're open to sharing space and meeting people, and love the idea of a cheap and comfy alternative to hotel accommodations, hostels should be on your must-stay-there list.

They're a great way to make friends

When staying at a hostel, travellers should expect to share a room with strangers.

  • While some hostels offer private rooms, the vast majority are designed with shared living space in mind.
  • If traveling alone, hostel mates can often become travel companions for sightseeing, dinner and entertainment.
  • In general, people who stay at hostels are outgoing, friendly and willing to help.

Be aware the size of hostel rooms vary. Rooms may have anywhere from one to 50 beds.

  • If you are adamant about privacy, book a single or double room. They're generally more expensive, but still much less than a hotel room.

They're budget-friendly and comfortable

Because hostels do not provide basic amenities like soap, towels or linens, you should bring your own.

  • Some hostels have started to step up their service offerings and now provide these basics.
  • Even though most hostels cannot match the beautiful exterior facade or lush interior lobby of a hotel, some have hot tubs, saunas, fitness centers and provide toiletries. It's how they compete for the traveller dollar.

Advice for choosing a hostel

Hostels are widely available across the globe, but are more prominent in Europe, Asia and Africa. Before booking, there are some things you should consider:

  • Does it have hot water and air conditioning?
  • Are there any lockers?
  • Does the hostel offer linen and towels? Will I need a sleeping bag?
  • Is there breakfast and do they accept credit cards?
  • Do they have a curfew rule?

Other considerations

You may also want to know is if there is a 24-hour reception at the hostel. Do they organize tours? is it near a bus or railway station? What about a laundry service and security guard?

While some hostels offer free amenities, others charge a small fee.

  • Decide which amenities you want and then book the hostel that offers them.
  • Many hostels also offer free storage-locker space, linen, Wi-Fi and even hot water.

Safety should always be a major concern when staying at a hostel.

  • Sharing a room with strangers can be great, but always ensure your belongings are safe.

Hostels can be a ton of fun and are a great way to meet people while traveling. However, always check online and browse a few guides for hostel reviews before booking to ensure the best experience.

Hostels: a cheap and comfy alternative to pricey hotels
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