When college students think of hostels, they tend to think of the lovely film released a few years ago where several college students were tortured and killed while staying in one. But is this the truth? Sure, you can expect less than accommodating conditions depending on which hostel you’re staying in while in certain countries, but does this mean that you should refuse to stay in these places? Absolutely not. In fact, hostels are often the best places for backpackers and college students to stay. Here are some reasons why hostels should be embraced to allow you to uncover the REAL truth behind hostels.
Something that may shock you is, I stayed at the hostel where the film was shot. Of course, I didn’t realize until it was too late anyway, but the point is, it was just fine. In fact, it was a pretty cool place in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. This is when I realized that hostels really weren’t as bad as people think they are.
Hostels: Great Places to Meet People
Many hostels have bars and lounges incorporated within. This hostel in Nice, France called Villa Saint Exupery. It was awesome because there was a bar/restaurant where you can buy food and drinks for cheap, and meet young people and other college students who were visiting and trying to have a good time also. I can speak from experience by saying this was an easy place to meet people to hook up with…good looking guys named Luca, to be specific ;). Something that was cool about this hostel was that if you were going to be staying there for a long time, you could work for the hostel and stay there for free. Many hostels offer this accommodation to traveling backpackers who do not have any permanent residences set up.
Another way hostels are great to meet people are, if you’re traveling alone, it’ll set you up with other lonesome travelers in the same room. Make sure you don’t have anything too valuable lying out in the open, but hostels will give you personal lockers anyway. Since you are traveling alone, this could be a great way to find other people with similar interests to continue your travels with.
Hostels: They’re No Ritz Carltons…But They’re Cheap
I’m not gonna lie, it’s always nice to be treated like royalty when you’re on vacation, but sometimes, it’s just not an option. Especially when traveling for long periods of time, it’s more about the experience and culture than it is about being pampered. This is why hostels are so great. You can soak up the culture in a great location, while not paying much. The trade-off is that you may not have much more than a bed and a somewhat public bathroom. You may not even get to choose who you room with if you do not choose a private chamber. However, you will absolutely get the entire experience, and at a low rate.
The Ritz Carltons could come when you’re famous, but for now, as a young backpacker and poor college student, hostels are great. They offer you the chance to meet other travelers like I mentioned above, and you can save some money to do the more adventurous excursions. Something to look out for though: try to research the hostel first. One place I stayed at in Budapest, Hungary was infested with cockroaches and bed bugs. This doesn’t mean this is the norm for most hostels, but it’s something to be weary of.
Hostels: Their Environments are Less Formal
The great thing about youth hostels: many do not have curfews and offer a more informal environment. This means you do not have to worry about annoying the other guests or the desk clerk, because chances are, they’re young, too! This means the hostel can be more socially comfortable for your extended stay.
Even so, hostels also have their downsides. Like I said before, bed bugs are not completely out of the picture. Also, internet can be scarce depending on the country you’re residing in, towels and bed sheets are not always provided, and bathrooms are not always the most private places. However, they’re not as dangerous as you think. So while you might sound like a bad ass, you really aren’t one. Hostels allow you to have the most cultured experience you can possibly have while abroad.