As you might have gathered from my other articles I like to travel on a budget. Keeping costs to a minimum means getting maximum advantage from your dollar while spending as little as possible. I assume since you’re reading this website that you try this too! And one of the best ways to stretch your dollar is to hostel life throughout your travels.
Some people think of hostel life as crowded, noisy and dirty. They picture staying in places that aren’t much more than a thin mattress and a roof over your head. While some dodgy ones might be like this, the rise in backpacker travel has seen a huge increase in the standard of accommodation. There is no reason to avoid these traveller hubs anymore and the savings they offer.
Here are 6 reasons why you should definitely try the hostel life!
You Always have a Travel Buddy
The most obvious benefit from hostel life is the easy access to other like minded travellers. This is especially handy for those of us who like to travel solo on our adventures. On my recent solo trip to Morocco I was travelling alone, but I was never actually alone. I met people from Australia, the USA, UK, Germany, South Korea, Canada, the Netherlands and everywhere in between. In each hostel I stayed at I found people to go hiking with, check out the local culture or just have a night on the town! Everyone you meet is in the same situation as you and looking for someone to share it with, so hostels are the perfect place to meet.
Make Your Trip Last Longer
As I wrote in the introduction, one of the best things about hostel life is the price! For the budget conscious, hostels are a godsend. For as little as $5 – $10 per day you can have a safe and secure place to stay. The cheap accommodation prices mean you can stretch that trip out even longer.
In addition to the cheap accommodation, you can also save money in other ways. Many hostels offer full kitchens and allow you to buy ingredients cheaply from the local market to cook yourself. On longer trips, this can result in a massive saving over eating out for every meal. For the budget conscious long term traveller there is no better place than a hostel!
Get Great Deals on Everything
In addition to the cheap price for staying, many hostels offer other attractive deals for their customers. For only a couple of dollars you can usually get a breakfast of toast, juice, coffee, jam, and cereal to start your day. Other places offer laundry, pub crawls and discounts on tours and other local activities. At a recent stay in Chefchaouen, I spent 3 nights at a hostel where I had my laundry done and ate breakfast every day for a total of just $45 AUD. It can be done!
Get Great Information on Everything in the Area
No one knows the local area like the people who live and work there. So hostels can be one of the best places to get advice about things to do and places to go. Often the staff will know exactly what you’re looking for and might even join you themselves. After all, they see travellers like yourself every day and have answered all these questions before. They know all the best places, the best tours and anything else you must know.
In addition to the staff, you can meet other travellers who can offer their own tips. Whether you get tips and advice on their own country that they have travelled from or tips for another destination in the country you’re travelling, advice from other travellers is often invaluable. There have been countless times that I have changed my plans and gone in a different direction based on positive reviews from others. Meet people, listen and find somewhere new!
Location, Location, Location
The ability of hostels to pack more people into a room than a regular hotel means they are able to keep other costs down. This means you can typically get a room in a great location that would usually cost as much as 10 times more if you were to book a hotel. In Sydney, for example, the average hotel room costs over $200 per night. A bed in a hostel costs as little as $20 and you will be right in the centre of the CBD. All locations are now in your budget allowing you to save even more on transport costs around the city!
Learn Something About Yourself
My favourite way to travel now is solo. I can go where I want when I want without having to negotiate or compromise. I’ve also always been kind of shy and an introvert who takes a while to warm to new people. So it was shocking to me to find how easily I was able to connect to people I met in hostels. Being forced to socialise and interact in a way you haven’t before pushes you out of your comfort zone. It’s only at this time that we learn more about ourselves and what we are capable of.
So there you have it, 6 sure-fire reasons to ditch the luxuries and embrace the hostel life. There will be nightmares along the way (we’ve all heard those stories!) But I promise that it’s one of the best experiences you can have while travelling.