There are a ton of stereotypes floating around about hostels; some very true and some very false. The first hostel in which I ever stayed was in San Francisco in 2014, and leading up to that experience, I had no idea what to expect. Some of my less well-traveled, but still well-meaning friends headed major warnings, while many others didn’t blink an eye at the idea. Today, after staying in what feels like a million hostels, and even working in one, I obviously fall into the latter category, so for those of you still unsure about the idea, let me clear some stuff up for you!
Five Things to Know Before Your First Hostel Experience
You will meet some incredible people
What a better place to meet like-minded people than in a Hostel? Hostel-goers are budget travelers who, by the nature of things, are rarely high maintenance. So don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with your bunk-mate or smoke a joint with that guy in the lobby wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt. Hostels are a budget-friendly option, but great conversation is always free!
Hostels are full of Australians
You will meet some incredible people, and half of the time those people will be from Oz. A study conducted by VISA reported that 76% of all Aussie’s travel for leisure. So why is this? According to my research (puts on glasses) the abundance of Aussie’s staying in Hostels happens for a few reasons: First of all, after high school in Australia it is customary to take a gap year to travel before heading off to University. Secondly, Australians are often granted a minimum of four weeks vacation time a year, so in a relatively financially well-off country, it makes sense to use that time. Thirdly, in a nation founded by relatively new-to-Oz immigrants, familial and cultural roots are often found elsewhere, leading to self-exploration. That said, the Aussie’s I have met in my travels have been some of the kindest and most adventurous people!
Young British men may drunkenly wake you up at 3 am by farting uncontrollably
So I’m bringing this idea to the table from a personal experience I had while staying at a Hostel in Dublin. The concept here is that no matter how good your earplugs are and how great your eye mask is, people will find a way to wake you up in the middle of the night – it’s inevitable when you are in a room with a bunch of strangers. Do these people a karma favor and turn on your blow dryer first thing in the morning while they’re just realizing their hangover (or don’t, whatever, I can be kind of an asshole).
They can be incredibly inexpensive
Depending on where in the world you decide to stay and the demand for that hostel, prices can vary widely. For a standard 12 or 6 bed dorm, I have paid anywhere from CAD$10 dollars a night, to $40 dollars a night. Private rooms usually run a little more expensive, but they’ve always been cheaper than a hotel!
They offer plenty free activities
Between the free breakfast most hostels offer, I’ve taken part in pub crawls, movie nights, walking tours, and all-you-can-eat spaghetti nights! These functions are especially great for meeting new people, so be sure to check out the bulletin boards and sign up!
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What are some of your favorite hostel stories?
*This post has been updated as of October, 2018*