Planning your next trip? Find out why staying in a backpacker hostel can be the greatest accommodation choice to make, regardless of your age or travel experience.
Staying in a backpacker hostel is a great idea if you are looking for more than just a place to sleep. Hostels are their own little communities, with several benefits over traditional hotels.
Whether you are a young backpacker planning your first trip or a retiree looking for your next adventure, hostels provide a unique travel experience. Here are 10 reasons you should book a backpacker hostel for your next trip.
1. You’ll meet people from around the world
A major advantage of staying in a backpacker hostel is the abundance of opportunities to meet people from all over the world. Many hostels have lounges or other hangout areas where it is easy to strike up a conversation with other travellers.
Many solo travellers stay in hostels so you are bound to meet someone who wants to grab dinner together or head out on a day trip in a last-minute group of strangers-turned-friends.
2. Hostels are good for your travel budget
It cannot be ignored that hostels are a budget-friendly accommodation option. Typically, the more beds there are in a room, the cheaper it is to stay in that room. Female-only rooms tend to be a bit pricier than mixed dorms but usually only by a dollar or two. Private rooms with private bathrooms exist, and prices vary depending on the location and amenities.
Hostels are great because you can choose how much you want to spend. Want to travel on a shoestring? Pick the biggest dorm room. Want a little luxury while benefitting from all the other hostel perks? Pick a private room.
3. Work in exchange for accommodation at a backpacker hostel
It is even possible to work for your accommodation at a backpacker hostel. In exchange for hours of work, you can stay in a dorm room for free or at a discounted rate. Often these jobs include receptionist, bartender or pub crawl guide.
Working at a backpacker hostel can allow you to stay in a city for longer, meet more people, and save money during your trip. Not every hostel offers this work/stay option but there are plenty to choose from that offer a work exchange program.
4. Hostels host some of the best parties in town
If you are searching for a party, staying in a hostel is the best way to party hard. Between rooftop bars, pool bars, and pub crawl nights, you can find whatever kind of party you are looking for. People who attend parties are already in the mingling mindset so it makes it even easier to make new friends. You do not need to drink alcohol to attend any of these social events, just go and socialize!
For those who do not want to party, don’t worry, there are plenty of non-party hostels. Check the hostel listing to see if they mention an attached bar, a pub crawl night, etc. The hostel will be advertised and tagged as a ‘party hostel’, so make sure to check your preferences before booking your stay.
5. Backpacker hostels are placed in the most popular locations
Hostels are often concentrated in the best budget-friendly tourist areas and this often means the areas have the best cheap restaurants, best bars, best art installations and galleries, and more. They are often walking distance to the major tourist attractions while not being in the expensive business areas of a city. Hostels are often located in the trendier or up-and-coming areas so you get a totally different experience than staying in a hotel.
6. Backpacker hostels provide unique lodging and aesthetic
Want to sleep in a former military prison in Slovenia or stay in a cave in Turkey or spend the night in a bookstore in Japan? You can do all of those things if you stay in hostels!
There are so many unique hostels around the world that provide you with totally different adventures. Want to sleep on a roof in Morocco? Book a hostel.
7. Sustainability is often a focus
Hostels have become more focused on sustainability and you can now find environmentally responsible hostels pretty much anywhere. Even if not deemed specifically “eco-friendly,” hostels are often trying to limit their impact on the environment. Solar panels, energy-efficient heating and lighting, composting, and vegetable gardens are just some of the initiatives. Can we credit backpackers for encouraging these sustainable changes? Absolutely.
Further reading: Green hotels in Canada that are making a difference
8. You have access to a kitchen
Hostels often have a shared kitchen that can be used by travellers. At the very least, there is usually a kettle and a microwave that can be accessed. Some kitchens in your typical backpacker hostel are fully equipped, while some require more imagination, but the good news is that you can usually make a coffee and prepare a snack without needing to buy them from a restaurant every day.
Instead of a kitchen, sometimes the hostel will offer a complimentary breakfast so at least one meal is taken care of per day.
9. Backpacker hostels are where you’ll find some of the best travel tips
Staying at a hostel gives you immediate access to backpacker-friendly information about the city. The receptionist will know the bus routes and can suggest budget-friendly tours and free events in the city. Fellow travellers will be able to provide interesting recommendations for tourist sites, meals and quirky locations. You will also be able to find out where you should travel to next, where you should stay, and even possibly find a new friend to go with you.
10. Hostels feel like a community
Spending some time in a hostel can really make you part of the hostel community. People who were strangers at the start of your stay can become close friends who you travel with for days or weeks. There are often organized activities, like movie nights or cooking lessons. Sometimes there are shared meals, especially on important holidays while you are away from home. You get to know the staff, you get to know the area and the locals, and you get to feel like you are part of something special.
While saving money by staying at a hostel, why not save money with your flight over there? Check out Skyscanner’s flight search to get the best deals to your next destination. Not sure where to go? There’s a tool for that.