Josh and I enjoy a variety of accommodations when we travel.  However, we have realized that when we first decide to visit a destination we always tend to look up hostels first.  While it’s true that not all hostels are created equal, there are some pretty great ones out there.  So we thought we would just give a quick overview of why we enjoy staying in a hostel over many hotels.

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1. Easy on the Budget

We enjoy spending our money on experiences and activities, not where we sleep (most of the time anyway).  Besides, when we travel we are hardly in the room anyway.  So hostels are a great option to help travelers who want to save some cash – especially solo travelers.

Also many hostels have kitchens, and we enjoy having the option to purchase food at local markets and being able to cook it ourselves.  Not only does this save some cash, but it can also be kinda fun!  Some hostels even have free or inexpensive meals!  For example, on a recent stay in Seattle we had free breakfast, and at a hostel on Miami’s South Beach they had a burger BBQ each weekend!

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Liz cooking breakfast in the hostel before heading out for a full day on South Beach

2. Convenient Location & Transportation

When we travel, it’s important for us to be in the middle of the action.  We do not want to waste time if we don’t have to.  Many hostels are located in central areas, nearby popular attractions.  Some are even in historic buildings or districts where hotels can be very expensive.  So hostels are a great way to get the location, without the high price tag.  Lastly, hostels are typically near public transportation.  Making it extremely easy to get around.

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View of Edinburgh Castle from Our Hostel! – Castle Rock Hostel

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3. Home Away From Home

The more we stay in hostels, the more we appreciate the homey atmosphere that many of them have.  Having a kitchen to make yourself some coffee or tea, curling up on a comfy sofa watching a movie or playing a board game, it’s a wonderful way to relax while traveling.  Sometimes hotels can just feel so lonely, stale, and impersonal; so hostels just offer a warmer atmosphere altogether.  Now, not all hostels are created equal – so do your research.  Some are extremely basic, while others are more homey and comfy.

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Inviting common living room at the Sweet Peas Hostel. Great place to drink your morning coffee and relax by the windows. Asheville NC

4. Social Atmosphere

While we’ve grown a bit out of the party hostels, we do enjoy the social atmosphere very much!  It’s great to meet other travelers from around the world and make new friends.  Lastly, many hostels put together activities – such as tours or happy hours.  So there is always something to do!

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This is a great common space to socialize and see what is going on in the area.

5. Informative Workers & Guests

Over the course of our travels, we have discovered that some of the best advice we’ve received has been from other travelers at hostels.  We’ve learned about hidden restaurant gems, as well as tourist rip offs or scams.  We have also noticed that workers at the hostels seem to be very helpful with maps and advice, without sending you to places just so they can get a kick back.

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Thank You Derrick at Miami Hostel for being so cool and hospitable. Made out stay great!

So those are our top reasons for staying in a hostel when we travel.  We may not choose a hostel every time we travel, but it is definitely the first type of accommodation that we research.  We do strongly recommend that you review multiple websites and hostel reviews because hostels vary widely in their amenities, service, and prices.  You get what you pay for, and some of our experiences have been better than others.  Customer reviews are valuable for this type of accommodation.

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Sometimes it all about location and practicality. Historic Dublin District – Barnacles Hostel Dublin

Not sure if a hostel is right for you?  Check out our most popular post:  What Are Hostels?  5 Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Happy Travels!

How / Where to Book

In the past, hostels were not included in most mainstream hotel booking engines.  However, times are changing!  You can now find many hostels easily book them online.  Start searching hostels by clicking on the banner below!

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5 perks of hostels

 

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