Some Perks of Staying at Hostels
1.They are often cheap or cost effective
In some countries hostels are very cheap and plentiful. I travel on a budget and really appreciate places where there are many hostels to choose from. You can’t beat a hostel that is cheap, clean and located centrally. Hostels have helped me to stretch my budget in some cool cities such as Jerusalem, Cape Town and parts of Europe. I know hostels get a bad rap in some circles but with enough time spent researching it is not hard to find palatable ones.
2. You can get a single ensuite or a private room with a shared bathroom
For me this is the biggest pro. I like my own space to sprawl out and lay out my things undisturbed, especially when I am in a location for more than 3 days. I just take some bathroom slippers and enjoy the best of having my private space and saving good money. There have been instances where I got a really serviceable ensuite rooms in hostels.
3. You meet other travellers
This is a great perk. I find it is much easier to connect with other travellers at hostels, especially when I stay in dorm rooms – not so often these days, I need my space. Even while staying in a single room in hostels I will often meet others while having breakfast or in the common areas. There are some great conversations to be had and even friendships to be formed.
4. You can get in on some cheap local tours
Almost every hostel I have ever stayed at had a travel desk of sorts. It is always convenient and sometimes cost effective to use this service. I remember doing this for private and group tours in Israel, Zambia and Cape Town. The other perk of this, is that, you won’t need to go tromping over an unfamiliar city, trying to find the meeting place of a tour since tours usually start at the hostel.
5. The staff is engaging
There is an informal air at many hostels and this can be seen in the way the staff dress and their openness to going above and beyond to help guests. I have known of cases where they hang out with guests and show them around on their off day. I guess because many who stay at hostels are budget travellers and not overly fussy this works. I like it and do feel that they take more time to share about their cities and give useful tips on how to get around easily. The hostel also usually have detailed maps to point you to the most popular places and will give tips on great places off the usual tourist thoroughfare.
I find mixing it up and staying at hostels sometimes and hotels sometimes on a long trip – read 3-4 weeks- help with me enjoying my travels to the max.