I love hostels and have stayed in hundreds of them around the world. Hostels are inexpensive places to stay, but they’re also so much more than that. They can truly be a home away from home, as well as places where you can connect with interesting people from around the world.

Hostels are an essential part of how I travel, and I always want to tell new travellers to give them a try. That said, your impressions will surely depend a lot on what type of hostel you stay in as well as your expectations of what they provide.

It’s not a silly question!

The answer to this depends, as there are essentially two types of hostels. At least, these are two styles of hostels that I’ve generally come across.

Traditional ‘youth hostels’. These are meant mostly for students or young people and are …