It’s no secret that hostels don’t have the best reputation. That is why many people hesitate to stay in them. Yet, that’s a stereotype. Most of the time, hostels are actually a way better option than their more expensive cousins — hotels.
No matter how bizarre it might sound, they offer many pros that you can’t match if you stay in a five-star suite. Moreover, there are so many hostels out there, and each of them offers something new and unique. So, the main event of the evening — hostels vs. hotels! Let’s get into it.
Most Hotels Are Highly Expensive
Unlike hostels, hotels are way pricier. Many people opt to book a hostel room as it reduces their expenses while traveling. That way, they save more money and use it for other activities. Just think about it. One night less in a hotel can pay for a great meal in a restaurant, a ticket to a museum, or even extend your stay in a hostel.
Furthermore, if you choose to stay in a hostel, you can travel even on a tight budget. For example, you can stay in dorm rooms with bunk beds and other people, which is cheaper. Sure, it might not sound like the best experience, but it’s still fun in its own way. Of course, if you’re not broke and can spare a few quid more, four-bed and private rooms are options, too.
Hostels Open Your Doors for New Friends
In reality, staying in a hotel means no social interaction with other people. Once you check in, you either stay in your room or go out on your way. What’s more, you can be in a hotel for weeks and not meet a single person besides the receptionist. Just like in The Shining. Sure, that’s great for some. But for most people? Nope. They want social interaction.
On the other hand, in hostels, there is an existing social element. It allows you to meet new people and enhance your overall travel experience. For example, hostel workers organize various events like quizzes, karaoke nights, and even happy hours. Such events help guests break the ice, meet, and start new friendships while traveling, which is great for solo people.
In Hotels, Every Move Needs Payment
No matter how much money you pay for a comfy five-star hotel room, hotels don’t offer much outside regular service. For example, if you want a drink from the small fridge in the room, you’ll need to pay for it before you leave. Similarly, if your clothes get dirty by an accident, washing them isn’t free. We can go on like this, but you get the point.
In other words, every move needs payment. Hotel employees are looking for tips when carrying your baggage, calling the elevator, or answering your questions at the reception. Sure, they need to earn money. But what happened to helping other people out? That is one of the biggest differences between hostels and hotels.
Hostels Offer Free Stuff
Another reason to choose hostels over hotels is free stuff. When staying in a hostel, it’s like being a part of a community. With common areas, you get to use stuff together without paying extra. In hotels, as we’ve said, extra towels, comforters, and other things always cost extra.
You can live inside a hotel for months, but it will always be sterile and will never feel like home. This is completely opposite to hostels. They’re spaces that a bunch of different people use and share. Some even have working spaces from where you can do all your work without having to make a payment.
Most Hotels Don’t Have a Kitchen
Even if hotels have private bathrooms in every room, they lack one thing. They don’t have private kitchens. Sure, this isn’t a major thing for people on vacation. Not many go traveling to cook every day as they do at home, but there’s a catch. Cooking your meals means saving up on money. And if you’re on a tight budget, that’s perfect.
Hotel guests eat at the restaurant of the place they’re staying, or they go out. The first option doesn’t allow for too much variety. You eat what is on the menu, and you pray to god that the hotel cook is at least somewhat good. The second option is great, but it’s quite pricey to eat out every day, isn’t it? People hesitate to do it even while at home.
You Can Cook Your Own Meal at Hostels
When it comes to hostels, most of them have kitchens that guests can use. You can cook meals or even store food and snacks in the fridge. Moreover, you can arrange with other guests to cook something and have lunch or dinner together. And aside from this being a budget-friendly option, it helps you eat a familiar dish you enjoy back home.
Traveling abroad means experiencing different cultures, and that’s great. However, no matter how interesting a country, city, or the local culture is, the food might not be your thing. That’s why it’s a good option to be able to make a meal of your own. You ask the people working at your hostel where the best market or store is, you go shopping, and you’re all set.
Safety Tips When Staying in a Hostel
Before we end this text about the pros of different types of accommodations, it’s more than fair to mention safety. After all, the stigma hostels get makes for a notion that they’re somehow dangerous and that anything can happen inside them.
However, that’s not true. Hostels are just like hotels in this department. You can check their ratings online via a quick Google search and see whether anyone had a negative experience while staying in one. But still, let’s mention some safety tips too.
- Look up ratings online before you book a hostel room;
- Get as much information about your accommodation as possible;
- Talk to hostel employees about the part of town you’re staying at;
- Make a photo of your passport and send it to yourself;
- Travel with someone instead of alone;
- Don’t get drunk with strangers;
- If you’re female, look up female-only dorm rooms.