While hostels were once considered a place only young travelers and backpackers chose to stay in, today they can be a good option for all kinds of people. There are many different types, including some that offer the usual comforts of a standard hotel while providing a fun social environment. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a hostel is better every time, depending on the destination, your preferences and travel style, sometimes a hotel is the better choice.
Here’s a closer look to help you make the best decision.
Hostels have long-been known for their more budget-friendly rates that allow those with relatively little money to afford to travel. If you’re saving up to buy a home among the Memphis houses for sale and don’t have much to spend, staying at a hostel can help you do it on the cheap. While that’s not always the case these days, most are still less expensive than your standard hotel room, especially if you don’t mind staying in a dorm room with bunk beds and sharing a bathroom.
According to TripSavvy, North America, Western Europe, New Zealand and Australia have the highest rates, with dorm rooms starting at around $20 and private rooms maxing out around $100 per night. The cheapest rooms can be found in Central America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, with dorms available for as little as $5 a night and private rooms starting at just $15.
One of the biggest differences between a hotel and hostel is the option for shared rooms, which again, comes at a much lower cost. While some hostels do offer private rooms, at hotels you’ll nearly always have a private room. For some, a shared room means the opportunity to get to know other travelers, and perhaps even find a travel buddy to hit the road with too. Generally, if privacy is something that’s high on your priority list, a hotel will be your better bet.
If you’re looking for lavish amenities, from expansive, complimentary breakfast buffets and room service to swimming pools, hot tubs and fitness centers, you’ll want to book a room at a hotel. While hostels run the gamut when it comes to amenities, they usually can’t compete with a hotel. You’ll probably have access to a storage area or locker, and perhaps shared kitchen facilities for making a simple breakfast with coffee. Some include board games, computers for guest use and laundry facilities. The more expensive hostels may offer hotel-like amenities such as free toiletries and even robes, but you might have to bring your own towel if you book a lower-end option.
Socializing and Insider Tips
If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, hostels usually win hands down as you’ll be able to get insider tips from the staff, and fellow travelers too. In fact, those who work at hostels are often travelers themselves. You’ll learn more about the place and perhaps make a friend in the process. There are plenty of opportunities for socializing, helping to prevent the loneliness that can set in when you’re traveling solo, whereas guests at hotels don’t usually tend to mingle all that much, often sticking to themselves.