Hostels are a less formal type of accommodation that runs the gamut in terms of style. For decades, hostels have been a popular form of lodging when traveling throughout Europe. Today, in countries around the world, many establishments offer these dorm-style accommodations at a much cheaper rate than traditional hotels. Most hostels have shared rooms and bathrooms, with free breakfast and other amenities. They tend to take on the flavor of their local city, and many offer perks like storage, bike rental, laundry facilities and kitchens. There are many additional benefits of staying in a hostel that often get overlooked.
Make New Friends and Socialize
One of the greatest benefits of hostels, is the opportunity to meet new people. The hostel atmosphere is one where travelers from all parts of the globe interact, become friends and experience the city together, making hostels a great option for both solo travelers and groups. It is easy to quickly form a bond, and find someone with your same interests, and with whom you can continue your trip. Hostels are perfect for college students who are usually on a limited budget and accustomed to dorm-style living.
There are Tons of Facilities
Hostels come in all shapes and sizes and are located in every type of terrain and climate. Some hostels have resort type amenities including swimming pools, and are a far cry from the dingy backpacker dumps most people remember from the past. Many hostels are built from the ground up to accommodate specific types of travelers, while others are lodged in cool funky sometimes historic buildings. You can also expect to find computers, internet and Wi-Fi and often books and games, travel info and a friendly staff who will help with your tours and transportation bookings.
Support the Local Community
Although there are now emerging hostel chains, most hostels are small, independent operations run by locals who have made it their primary business. Their only goal is to provide a good service to travelers, and make some money from their properties. So, by staying in a hostel you are putting your money directly back into the local community, rather than into a fancy international hotel chain.
Get Close to the Local Community
At a hostel you will get close to the staff, and gain access to local insider knowledge about where to go and what to do. They can point you to the really cool, off the beaten path type of places to visit, and all of the cultural must-sees that only the locals sometimes talk about. Best of all they will do this knowing that you are on a budget.
The price of accommodations can easily be the largest expense incurred while traveling. If you are staying at a hotel, you might pay more than $100 per night – essentially for a bed, shower and breakfast. If you are looking to travel on a budget then staying in a hostel is one of the best ways to save money. This way you can travel the world, without breaking the bank. And remember: The more money you save, the longer you can travel!