Written by Breffni Horgan, Director of Product at Hostelworld Group
Modern hostels buck the stereotype they attracted back in 1970s. They’re safe, clean, affordable and a great way to meet likeminded people. Plus, many of the best new hostels across the globe offer so much more than the hotel down the road that will set you back twice as much.
Indeed, you can basically design and choose the ultimate holiday adventure or travel experience by basing yourself at one of hundreds of designer hostels that are featured in the annual HOSCARs awards. (Yes, we’re giving hostels the recognition they deserve in our Oscars-esque awards!).
Whether you opt for a private room in a beachside wonderland for you and a special friend like Freehand Miami Hostel, or you wish to travel alone, these are our top six reasons to stay in a hostel.
You don’t need to be a seasoned traveller
For seasoned travellers, hostels are a go-to but you don’t need to have ticked 50 countries off your travel wish list to qualify to stay in one. Sure, you may well bump into the odd “anti-tourist” over breakfast, but you’ll meet tonnes more people who are just like you, and may well be experiencing the excitement of hostelling for the very first time.
You can still have your privacy
Perhaps the most common misconception about hostels is that you have to share a large dorm room with other travellers. But if you prefer to have a bit more privacy or you love that wonderful feeling of having your own personal space to bed down, just find a hostel that offers private rooms as well as dorms. 90% of the hostels on Hostelworld have private rooms! You might pay a smidgeon more for the privacy, but it will still be significantly better value for money than the hotel down the road.
Enviable pools and gardens
Some of the best hostel pools put your bog standard hotel pools to shame. Search for some of the most beautiful roof-top hostel pools (like the sunset destination Hostel in Lisbon), or tropical hostels like Selina Bocas Del Toro with palm-lined gardens and you’ll never look back.
Rediscover your sense of adventure
Hostels give you a great opportunity to ignite your sense of adventure and stray from the predictability of hotels. Looking at photos of some designer hostels against luxury hotels and you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish the difference. And hostels pride themselves on their quirks, from skate ramps, to yoga lessons, tattoo parlours and organic juice bars, hostels set themselves apart from one another with their unique offerings. If this sounds like your cup of tea, you should check out Backpackers On The Beach in Byron Bay down under or the Salty Pelican in Portugal, which offers yoga sessions twice a day. So knowing that you’re getting the pleasing aesthetics along with a common room full of likeminded people, makes hostels a win-win option!
Showcase your culinary expertise
Sure, there may not be room service or a minibar, yet there’s no better way of getting to know new people than cooking for each other in a wonderful large, clean and well-equipped communal kitchen. Eating together with the sound of waves lapping a nearby shore and the sun setting beyond the ocean is where lifelong friendships are forged.
Meet great people
Perhaps the best reason of all. Whether you’re a party animal looking to go on a bar crawl and club hop every night or in the market for a more chilled out vibe and a relaxing space to curl up with a book, hostels offer the chance to meet some great people. People just like you. And people nothing at all like you. Expanding your horizons and meeting the world has never been so easy!
Check out Hostelworld’s HOSCARS for more on how you can design your own adventure in the world’s greatest hostels.