What is a Hostel? An Overview and Tips for International Travelers

For those who’re planning on volunteering, educating, or finding out overseas, and even simply touring internationally, you’ll wish to take into consideration the kind of lodging that finest fit your wants. There are tons of housing sorts to select from, however one common possibility is to remain in hostels throughout your travels – significantly in the event you’re with a gaggle or in the event you’re on a good price range.

However simply what’s a hostel? And the way do hostels work? Let’s check out what you’ll be able to count on from staying in a hostel, and whether or not it’s the fitting possibility for you.

What Is A Hostel?

A hostel is a lower-priced inn of types that gives fundamental, shared lodging. Usually, a hostel options a big room with separate beds, a shared toilet, and a communal kitchen. Some hostels have non-public rooms, however the lower-cost ones typically provide bunk beds. Hostels originated in Europe, however they’ve grown in recognition and yow will discover them all around the world.

How Do Hostels Work?

Hostels work form of like inns, however with a couple of variations. Similar to with a resort, it’s finest to make a reservation beforehand, although many hostels hold a couple of beds open every night time for drop-ins. Not like inns, many hostels have curfews; in the event you arrive after curfew, you may be locked out for the night time. That is achieved as a standard courtesy to different company and to the employees. Hostels hold costs low through the use of a shared room as a substitute of particular person, non-public ones, and solely offering essentially the most fundamental facilities.

Hostel Vs. Lodge: What’s The Distinction?

Hostel vs resort: The most important distinction between a hostel and a resort is that in a resort, you’re assured a personal room and your individual toilet. As talked about above, a hostel differs right here as a result of areas are shared. The communal toilet has bathe stalls, for instance, and the kitchen is out there for vacationers to prepare dinner their very own meals (quite than having the choice of ordering meals such as you’d discover in a resort). And hostels by nature are extra social, whereas inns provide extra privateness.

What Are The Benefits Of Staying In A Hostel?

Hostels are a superb possibility for quite a lot of causes. Say you’re volunteering overseas with a big group and wish to hang around collectively – you’ll be able to go for a big bunk room for a particularly inexpensive value. Or, if you wish to meet a great deal of wonderful new individuals, a hostel is an excellent option to meet fellow vacationers. Listed below are a couple of extra causes to remain in a hostel:

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Relying on the place you go and the room kind you select, you’ll be able to ebook a hostel for as little as $10 per night time. Whether or not you’re volunteering overseas or aiming for price range journey, a hostel offers you a spot to sleep for a fraction of the value of a resort.

Social Actions

For those who love assembly new individuals, a hostel is correct up your alley. Hostels are identified for his or her social life, because the shared rooms naturally break down obstacles. You may meet every kind of fascinating individuals, from backpackers to world vacationers. Folks from all totally different international locations keep in hostels – strike up a dialog and make new mates!

Nice for Huge Teams

Reserving a number of resort rooms for giant teams may be expensive – however renting one massive bunk room in a hostel may be rather more handy, inexpensive, and enjoyable.


Some hostels are off the crushed path, however nonetheless near main metropolis facilities. Others are in much more unique locales. One hostel in Panama, for instance, is positioned proper on the ocean and even incorporates a slide that spits you proper out into the water!


When you typically know what to anticipate with one chain resort to the subsequent, every hostel is exclusive. Some have cool rooftop hangout areas and others host unique bars. For those who’re in search of an area, enjoyable expertise that’s totally different from a resort, think about staying at a hostel.


Most hostels embody free wifi whenever you test in – that stated, the connection may be spotty in the event you’re in a distant space or if plenty of vacationers are related without delay. When you can test your social networks and browse the online, you’ll have hassle streaming films and TV reveals.

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Most hostels serve a complimentary breakfast, although it might be on the lighter aspect. This is a wonderful bonus in the event you’re touring on a good price range!

What Are The Disadvantages Of A Hostel?

Understandably, when sharing a room with a number of different vacationers, there are certain to be some drawbacks. Right here are some things to contemplate earlier than leaping in:


If you find yourself in communal sleeping quarters with a snorer or sleeptalker, you’re out of luck. Be certain that to deliver earplugs simply in case you share a room with a loud neighbor.


When plenty of individuals sleep in the identical room, it may possibly get smelly. And since hostels are cheaper and could also be in additional distant areas, individuals might not keep on with the non-public hygiene routine they hold at house. Numerous backpackers and long-term vacationers keep in hostels, and may be ripe after spending time in nature or on the highway and not using a bathe!

Lack of Privateness

Since you’ll be able to count on to sleep in a room with quite a lot of totally different individuals, you gained’t get pleasure from the identical privateness you’ve got in a resort.

Lack of Private Facilities

Hostels are cheaper than inns as a result of they run a extra lean operation. Meaning they usually have fewer employees members and provide fewer facilities.


Loads of hostels impose a curfew for security and to verify vacationers aren’t interrupting others’ sleep by coming and going in any respect hours. For those who’re planning to remain out late and wish entry to your room at any time of the night time, a hostel most likely isn’t for you.

Are Hostels Protected?

Typically, hostels are protected—official hostels, particularly. You’ll discover a good sense of group in a hostel, and in the event you’re apprehensive about your valuables being stolen, think about renting a locker (if it’s not already supplied by the hostel together with your room).

How A lot Cash Does It Price To Keep In A Hostel?

Whereas costs can fluctuate extensively, you’ll be able to typically count on for hostels to price between $10 to $40 per night time. Hostels can fluctuate within the variety of facilities, perks, consolation ranges, and placement, so make sure you take this into consideration when selecting your housing. Typically although, you’ll be able to ebook an evening at a hostel for a fraction of the cash you’d pay for a resort.

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Ideas For Staying In A Hostel

For those who’re a first-time traveler, or new to staying in shared housing, listed here are a couple of tricks to know earlier than you go:

Get to Know Folks

There are such a lot of wonderful vacationers you’ll be able to meet in a hostel, and the lodging invite mingling and creating new friendships. Take time to speak to others and actually benefit from the social alternatives you get by enjoyable with fellow vacationers.

Take Flip Flops

That is particularly necessary for utilizing communal showers, however flip flops are also an incredible alternative for hanging out within the frequent rooms and the native space.

Know What’s Provided

Hostels normally present bedding and a few toiletries, they’re not assured. Wifi and breakfast is probably not included within the reserving payment both, so ensure you recognize what’s supplied and what you’ll want to cowl earlier than you arrive!

Be Cautious of Impartial Hostels

Whereas many hostels are members of Hostelling Worldwide, some are independently owned and operated. Impartial hostels could also be extra inexpensive, however they is probably not as strictly regulated relating to cleanliness and different components – whereas this isn’t at all times the case, your finest guess could also be to test via websites like Hostelling Worldwide, or learn evaluations from different vacationers who’ve stayed on the location you’re enthusiastic about.

Wrapping It Put: Common Takeaways About Hostels

Hostels are an economical place to crash whether or not you journey, volunteer, or research overseas. They’re a beautiful possibility for price range journey, but additionally an incredible setting to fulfill new individuals and kind new friendships. And if you have already got a gaggle you’re touring or volunteering with, you’ll be able to really feel extra immersed locally by staying in a spot that encourages interplay and socialization!

In order for you flexibility, privateness, and splendid lodging, most hostels aren’t for you – however with some data about how hostels work, you’ll be able to have an incredible expertise overseas!

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