Apparently hostels are one of the most popular types of lodgings in Europe, so I am now left wondering whether we all should re-consider staying in a hostel whilst travelling.

50 Cent shows us his own hostel experience  in the video ‘In Da Hostel’ (courtesy of Hostelworld)…this is an actual hostel in Barcelona, Spain…

I am the first to admit that my personal view of staying in a hostel is not entirely positive (cheap and cheerful) and certainly influenced by previous experiences, such as those when away with friends at stag weekends and more recently, staying in bunk beds with no air conditioning in Salou, Spain for example and going for the cheapest possible accommodation available (some pictures below).

 

But what exactly is the typical hostel?

The definition of hostel is a low-budget accommodation shared among travellers. When a guest books a stay in a hostel, he or she typically books a bed for the night, not a room. The guest’s bed is likely to be in a room with other travellers and bathrooms are dorm-style; large, with several shower stalls and a row of sinks. Hostels usually have only a limited number of bathrooms on each floor.

I recently attended a business event where Paul Halpenny from Hostelworld.com presented about his company, and it made me think whether I should reconsider trying the hostel experience again.

What are the possible factors to consider before staying in a Hostel?

  • Location is key and most cities around the World will have hostels available, usually with a spread of good central locations as well as the options further out
  • Hostels can act like mini-tourist offices and the travellers and staff have real inside knowledge and stories to share
  • Most fit the expected model of Lower Cost/ No frills compared to hotels but they are clean even if relatively inexpensive
  • It is all about the people! Hostels provide a place to meeting other people and make new friends, or travel in groups. Either way it has a communal spirit about it
  • Don’t like to share the room with others? Some hostels offer private accommodation so you can fly solo
  • Otherwise it is true, there is a real lack of privacy
  • No Personal service such as what you can find in hotels and staff will be limited
  • Finely, Hostels are Unique and Individual

FINAL TIPS

Main one is to read reviews on sites such as Hostelworld.com and give it back also by contributing with your own reviews as well as swapping stories and travel tips!

It goes without saying that you should always be considerate of others, protect your valuables and if you want to try something a bit more akin to what you are used to in hotels, why not consider an upmarket hostel?

 

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