Hostels – Cheap Living Away from Home

If you’ve been traveling around, you must have noticed the increasing number of hostels in almost all destinations the world over.  Their almost dirt cheap rates make them a must establishment in every city catering to the growing number of budget travelers.

If you have not stayed in one but are curious about their potential, read on and discover what makes hostels click and whether they are worth staying in or not.

Pros

Hostels are cheap.  This is the principal reason of their popularity. Hostel rates can be as low as 20% of standard hotel rates.  Although the rooms are almost spartan and only the most basic of facilities are available, you can expect a clean room and a comfortable bed for a few dollars a night.  With the growing demand, many establishments are now refurbishing and improving their services; the rooms are still small but the bed and sheets can rival that of your 3 star hotels.

Free breakfast and kitchen use.  Most of these establishments offer free breakfast at a limited time daily, usually from 7am-10am.  You can stuff yourself with free breakfast before leaving for your exploration of the city. This can save you a few dollars for a meal.

Cheap bar.  Some of these businesses cater to backpackers who are always looking for a drink or two at night, so you may find a bar inside these hostels that offer drinks that are quite a bit cheaper when compared to nearby watering holes.

Travel buddies.  If you are looking for a travel buddy to share the costs with or just to exchange small talk and tips, these places will give you plenty of that and more.

Cons

Privacy.  If you are lucky, you’ll chance upon an en-suite private room if you have money to spare for the extra fee.   However, if you are one of those cash strapped backpackers, you’re most likely to end up in a dorm room and sleep on bunks with 8 other people in the room.

Share toilet. If you don’t like the idea of sharing toilets and bathrooms with other guests, hosteling may not be the option for you unless you are able to book the rare en-suite private room.

Security. Since more likely than not, you will be sharing a dorm room with other individuals, you can’t freely leave your valuables lying about.  You need to be more careful as nobody will be held responsible for your belongings but you.

If you are interested in booking a hostel, you should try STA travel.  They are dedicated to providing not only cheap accommodation via hostels but also cheap flights provided you are under 26 years of age.  If you are a cash-strapped youth, you should check their website and find the best value for your limited budget.

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