No matter the kind of traveler you are, part of the experience means getting out of your comfort zone. One guaranteed (and highly recommended) way to do that is by staying in a hostel! I, by no means, ever saw myself as someone who would be okay with the “hostel life” but I am so glad I decided to go through with it! Now, I’m not saying you should always stay in a hostel whenever you travel, because that could get super exhausting. But I do believe that everyone should do it at least once in their life! Here’s why:
Hostels will always be the cheapest option when it comes to stay. If you’re open to cutting back on costs in that area, you’ll be able to use more money for things such as experiences and shopping! Most hostels are built in a “community” concept meaning you share a room with a handful of other people. This also means you’ll be sharing a kitchen and bathroom with the same group of people. While this may not sound totally ideal, it saves you a good amount on the overall cost of your trip. Community rooms within hostels are the cheapest option you’re going to find, however, most hostels also offer a private room. If you prefer a private room, don’t stress, it still comes out cheaper than a hotel/Airbnb! Hostels also tend to be big on environment. If you take some time to explore your hostel, you’ll probably find some really neat things they’re working on in order to help the planet out. Many of them partner with different organizations around the world in order to spread awareness on recycling, water use, etc.
Meeting New People
Staying in a hostel is the number one way to meet people when you travel. You’re sharing a room with people you’ve never met, so it’s inevitable that conversations will spark from the get-go. Plus, you’re most likely already going out of your comfort zone by staying in a hostel, so having a conversation with a stranger will be a walk in the park. Hostels also make it super easy to get to know the other people staying there. They host nightly events, many of which start at the hostel but end up being out somewhere! The coolest thing about meeting people in hostels is that the people staying there come from all over the world, so, while you may be visiting the same city, your different backgrounds and experiences make you see it from different perspectives.
I have to say the best part about staying in a hostel is the staff. It’s apparent that being knowledgeable and friendly are the two requirements for being employed by one. You’ll also find that a majority of the staff are actually travelers themselves! Many of them moved from a different country or are there as a temporary job, which means they loved the city enough to make it a home for themselves. For this reason, they are the go-to people for recommendations. No matter what you enjoy doing when visiting a new place, they have a suggestion for you. They genuinely want travelers coming through to love the city the same way they do. Making friends with them is super easy and extremely beneficial!
Looking for the perfect hostel might seem overwhelming but make sure to do your research because there are TONS of options! Read reviews and look at locations. Most hostels are located in the central area of major cities making it super easy to get around. My personal favorite chain is St. Christopher’s Inn! They are located all around the world. Find the one that speaks to you and don’t second think it. I promise you will learn some things you never knew about yourself!