Hostel Benefits: Hostels have long been considered the reserve of gap year students and budget travelers looking for a place that offers a cheap bed and filling food for a good price, but many have grown and developed with their patrons, and many hostels have become much more than just somewhere for a basic bed for the night. With well equipped common rooms, free internet access and a variety of other facilities you might expect in a hotel, there is a wide range of reasons why hostels are a great choice for the solo traveler.
Paying For The Bed, Not The Room
While money may not be the only reason, one of the great aspects of staying in a bed in a dorm room is that you will only have to pay for the bed. Solo travelers who tend to opt for hotels will often find that they are having to pay for two just to get a private room, with a single occupancy premium adding to the costs that have to be paid, and often increasing the overall cost. By staying in hostels, solo travelers can avoid paying extra in order to stay in a hotel, and for those who are looking for some privacy, many hostels will offer private rooms that are much more competitively priced than local hotels.
Meeting New People
Another great feature of staying at a hostel is that it will have a much more social and interactive mentality than staying in a hotel, and sharing a dorm room can also lead to sharing food and experiences too. While they may have an image of attracting a fairly young crowd, there are many hostels that draw a diverse and interesting group of people of all ages together. There are some hostels in different cities and countries that may have a reputation as being a good “party” hostel, and these are ideal for those who want to meet new people to go out with and to enjoy the night life of a destination.
Keeping Down Food Costs
A feature that is included in most hostels is a fully equipped kitchen with an oven, microwave and other cooking equipment, and this can be very useful for those who are traveling on a tight budget. By not having to go out to eat every night, this can help to significantly reduce the costs of food while on the road, and it is also good for those who are looking to eat healthily, with a bag of groceries that can last nearly a week often costing around the same as one meal at a restaurant.
A Base For Activities
As well as being an interesting place to stay, many hostels will offer much more than just a bed for the night, but will also be able to arrange activities and introduce you to other people looking to try the same trips or experiences as you. Whether it is an adventurous excursion to go mountain biking in a remote area, or joining a group of others on a white water rafting trip, staying in a hostel can put you in contact with others interested in the same activity which might not be possible if you were staying in a hotel.
Planning Forward Travel
Taking the next step on your journey and leaving a hostel is a common enough occurrence for those traveling steadily on a long-term trip but hostels can also help you to find somewhere to stay at your next stop. The common rooms of the hostels are also useful places for those looking to find friends to travel with, and for those heading to the same place, a bit of company on the road can often make for an interesting change.