How Much Do Hostels Cost? A Frequently Asked Hostel Question
How Much Do Hostels Cost? If you’re a budget traveler, you’ll most likely be spending your trip staying in hostels. Hostels are one of the cheapest forms of accommodation and make it easy for you to splurge on more exciting things, like tours and alcohol.
How Much Do Hostels Cost?
For a single bed in a dorm room, the price will vary from 20 cents to around $100 around the world, but it’ll be very rare for the price to come in at any higher than that. It’s all dependent on the part of the world you’ll be traveling in.
In Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, South Asia, Central America, and other affordable regions of the world, you can find dorm beds for next to nothing. In Laos, for example, I spent $1 on a private room in a guesthouse overlooking the Mekong. Sure, it was basic, but it was also amazing value for money!
In Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, and North America, you’ll find the highest prices. In these parts of the world, dorm rooms can start at around $20 a night for a decent hostel and max out at $100 night for a private room in the flashiest hostel.
Are Hostel Discounts Available?
HI (Hostelling International), Australia’s World Nomads, and sometimes a few other hostel bookers or chains will offer hostel discount cards for use at their hostels only (like a hotel points account), but for the most part, don’t expect any kind of deal: hostels are already extraordinarily cheap.
If you’re staying log-term (by which I mean more than a month), the manager will usually decide to give you a deal, and if you’re in Southeast Asia, you can nearly always negotiate the price down.
So, what are you likely to get for your money?
A Free Breakfast
It’s common to receive a complimentary breakfast in a hostel, but this isn’t necessarily as good as it sounds. In Latin America, you’ll be faced with breads, juice, and instant coffee; in Europe, you’ll be able to grab the same but with some decent cheese thrown in.
Honestly, the free breakfasts in hostels are uniformly terrible, and are usually served buffet style and cold. While it does save you money on a meal, you won’t enjoy it, and it’ll likely be the same the world over. I prefer to head outside and try some of the local food for breakfast instead.
The Internet is everywhere these days, and hostels are one of the few places where you can nearly always be guaranteed to get online. While hotels still like to charge for Internet, hostels will give you a free WiFi connection to use for as long as you like.
Access to Tours
The longer I’ve traveled, the less enthusiastic I’ve been about hostels, but the one thing that keeps me coming back for more? The sheer availability of activities they offer. Hostel staff will be able to tell you where the free walking tours run from, will run pub crawls, will organize social nights, will help you get to your next destination, will run day trips to nearby sites of interest.
Even when I decide I’m finished with hostels, it’s this ease of travel that always has me coming crawling back for one more sleepless night.
You will always be given linen to use for the duration of your stay, so don’t be one of those travelers who brings your own with you. You’ll be unlikely to ever use it, anyway: most hostels forbid your use of your own sleeping bag or sheets because they could be harboring bedbugs, and hostels are actually really quite good at keeping bedbugs out (contrary to popular opinion).
While there are quite a few hostels out there who will provide you with free towels to use (or allow you to rent them for a small fee), it’s just rare enough for me not to recommend you don’t bother bringing your own. Private hostel rooms generally come equipped with towels if you’ve got your own ensuite bathroom.