8 things hostels do better than posh hotels
Why stay in a stuffy posh hotel when youth hostels offer value for money, unbeatable social experiences and lashings of fun? You don’t have to sacrifice location either – you’ll find cheap hostels in city centre and downtown locations all over the world. Here are eight things hostels do better than hotels…
1. Mixing it up
Staying in a hotel on your own can be a lonely experience. But if you're staying in an eight-bunk dorm in a hostel, you've got no choice but to strike up a conversation with like-minded travellers. As well as amassing information about the neighbourhood, you’ll also meet buddies to go sightseeing or bar-hopping with. You might even meet fellow backpackers who can share the next step of your travel adventure. Many travellers have made life-long friends on the backpacker trail – and we’re willing to bet many of those friendships began in a dorm.
2. Keeping it cheap
On a budget? Staying in a hostel is an absolute bargain. Use our search page to find cheap hostels all over the world, with prices leading in at a pocket-friendly £8 per night. Meanwhile, grand hotels in big cities can charge more than one hundred pounds per night. Ouch! Saving on accommodation costs means you'll have more cash to splash on excursions, culture and clubbing.
3. Relaxing in style
Many hostels boast cool communal areas: think lounges with pillow-strewn sofas, hip bars, swimming pools and even hot tubs. While drinks are pricey in hotel bars, many hostels offer discounted beverages, as well as ramping up the fun factor with free theme nights, from movie screenings to dance lessons.
4. Cooking with friends
Reduce your eating-out costs and stay healthy by cooking yourself dinner in the hostel's shared kitchen. You won't find one of these in a top hotel – and it’s another great place to meet like-minded backpackers.
5. Connecting for free
A good wireless internet connection is essential to enable you to check the weather, plan the next part of your trip and stay in touch with folks back home. Many luxury hotel chains still levy an eye-watering fee for Wi-Fi, while many hostels give it away for free.
6. Activities with a difference
From touring a favela in Rio de Janeiro to cycling around San Francisco, hostels offer some amazing tours that'll transform your holiday into the trip of a lifetime. They're also a great laugh and great value for money compared with the dull, formal tours you'll find in many hotels.
7. Travelling as a group
Dorm rooms aren't the only accommodation option at hostels. You'll also find private rooms with private bathrooms that are perfect for couples, while private quads are a good option for groups of families and friends. And if you’re travelling as a large group – whether you’re a sports team, a stag party or a school group – large dorms offer value and convenience hotels have no chance of matching.
8. Getting tips from the experts
Hotels may boast about their concierges, but many hostels are run by seasoned travellers who know the local area inside out. From recommending affordable restaurants to telling you how to travel from A to B, welcoming staff will help you to make the most out of your trip.