While the word hotel and hostel may sound similar, they are vastly different. When booking for a trip you may have considered both options, but aren’t sure which one is for you. Don’t worry I have been there. Here is what you need to know when comparing hotels vs. hostels.
Stay in a hostel if you want to
The major appeal for hostels is its inexpensive price tag for backpackers. You can stay at a hostel for as little as $5 in some countries such as Thailand and Sigapore. It is an easy way to save hundreds on a getaway. Hostels also usually have kitchens for guests to use, which can help save money on eating out.
Meet new people
Hostels are set up for you to make friends. Often times they will have meet and greets or walking tours for hostel dwellers to make new travel buddies. This is especially good for people traveling solo who are hoping to make connections along the way.
Often times you will be in large rooms with multiple bunks. You might not know the person bunking above or below you. It is important that you are comfortable with sharing space before booking a hostel. Although you will probably be sleeping in close quarters there are usually common areas you can read and spend time by yourself if need be.
Cook for yourself
Hostels are a great way to save money because you can cook for yourself in the kitchen they provide. Sometimes you might get lucky, and people leave behind the food you can cook with like brown rice, olive oil, and spices.
Have wild and unexpected experiences to tell
In hostels you don’t know what kind of experience you are going to get. You might meet someone who can show you all the local hotspots. A perk to staying in a hostel is that you can’t predict how the experience will go.
Lack of Amenities
Most hostels don’t offer a lot of amenities. You might find a hostel with a pool every once in a while but you will probably not find one with a gym attached. While amenities are common for hotels, hostels offer the bare essentials for a stay. You might even have to pay for a towel and shampoo at a hostel. A lot of cheaper ones don’t offer free breakfast either. They do, however, usually have laundry available at a low fee which is great for people who have been traveling for a while.
Hostels get a bad rap, but they are actually a great option for solo travelers. Often times you will meet people along the way that might want to travel the same journey as you. This happened to me when I stayed at a hostel in Charleston, S.C. I meet a girl named Carley and right away hit it off and decided to visit a couple of tours together for the remainder of our trip. It made the experience so much more enjoyable for me to have someone to share it with.
Stay in a hotel if you want to
Burn a hole in you wallet
When comparing hotels vs. hostels let’s face it hotels are more expensive. You will have less money in your bank account by booking a hotel over a hostel. However, if money isn’t an issue or you have saved up for this trip I wouldn’t worry about it.
After a full day of crowded streets and tourists, it is relaxing to come back to a quiet room all to yourself. I stayed in a hostel in Berlin that had an outlet for a phone charger at the other end of the room. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my phone there overnight so I quickly charged my phone in the morning. When I went about my day it died on me while I was trying to navigate my way to the airport. Traveling can be stressful not having things like limited outlets and communal bathrooms is just a couple fewer things to worry about while traveling.
Order out at restaurants
Hotels don’t have kitchens as hostels do. If you are planning on staying in just hotels be prepared to eat out for every meal. If you are an ultimate foodie hoping to dine at all the fabulous restaurants in town you won’t think twice about not having a kitchen.
Have a luxurious experience
Hotels offer a luxurious experience that hostels cannot compete with. If you have the budget for luxury, glamour, and pristine hotels are the way to go. Not all hostels are drab, but they exist to serve a function and aren’t usually beautiful places to stay.
Hotels will often have useful amenities such as gyms, pools, laundry, and food. Not to mention 24 hours service at the front desk.It is unlikely that hostels will have an in-house gym with treadmills and weights like most hotels do. Not all hotels offer complimentary breakfast, but they will at least have some food options to buy if you don’t want to leave the hotel room.
Travel with a spouse or with your parents
If you have older parents are or traveling with a spouse a hostel will not sound appealing. Overall, I have found that hostels are more popular with the younger population. I couldn’t imagine my parents at the ripe age of 60 enjoying staying on a bunk bed with a bunch of strangers. Be sure that if you are traveling with others they feel comfortable staying in a hostel before booking.
Hotels vs. hostels is ultimately up to your preference. Whether you stay in a hotel or hostel I hope you travel well.