Traveling is a luxury and a privilege, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. I am young, new in my career, and only have a little extra cash for travel. Later in life, I want to stay at 5-star hotels in Europe, but I am not putting my love for traveling on hold until then.
A couple of months ago, I made plans with a friend to take a trip to London, but we were on a tight budget. We found cheap plane tickets to London but needed to ensure we could afford our stay. When budget traveling, I must ensure I can afford the stay before booking a plane ticket.
Of course, we started looking at hotels and Airbnb. Airbnb is the cheaper option initially, but the price doubles once you tack on the cleaning and service fees.
Hotels are nice. They typically include breakfast, a private room, and a cleaning service, but a few nights at a hotel adds up quickly for budget traveling. It is just out of our price range.
How did we find stays for under $150 for five nights in London? The short answer is HOSTELS.
Hostels in London are inexpensive for travelers to find accommodation, but you might be foregoing a few nights of comfort.
Hostels are dorm-style accommodations you share with a group of people. You can select how many people are in a dorm. The more people the cheaper it is. The hostel I stayed in London had 12 bunks per room. The beds are typically bunk beds. There is a communal shower and kitchen down the hall shared with your new roommates. It’s just like college all over again, except no one fills out an application to be here. They simply pay 25 Euro.
If you aren’t sure where to start looking for your stay Hostelworld is a great place to start when looking for hostels in London. Keep in mind not all hostels are the same. It’s important to read all the reviews, the locations, and amenities before booking. There is Sometimes a 8-star rating, turns out to look like a shithole upon arrival.
That is the case I found with NX London- my first hostel stay in London. The 8-star reviews didn’t match the disgusting smell of our room and dirty hallways. But I should have known what I was in for, which the cheap price tag.
When you are budget-traveling, often, you get what you pay for. A cheap hostel stay might feel like a steal when booking. After seeing the accommodations, the price is understandable.
The next stay, Smart Hyde Hostel, which is $25 a night, is where I would stay again. The hostel is spotless. Not once but twice in the two in the day and a half that I stayed there, I saw staff cleaning the halls and bathrooms. There were curtains on the beds of Smart Hyde Hostel, so it felt more private and secure.
This hostel offers complimentary breakfast if you post on social media, tidy, quiet rooms, clean bathrooms and showers, and a nice lounge area. Of course, you still have the stress of sharing space, which means getting ready quietly in the morning and locking up my belongings. Overall, if it means I can afford my trip by staying in hostels in London, it’s worth it.
Before booking, looking at what the hostel offers, the location, and the rules is essential. If you are on a tight budget, staying a few nights in a hostel is a great way to save money. Budget travel might not be glamorous, but it’s fun and exciting.
Hotels are preferable but I recommend staying at least once in a hostel for the experience. Hotels vs. Hostels- Which you should book. You never know who you will meet or what adventures you can have when staying at a hostel.