Youth Hostels: Tell Us What You Think!

Hostel Time!

Youth hostels are experiencing a bit of a renaissance. Eager to shed their image as only serving the needs of young backpackers, many hostels are adding private rooms and amenities that rival (and in many cases surpass) other 1 and 2 star hotels. Rather than only appealing to student travelers, there is a clear trend among hostels to attract a broader age range of travelers, groups and families who are looking to save a buck while on the road.

Which brings us to our questions for our fellow Cheapos:

1.) When traveling in Europe, do you like staying in hostels or do you tend to stay elsewhere? Any particular reason?

2.) If you stay in hostels, do you specifically reserve private rooms or do you fully embrace the hostel experience and stay in dorm-style rooms?

3.) What is it about hostels you like (and dislike) the most?

Tell us what you think in the comment field below. And if you have other hostel feedback beyond our 3 questions, let it roll!

About the author

Pete Meyers
About the author: An Ohio native, Pete Meyers was bred on family road trips and the Beach Boys. When not working at EuroCheapo HQ in NYC, Pete likes to be found eating bouillabaisse anywhere in the south of France.
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Cheapo Comments

11 Responses to “Youth Hostels: Tell Us What You Think!”
  • Sarah Parks says:

    I have had really good experiences at hostels when I’ve been traveling in France and Italy. I think that right now for me, as an American, they make a lot of sense.

    I have stayed in private rooms in hostels (with shared bathrooms) for much less than I would have spent at a B&B or hotel, so I opted for that. I don’t really get into the shared dorm thing (it’s been a while, but I used to!), as I don’t like being disrupted during the night whilst other travelers come and go.

    I’d say I prefer a hotel, but when my budget calls for it, I’ll stay in a hostel in a private room. And I know I’m not the only 40 year old woman who will! I always meet others my age, and some much older.

    Thanks.

  • The Stud Abroad says:

    I go for whatevers cheapest. I’ve noticed some of the hostels do seem a little nicer, but I never pay for a private – just try a small dorm.

  • kitten thief says:

    I woudnt be able to travel around spain without hostel! What kind of question is that! There the only way to go!

  • I stay in hostels rather then hotels if I have time . With my girlfriend we try to get a double room (sometimes cheaper then 2 dorm beds)

    Best thing about hostels are the other travelers (fun, talk, share, enjoy)
    Worst thing about hostels are the other travelers ;) (noice, mess)

  • Pete Meyers Pete Meyers says:

    Interesting comments – keep ‘em coming!

    @ Sarah — I agree, showing flexibility can pay off and save some bucks!

    Pete

  • Meg says:

    1. It depends on the city. On my last trip I booked a hostel in London (private room) and had a great experience. If it’s a cheaper city I’d get a hotel.

    2. Private room

    3. I love the vibe of being around other backpackers who are excited to be traveling.

  • Emily says:

    Not to be a snob, but I already did the whole dorm thing. I’m all about communal meals to stay true to what eating is all about. . . but I’m a light sleeper, so it’s got to be a private room. I wouldn’t normally consider a hostel at all really, unless it came personally recommended by a reliable source. Know of one? :o )

  • Reid says:

    I stayed in a hostel (The Avalon House) in Dublin on a trip three years ago. It was fine — although I had my own room and private bath. I really didn’t hear any of the younger guests, which was fine. I thought people were well-behaved and it made me rethink my earlier prejudices against hostels in general.

    I normally don’t think of myself as a hostel type, but would consider it again if I found myself in those circumstances (ie. all the other reasonably-priced hotels were full). I wouldn’t stay in a dorm, though. Thanks for asking.

  • Dan Roberts says:

    The reason you would stay in a hostel is to meet other travellers. The thing about a hostel is that it is not only cheaper than a hotel but that there is common space where you share stories, meet interesting people, and expand you mind. That is the idea of backpacking!

    You can nearly always find cheap dodgy hotels in Europe – but what is the point of being in your own little cell, you won’t meet other interesting travellers.

  • marysue says:

    I’m with Emily. I have a hard time getting myself to actually enjoy travel when I have to stay in a hostel. I’m in my early 30s, so I definitely need a private room with en suite facilities. I guess if the price is right, the location is relatively quiet, and I can have my own room, it’s OK. I also always check to see if the hostel or budget accommodation is frequented by youngsters and backpackers only or if it is a good place for older folks (not that 30 is old, but you get my drift).

  • Hostelio says:

    There is too much confusion about the definition of term “hostel”. I dont think small hotels, B&B’s or pension should call themselves as hostels.

    A hostel must provide budget-price accommodation, including 1-night stays, must welcome individual travellers and must not charge them more than a member of a couple or group. A hostel must have a common room where guests can sit and chat, or eat communally.

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