Why Stay in Hostels when Backpacking Europe?
Travelers backpacking Europe are presented with a large variety of lodging options. You can stay in a cheap hotel, cute inn, bed and breakfast, campground, room for rent, or pensione, couch, guesthouse, luxury resort, or hostel. I have stayed in all types of accommodation, but my favorite is to rest my head in a hostel, also called a backpackers, youth hostel, or hostal, depending where you are in the world. There are many reasons to stay in a hostel whether you are a first-time traveler who is green behind the ears or an experienced globetrotter; here are my top 8 reasons:
- Hostels are cheap. Besides camping and couches, hostels are the least expensive type of lodging around the world. Saving money on your accommodation means that you have more dough to put towards neat experiences or a longer trip.
- B&B’s are too personal, and hotels are not personal enough. I don’t want to be forced to chitchat with a bed and breakfast owner over pancakes, but sometimes I do feel like making a friend at dinner, which is hard to do in a sterile hotel setting.
- Hostels usually have kitchens, laundry facilities and book exchanges, so not only do you save money on lodging itself, you will save money by cooking your own breakfast and doing your own laundry.
- Hostels are rich with insider information: maps, bulletin boards, and other travelers’ resources are the norm- not to mention the hostel manager who probably knows the area better than anyone in town, from the cheapest grocery store to the beach where seal pups hang out
- Hostels are located in cool places that hotels are not. Small, out-of-the-way locations often aren’t big enough to support an inn but will have a hostel, catering to backpackers and creating a solid budget travel infrastructure and a mini-culture around it.
- When you stay in a hostel you have access to free activities. Bikes, tours, and surfboards are often there for the borrowing, and many hostels will set up pub crawls, wine tastings, trivia nights, free yoga classes and travelers’ info sessions on a regular basis.
- Hostels are often in unique buildings that will add to your travel experience, like converted bakeries, monasteries, prisons, insane asylums, and trains. There are hostels that are spiritual retreats in the mountains, tepees in the forest, and surf schools on the beach.
- The very best thing about staying in hostels are the fellow travelers you will meet, like-minded backpackers who like to travel close to the ground. You will meet people to party with for the night, backpackers to travel with for the next leg of your itinerary, and friends you will have for the rest of your life
So what are you waiting for, book your hostel today!