The hostel experience – 5 reasons to love it

I’ve been travelling for a long time but I still love staying in hostels – not particularly the part that requires you to share intimate space with people you hardly know or listen to them snore at night – but rather for the shared experiences, the community of travel ideas and the opportunity to learn from others.

Some of my friends ask me rather dubiously if I still stay in hostels as if there’s something wrong with me, but I’m happy to say yes. And here are my five reasons for enjoying it:

N.b. Of course VIP Backpackers’ various accommodation options are backpackers with dorm rooms, but you’ll also find private rooms, family rooms or smaller dorms to choose from.

1. Shared experiences
There’s a real affinity amongst those who live on the road and an understanding of where you’re at. You don’t get that in hotels and other upmarket places. You often meet really great people in hostels. Many of these people have really been out there and seen the world and are open to chat, share their ideas, give tips on what to see/do and learn from each other.

2. The travel network
If you want information on what to see/do/hear/smell/taste in a place go into a hostel. Someone is likely to have done it, seen it or experienced it and can give you the inside info on it. It’s a superb place to get travel ideas and plan an itinerary.

Backpacking in India. Pic: J. Lane, http://www.visitedplanet.com

3. Instant friends and companions
This isn’t so important for me anymore but it was when I was younger. If you’re travelling alone hostels are the ideal place to stay to meet other people. Often you’ll end up travelling with some of them or simply hanging out as you wander along. So don’t be scared to venture out by yourself, you’re never really alone in hostels.

4. Work opportunities
Many hostels are great places to stay to glean a job. If you’re on a work holiday visa or want a work for board situation, some of them advertise for staff or may even display job boards. Or they should be able to point you in the right direction. Hostels are good cheap places to stay while you’re job hunting or looking for some other kind of long term accommodation gig.

5. Financial savings and eating well
Yes you can get get cheap hotel rooms or even B&Bs but I’m happy to put the same amount of money into a single or private room at a youth hostel and utilize the kitchen. I like cooking and eating well when I travel and the kitchen in these places is often just fantastic. Not only can you chat away to people while you cook but often there are free food shelves where you can add bits and pieces to your meal!

What do you love about staying in hostels?

Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com

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4 thoughts on “The hostel experience – 5 reasons to love it

  1. All great reasons above to love hostelling. Some of my closest friends I’ve actually met in hostels, there are some great people out there and they can be all ages – so don’t be put off travelling that way! Hats off to all hostels…

  2. Recently travelled in the UK using hostels only – some superb places could recommend so many. Great thing to was the variety of ages we met – families, older retired people, couples, young people and of all nationalities. Great thing was a lot of Brits use the hostels too so you get to meet locals as well.

  3. I’ve actually got a few jobs through hostelling so recommend that from your list. Hostels are cool places to work – you meet people, you get free/cheap board, you are still part of the travel network. Do consider it!

  4. Pingback: The hostel experience – 5 reasons not to love it « Vipbackpackers's Blog

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