Aside from plane tickets, accommodation is something that takes the biggest bite out of a vacation budget. But what if we tell you that you don’t necessarily need to rack up hotel stays $200 or $300 a night?
If you’re open to alternatives to hotels, you could pay a fraction of that price.
Sounds great, right?
Ever heard about Backpacker hostels? Backpacker hostels offer budget-friendly accommodation to travelers.
Why do backpacker hostels have so much hype? Are backpacker hostels really safe? We will try to address all such questions in this guide so that you can take them into account while planning your next vacation.
What is a Backpack Hostel, Exactly?
A hostel is a low-cost, accommodation that offers dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds or cots. They have common shared areas such as kitchen and bathroom.
An average hostel room hosts anywhere from 3-12 people. Rooms can be segregated by gender or they can be mixed.
Some backpacker hostels also offer private rooms for people who don’t want to share rooms with anyone and keep their privacy. Such rooms are obviously more expensive than the shared rooms.
Hostels have been quite popular among the young generation simply for the fact that they are much less expensive than hotels, motels, villas, and other forms of accommodation in almost all parts of the world.
For anyone traveling on a budget, hostels are definitely the best option. Hostel dorm beds typically go under $30 a night and can even go for much LESS than that.
Another reason why people prefer backpacker hostels is that they usually have a chill environment. They are OPEN to EVERYONE with no limits. Except for the fact that you need to be at least 18.
No matter where you come from, what your financial background is, what your interests are, your labels, castes, and identities, all such things do not matter. You will be accepted.
What Types of Accommodations are Offered in Hostels?
Backpacker hostels offer different kinds of accommodation options to their travelers. The most common one is a dorm room with bunk beds or cots for 4 to 12 people.
Young people, especially students, prefer such rooms as they are much cheaper.
Some upscale hostels also offer private rooms especially for old people or couples who would like privacy.
These hostels require people to use the shared bathroom and kitchen area even if they have booked a private room. Private bathrooms are quite uncommon in backpacker hostels.
Most backpacker hostels take both walk-in and reservations. However, during peak season making prior reservations is always a good option.
Also, if you are going on a weekend, booking a hostel in advance is recommended as most hostels have live music on weekends and such hostels fill up fast.
Making online reservations is quite easy now with so many hostel booking sites available online. All you need to do is enter the area or locality of your preference and you will find the list of available backpacker hostels.
Another good thing about booking a hostel online is that you can also check reviews by people who stayed before you. Based on their feedback and recommendation, you can make the right choice.
What are the Facilities Offered at Backpacker Hostels?
Many hostels offer additional services or facilities to their guests included either in the price or for an extra fee. These facilities may include a private locker, storage cabinets, towels, hairdryer, and cable TV.
Some hostels even offer free and fast Wi-Fi in every room. Many offer a shared kitchen area where travelers can cook their own meals. You can also get a dryer or washing machine for your laundry.
What are the Things That You Need to Consider Before Booking a Hostel?
There are quite a few things that you need to consider before booking a backpacker hostel.
Generally, it is not a good idea to book the cheapest hostel available just because you save $5. As there are usually reasons why they are the cheapest, whether it’s the location or cleanliness or rude staff.
Think about it, we know there’s nothing more in saving those $5 but what’s the point if you have to walk half an hour to reach there or pay for public transport when you could have just paid a little bit more and be centrally located to all the landmarks and popular places.
Backpacker Hostels are pretty much safe and secure as everyone including the staff looks out for each other. Most hostels have security cameras installed.
If you feel uncomfortable or don’t feel safe, just tell the staff and they will change your room.
However, it is advisable to keep your things like electronics, money, gadgets, and other valuables locked in your bag, in private lockers, or with you at all times.
Well, there’s no limit on how long you can live in a hostel. You can stay in a hostel for as many days as you want.
Just don’t forget that you traveled to a new part to explore so don’t allow yourself to get too comfy by watching Netflix every single night of your trip. Go out and explore!
Yes, most backpacker hostels are clean and well-maintained. Since their business is affected a lot by online reviews and recommendations, it is in their best interest to keep their property clean and properly maintained.
Staying in a Backpacker hostel can be fun, rewarding, and a socially beneficial experience. Most hostels go out of their way to keep their guests entertained from fun activities to live music night and more.
If you are planning a solo or vacation with friends on a budget then you should really give a backpacker hostel a try once.