Staying in a Hostel for the Very First Time: Everything You Need To Know (Guide)

Staying in a Hostel for the First Time

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Staying in a hostel for the first time marks the start of an exciting and unforgettable relationship with travel.

When you’re venturing out into the world on a budget, hostels are a traveler’s best friend. But if you’ve never stayed in one before, the idea might seem a bit daunting.

How do you ensure safety? What should you pack? And, more importantly, how do you choose the right one? If these questions resonate with you, you’re in the right place. Dive into our comprehensive guide filled with essential tips and tricks, tailor-made for first-time hostel-goers.

Whether you’re a solo traveler or with a group, our guide will help you navigate the world of hostels, ensuring a memorable and enriching experience. Bookmark this page; by the end, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your hostel-staying journey with confidence!

In this guide to hostel-first-timers, we will uncover this for you. And the good news: Hostels are AMAZING for Solo-Traveler!

Something to help out with your travels: Check out all our 5 Star Hostels and all 3 best hostel guides.

Roost Glamping
Picture: Roost Glamping Hostel is one of the best hostels in Phuket

In fact, many travelers prefer staying in hostels over hotels because they are less expensive and provide more opportunities for social interaction with other guests.

If you’re staying in a hostel for the first time, expect lots of new friends, travel adventures, and even more money saved to splurge on other travel expenses.

For those travelers staying at a hostel for the first time, here are a few things you should know before booking!

What is a Hostel?

A hostel is a type of accommodation that includes dormitory-style rooms, private rooms, and additional shared amenities such as a kitchen, common area, and a patio.

This means, you will be sharing a lot of the space with fellow travellers. This goes from the kitchen to common area. As for the sleeping arrangement, you usually have two options:

  • SHARING: Book a Single Bed in a so-called dorm
  • PRIVATE: Book a private room and only share the common areas

As for the facilities, meaning shower and toilet, you will either share as well or your private room has an own  bathroom and shower. This is then called ensuite bathroom.

The best part about staying in hostels around the world is that every hostel is unique in its own way, and the more you travel, the more you’ll see that each hostel has its own vibe that can match any traveler.

This article is part of our extensive Guide to Hostels.

In our guide to hostels, we cover all hostel-related topics and questions you may have. We dedicated a full article as well to showcase the different hostel room types.

We even wrote a detailed guide on the pros and cons of female-only dorms here.

Frendz Hostel El Nido
Picture: Frendz Hostel El Nido is one of the best hostels in El Nido

How Is a Hostel Different From a Hotel or Other Types of Accommodations?

Hostels are significantly less expensive than hotels, Airbnb, and other types of accommodation, so their low prices typically attract younger (and broker travelers).

The average hotel offers private rooms for individuals and couples but never will they have rooms you’ll share with strangers! In fact, this is where hostels differ.

Read: Life is too Short for Bad Hostels… here is Why! [Hostels vs. Hotels]

You’re basically sharing a room with people you don’t know– sometimes twenty of them!

Other similar accommodations to hostels include guesthouses and B&Bs, smaller than hotels but usually booked privately or in groups. 

Are Hostels Only for Young Travelers or Backpackers?

While most hostels appeal to young people, many accept people of all ages. You must be at least 18 years old to book a hostel.

Some hostels, typically youth and party hostels, have age restrictions, so it is always important to check the maximum age allowed when booking a hostel.

Alternatively, some hostels provide low-cost accommodations for families, so it is common to see children occasionally. For most standard hostels, expect to see a lot of travelers ages 18 to 30. 

Les Piaules is one of the best hostels in Paris, France
Picture: Les Piaules is one of the best hostels in Paris

How Do I Book a Hostel?

The most popular booking platforms are Booking.com and Hostelworld.com. Your credit card is 100% protected on both platforms, and the booking is 100% confirmed.

Read: a step-by-step guide on how to book with Hostelworld

Some hostels have their own website, so booking directly with them rather than a third-party website is one travel hack for budget travelers hoping to get the lowest price possible.

I also want to mention that on Hostelz, you can search the dates of your trip and actually filter the results based on all your personal preferences (female-only dorms, hostels with pools, etc..). 

THey will get different prices comparing all the main booking platforms – it will show you which one, whether through Hostelworld, Booking.com, or through the direct hostel website, is the cheapest for your dates.

Check out Hostelz.com here

Hostelz - Price Comparison for Hostels

Regardless of where you book, you must reserve your spot with a valid credit or debit card and enter your travel information.

Super important: Always bring your passport with you when checking in!

@hostelgeeks HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON HOSTELS! 🏨⭐️ Use hostelz.com to compare prices across all major booking platforms! 🥳⭐️ #hostelrecommendations #hotelrecommendations #southeastasia #southeastasiatravel #travelrecommendations #traveltips2023 #wheretostay #affordableaccomodation #hostelreview #hostelroom #hostelsafety #hostelroomtour #hosteltiktok #hostelhacks ♬ What You Know – Two Door Cinema Club

What Are the Typical Room Types in a Hostel?

Most hostels have dormitory-style rooms. The standard hostel dormitory usually sleeps 4-12 people, with all guests sleeping in twin-sized bunk beds. Bathrooms and showers are usually inside the dormitory, but some are in the hallway.

However, we have also seen dorms of 80 beds; this was in Book Design Hostel in Aarhus, Denmark. That may sound crazy, but truth be told, they can be much more quiet than a 6 bed-dorm. It really depends on the setup and the hostel itself.

Private and couple rooms are available to book as well. 

Alternative: you could even opt for private rooms! we have a guide on this, Hostel Room Types – What are the Differences? From Dorms to Luxury Private Rooms.

Are There Private Rooms Available in Hostels?

There are many hostels with private rooms available. Private rooms or “suites” sleep 1-4 people and have larger beds with their own bathrooms.

Whether traveling solo or in a group, hostels provide inexpensive accommodation for all types of travelers.

The absolute bests way to find private rooms in hostels is Hostelz.com. Here you can filter for private rooms only. They also have this crazy awesome list of destinations and hostels with private rooms.

NANO ECO-HOSTEL in Hue, Vietnam
Picture: Nano Eco Hostel is one of the best hostels in Hue

What Are Dormitory Rooms? How Do They Work?

Because hostel dormitories are available for anyone to book, you will have no control over who sleeps in the room. A single bed in a bunk will always be the cheapest option in any hostel.

Many travelers enjoy this because it allows them to meet new people, but the downsides may include snoring and lack of privacy.

For female travelers, many hostels have female-only dorms. However, some hostels automatically separate men and women. The freedom to change without worrying about potential creeps is a benefit for women who choose a female-only dorm.

Read: 46 Tips to identify fantastic Hostels worldwide

Mixed dorms, on the other hand, are more social, and male guests are usually respectful of women in the room, as hostels take sexual harassment very seriously.

Each dormitory will usually have its own bathroom and shower, but they may be outside the room.

Unless the booking website allows you to select your own bed, you will usually be assigned a specific bed unless you arrive early to choose yourself. Bottom bunks are always the most popular choice in a mixed dorm room due to their ease of access; however, top bunks can provide slightly more privacy. 

SocialTel Samui Dorm
Picture: SocialTel Samui is one of the best hostels in Koh Samui

Consider the number of people in the room when choosing the type of dorm room to stay in. Rooms with fewer people are slightly more expensive but quieter and cleaner, making them a comfortable option for catching up on sleep after a long day.

Larger dorm rooms can become more cluttered, and it’s easy to become impatient when twenty people are waiting to use the shower simultaneously.

Larger dorm rooms, on the other hand, allow for more interaction with other guests. 

Only people staying in the hostel rooms are permitted inside, and you’ll usually be given a keycard or code to enter. Bring a lock to store your belongings in the provided lockers, and keep an eye on your stuff if you decide to stay in any hostel room.

While most backpackers staying in hostels have no reason to steal your belongings, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The Millennials Shibuya Dorms
Picture: The Millennials Shibuya is one of the best hostels in Tokyo

How Much Do Hostels Cost Compared to Hotels?

Hostels are always at least 70% cheaper than hotel rooms. You’re basically paying for the bed, not the room, which is why hostels are so affordable.

In some countries, you can stay in a quality hostel for only $4. However, most mixed-dormitory rooms run under $20. Hostel prices vary depending on the number of other accommodations in the area and the city’s amount of tourism, but there are always a few hostels in most places. 

Read: 15 Most Luxurious Hostels in the World.

Luxury hostels, on the other hand, known for their posh designs and numerous amenities, can cost the same, if not more, than local hotels in some places.

In these types of hostels, you pay for the experience rather than the rooms; however, luxury hostels offer both private and mixed accommodation options, so choose a mixed room to save money. 

Are Hostels Safe?

Most hostels are safe and designed as havens for solo travelers and backpackers. Hostels are typically run by local staff, ensuring you are always advised on the best places to visit and the safe and not-so-safe parts of town, with multiple languages being spoken to interact with a diverse crowd.

Many hostels also employ foreign volunteers through websites such as Workaway and Worldpackers, where you work for a free bed– so the level of information or competence can sometimes be lacking.

However, if serious issues arise, always communicate with the local manager, especially in cases where authorities must be present. 

When choosing a hostel, keep in mind that the safest ones usually only allow booked hostel guests inside. However, hostels with bars and restaurants may sometimes be open to the public.

Keep this in mind when choosing a hostel to determine the level of security and privacy you prefer during your stay.

Here Hostel Bangkok Swimming Pool Fun
Picture: Here Hostel Bangkok is one of the best hostels in Bangkok.

Women Staying in Hostels

Female-only dormitories are almost always available for booking; however, if they aren’t, women should read the hostel’s reviews to ensure no cases of harassment or assault have occurred previously– and, if so, the hostel staff’s action and consequences to the problem.

Read: Female Hostels: Everything you need to knowTips for Traveling Alone as a Woman

Making friends with other women and looking out for each other goes a long way in keeping women safe in hostels. 

Best Tips for Staying Safe at Hostels

Watch your alcohol consumption: Be mindful of your alcohol consumption while staying in hostels. Binge drinking and hostels often go hand in hand, but it is important to acknowledge the potential problems that excessive drinking can cause for everyone involved.

If another guest’s behavior makes you uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to speak up. By reporting such incidents, you can help ensure the safety of other guests and possibly have the disruptive person removed from the hostel. In turn, don’t be that person at the hostel who vomits all over the common room sofa.

Hostels can and will kick people out for being too belligerent and damaging property. Also, don’t be surprised to see hostel staff drinking alongside the guests. If you have any serious problems, find someone sober to help you, document everything, and call the authorities if necessary.

We also wrote a big guide on simple and effective safety tips for female solo-traveler.

Booze & Snooze Social Hostel
Picture: Booze & Snooze Social Hostel is one of the best party hostels in Split.

Watch your belongings: Hostels typically offer lockers in their rooms and secure luggage storage accessible only by the reception to ensure the safety of your belongings.

However, guests have reported incidents of theft involving staff members and cleaning staff inside the hostel rooms. Remember, in some countries, items such as iPhones can equal an entire month’s rent for some people.

And while it is common for guests to leave laptops and phones unattended in common areas such as the living room and patio, anything can happen when you’re living with several strangers at once. Bring your own lock, and if you can, use a lock for your luggage as well for extra precaution.

Travel insurance: Travel insurance is essential for all travelers who want to stay healthy and safe abroad. HeyMondo and SafeyWing are two travel insurance companies we recommend. 

Make friends: We understand that after months of traveling, the option of not talking to anyone in the hostel can be tempting. However, building friendships and trust with other hostel guests is a way to stay safe if anything bad happens.

Always let people know where you’re going and when you’ll be back, exchange contact information, and let each other know if you see anything unusual inside or outside the hostel. Safety in numbers and the best travelers always look out for other travelers.

We recommend downloading the Hostelworld app to connect with the guests staying in your room.

Read: The New Hostelworld App in Review – sharing the best features

Puri Garden Hotel & Hostel Swimming Pool
Picture: Puri Garden Hotel & Hostel is one of the best hostels in Ubud.

What Amenities Are Usually Available in Hostels?

Each hostel has different amenities, but most will have multiple bathrooms and showers, a kitchen, and common areas both inside and outside.

Many hostels have a bar or restaurant on-site, making it easy to grab meals and drinks with other guests without leaving the property.

Some hostels even have swimming pools! Always read the description and reviews before booking a hostel to find the best hostel for you. 

Do Hostels Provide Bed Linens and Towels?

Some hostels provide bed linens, but not all, so always bring a few spares when traveling.

While quality hostels change bed linens daily, some don’t, occasionally resulting in bed bugs. To avoid the spread of bed bugs, request that your sheets be changed and always place clean items on your bed (never place your backpack on your bed). 

Read: How to Deal with Bed Bugs While Traveling (…and a few Hostel Myths Debunked)

If you’re traveling in a colder climate, bringing an extra blanket is a good idea because most hostels only have thin sheets. 

Towels can usually be rented cheaply if not already included in your reservation. 

Hafnarstraeti Hostel Akureyri is one of the best hostels in Iceland, Europe
Picture: Hafnarstraeti Hostel Akureyri is one of the best hostels in Iceland.

Are There Any Age Restrictions for Staying in Hostels?

Party hostels, youth hostels, and backpacker hostels are typically marketed to younger people, with some having an age limit of up to 35, but many do not have an age restriction as long as you are at least 18 years old.

Minors are not allowed to stay at hostels unless accompanied by a legal guardian.

Are Hostels Suitable for Families or Couples?

There are hostels for couples and families everywhere. Families traveling together usually reserve their own 4-6 person suite in quiet, budget hostels.

Read: How to Travel on a Budget? Simple Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Trip

Couples typically book private rooms with full or queen-sized beds because they cannot share a bed in a dormitory.

There are also double-bed capsule rooms available for couples as well. If you’re traveling with your family or significant other, avoid party hostels and those with age restrictions; they’ll be quieter and more peaceful. 

The RomeHello Activities with Family
Picture: The RomeHello is one of the best hostels in Rome.

How Can I Meet Other Travelers in Hostels?

Hostels encourage guests to mingle with one another, and most offer group events such as pub crawls, walking tours, and excursions to meet new people while exploring the area.

Unwinding on the patio, preparing a meal in the kitchen, or drinking a few beers at the hostel bar are all simple but effective ways to meet other travelers! 

Party hostels always promise a lively atmosphere.

However, smaller hostels are a fantastic choice if you’re not too keen on constant partying but still want to connect with fellow travelers. The smaller space makes it easier to strike up conversations and interact with others.

Before booking, it’s worth checking if your chosen hostel offers pleasant common areas like a balcony or living room, as these can enhance the social experience.

Read: Hostelworld App Solo Feature for Meeting People

Another factor to consider is the season of your trip.

Outside the main tourist season, some destinations can be fairly quiet, meaning fewer people in hostels. Read recent travel reviews to ensure the hostel meets all your traveler needs.

And finally, download a few meetup apps, such as Hostelworld or Couchsurfing, to connect with other travelers in the area. 

NoMadders Hostel Pool
Picture: NoMadders Hostel is one of the best hostels in Ha Giang.

What Are the Common Rules and Etiquette in Hostels?

When staying in a shared living space, it is important to be considerate of others by not interfering with their stay. It is also very important to follow all rules of the hostel to avoid getting kicked out.

Here are some of the most important hostel etiquette and rules to follow in order to maintain a peaceful environment. 

Read18 hostel rules and hostel etiquette to build lifelong friendships.

A Few Hostel Etiquette Tips

Be quiet after hours: Because you’re in a shared room, being quiet during sleeping hours is essentially the first rule of being a considerate hostel guest.

Do not talk on the phone, do not talk to others, and please, please, please keep your alarm on vibrate and not let it go off for twenty minutes at 6AM. Pack your things the night before to avoid waking up others the next morning looking for your phone charger.

Do not have sex: Yes, it’s tempting, but sex in hostels is a sure way to make everyone else extremely uncomfortable and even get you potentially kicked out. Do not bring anyone into your bed instead, book a private room.

Readsex in hostels, including 4 do and don’ts and hilarious real-life stories. 

Wash your dishes: Hostels with kitchens are only as clean as the people who do or don’t wash their dishes. Hostel staff members have better things to do than be your mom, so always wash your dishes after cooking.

Do not eat people’s food: Do not touch anything that isn’t yours in the hostel kitchen. Instead, get good hostel karma by leaving unused, unopened food items to help the next hungry backpacker.

Flush the toilet: Self-explanatory. 

Read: Exposing Bathrooms: Ensuite vs. Shared Facilities

Backpackers Goteborg Gothenburg Sauna
Picture: Would you expect this at a hostel? Backpackers Göteborg is one of the best hostels in Gothenburg.

Common Hostel Rules To Follow

No bringing outside guests: Refer to not having sex in the dorm rooms.

No outside alcohol: Hostels with bars lose profit when guests bring their own alcohol. While you can still sneak it in, the hostel staff still has the right to request you throw it away. If you’re a BYOB person, choose smaller hostels with kitchens and without restaurants.

Obey the curfew: Some hostels close their facilities at certain hours. If you’re staying at a hostel without 24-7 reception, always remember your key– sometimes guests get locked out!

No smoking: Smoking inside the hostel can result in a hefty city fine. Smoke only in designated areas.

Don’t do drugs: If you must, do them outside the hostel. Bringing drugs inside the hostel can cause you to get kicked out.
Failure to follow the rules, being excessively intoxicated, or causing harm to yourself or others may result in a fine or eviction from the hostel. 

Rooms are designed as prison cells at Hostel Celica
Picture: Hostel Celica Art is one of the best hostels in Ljubljana.

Are Hostels Centrally Located in Popular Tourist Areas?

The majority of hostels are in popular tourist areas.

The more central the location, the more expensive the hostels can become, so if you want to save money and don’t mind walking a few extra blocks, hostels in quieter neighborhoods are also an option for backpackers on a budget.

For safety reasons, most solo travelers should stay near major tourist attractions–it’s faster to walk to and from your hostel at night, and you’ll never get lost! 

Read: Simply but effective hostel safety tips

Yeah Barcelona Hostel Swimming Pool
Picture: Yeah Barcelona Hostel is one of the best hostels in Barcelona.

How Do I Get to a Hostel From the Airport or Train Station?

While some hostels provide transportation services, most budget travelers rely on public transportation.

Obviously, knowing the location of your hostel is the first step in getting there, but because most are in the city center or near other popular touristic areas, they are fairly easy to find, even if you get off at the wrong stop.

Check to see if your hostel offers airport pickup, and if you don’t want to take public transportation, download the city’s preferred ridesharing app to get you to your destination hassle-free. 

Can I Store My Luggage at the Hostel Before Check-In or After Check-Out?

Most hostels offer luggage storage. Storing your luggage is especially convenient if you arrive or depart before or after the hostel check-out time and want to spend your remaining time sightseeing without carrying all your belongings.

Some hostels charge a small fee for the storage, but usually, it’s free.

Get welcomed by their Star Wars receptionist
Picture: T5 Social is one of the best hostels in Bucharest.

Are There Any Hidden Costs or Additional Fees in Hostels?

Some hostels charge a city tax or a key deposit upon check-in, which is not always disclosed on hostel booking platforms.

While most hostels accept both cash and credit cards, paying with a credit card may incur an additional fee, so plan ahead and always have extra cash on hand to expedite check-in.

Are there any hidden fees in Hostels?

Well, you might say so. Some items you would assume to be included may come at an extra fee. This could be towels or bed linen. However, these things are laid out on the booking portals like Hostelz.com. So when arriving, there should be no surprises waiting for you.

What Are Some Essential Items I Should Bring When Staying in a Hostel?

Hostels are always excellent choices for the budget-conscious traveler. However, there are a few essentials you should always bring to hostels to ensure a comfortable stay.

Shower shoes: Bring a cheap pair of flip-flops to wear in the shower. Even though showers are (supposed to be) cleaned daily, they get grimy very quickly.

Dry towel: Bring a dry towel for quick drying and to keep your belongings from becoming damp inside your luggage.

Universal power adapter: Different countries have different power outlets, so you’ll need a power adapter.

Laptops, hair dryers, and other high-powered appliances require stronger power adapters and can be damaged if used with low-quality adapters, so select a quality adapter before leaving.

Tree House in Tenerife - a top option for Digital Nomads
Picture: Tree House is one of the best hostels in Tenerife.

Power bank: Keep a backup power bank in case you lose power or find yourself in a remote area with no outlets. 
Sleeping earplugs: Drown out the noise of snoring while staying in a hostel dorm with earplugs to assure yourself a pleasant night’s sleep.

Padlock: As mentioned before, a lock with your own combination or key is the best way to keep your belongings safe while staying in hostels.

Packing cubes: Even when packing light, things can become disorganized.

Packing cubes come in handy for separating your clothing items, compressing your items, and making your luggage lighter. Investing in some quality packing cubes allows you to pack more items while avoiding overweight baggage fees.

Hostel Packing List

Okay, now you have the perfect guide and know what room type to pick.

Make sure you always pick a quality hostel. It totally reduces the things you need to pack.

Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you need to pack.

free hostel packing list

Is It Comfortable Sleeping in a Hostel Dormitory?

To be completely honest, sleeping in hostel dormitories aren’t always comfortable. The beds are small and stiff, and the poles that hold them up creak when someone climbs to the top.

Choose newer hostels with modern beds and facilities if you want to prioritize comfort while staying on a budget. Newer hostels tend to be cleaner, more attractive, and more comfortable to sleep in. Some other tips for choosing a comfortable hostel include: 

Avoid party hostels: These hostels are loud and often dirty, and sleep is the last priority. If you prefer to sleep rather than socialize, quiet hostels are ideal.

Choose a hostel with a curfew: Curfews are in place to keep the hostel quiet after hours. You won’t have to worry about people coming and going throughout the night.

Look for beds with curtains: Curtains on hostel beds are ideal for naked sleepers and those who desire an extra layer of privacy.

Nonze Hostel Pattaya Capsule
Picture: Nonze Hostel is one of the best hostels in Pattaya.

How Early Should I Book a Hostel?

During peak tourism seasons, hostels fill up quickly. Always book at least a few days in advance for popular locations during high season to ensure a bed while remaining flexible in your travel plans. Book hostel rooms at least a month in advance during popular events, music festivals, or holidays. 

If you habitually change plans on the spur of the moment, book refundable rooms, as non-refundable bookings will charge you whether you show up or not. Most hostels allow free cancellation up to 24 hours before check-in.

What Should I Do if I Arrive Early or Late at the Hostel?

Although most hostels have flexible check-in times, it is best to notify the hostel of your estimated arrival time if arriving early in the morning or late at night. If arriving early, you can drop off your luggage at the hostel and explore the city before checking in. If you arrive after midnight, notify the hostel beforehand or risk losing your bed.

Hostels that do not have a 24-hour reception desk can arrange for a staff member to let you in. 

Drink all night at Slumber Party Surf Kata Phuket
Picture: Slumber Party Surf Kata Phuket is one of the best party hostels in Phuket.

What Should I Consider When Choosing a Hostel for My Trip?

For most travelers, location and price are the most important considerations when selecting a hostel. Are you willing to pay more to be closer to the city’s major attractions, or are you on a tight budget and need the cheapest option available?

The great thing about hostels is that you can always find exactly what you need.

Read: the 7 different types of Hostels.

While location and price are deciding factors, you should also consider what you hope to gain from the experience. You may want to party, or you may want to unwind after a long few days of travel.

Do you want a romantic getaway with your significant other or simply a place to sleep before your flight the next morning?

If you’re curious about the different types of hostels available, here are the most common hostels you’ll find in popular backpacker destinations in Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

Backpacker hostels: Backpacker hostels are the most “traditional” hostels, attracting solo travelers of all ages. Backpacker hostels are ideal for those who prefer to do things individually while still having the opportunity to meet new people.

Usually, organized tours are available to book, making it simple to explore the surroundings at a low cost.

Backpacker hostels are small to medium in size and have mixed dormitory options and amenities such as a kitchen, common areas, and a patio. Backpacker hostels are preferable if you want an easygoing but social hostel experience.

Tasman Bay Lounge
Picture: Tasman Bay Backpackers is one of the best hostels in Nelson.

Party hostels: As the name implies, party hostels cater to young adults who want to drink, go out, and have fun. Expect to get only a few hours of sleep with on-site bars and the option to BYOB.

Pub crawls, drinking games, and travelers always down to hit up the city’s bar and club scene make party hostels ideal for solo and group travelers.

One advantage of party hostels is that there is no curfew, so that you can access the hostel at any time of day or night.

Pool party at Mad Monkey Bangkok Thailand
Picture: Mad Monkey Party is one of the best party hostels in Bangkok.

Budget hostels: These are basic hostels with a few dormitory rooms and possibly a private room or two. They are frequently the cheapest hostels in the city and are usually in quieter neighborhoods.

Facilities may be lacking, and because most people stay in budget hostels solely to sleep, socializing is limited. Long-term travelers, families, and locals are typically the guests at budget hostels.

They are suitable for nights in stopover cities or the night before departure.

Common Area The Gallery Hostel London
Picture: The Gallery Hostel London is one of the best hostels in London.

Boutique hostels: Often boasting swimming pools and lively rooftop bars, boutique hostels are modern, aesthetically pleasing, contemporary hostels for the trendy traveler.

Boutique hostels are popular with female travelers, groups of friends, “flashpackers,” and digital nomads.

They are a few dollars more expensive than standard hostels, but the top-notch cleanliness, modern design, and spacious living areas make backpacking less stressful. Unlike party and backpacker hostels, the atmosphere is quieter, as all ages are usually accepted, and all guests’ comfort is taken seriously.

Barbara’s Boutique Hostel Dorm
Picture: Barbara’s Boutique Hostel is one of the best hostels in Antigua.

Luxury hostels: Like boutique hostels, luxury hostels provide amenities similar to hotels, which means they are more expensive than the average hostel.

More options exist for private rooms and suites at luxury hostels, making them suitable for individuals and groups seeking comfort.

Luxury hostels are often much larger than most and are designed to look like quality hotels and resorts. However, be aware that luxury hostels usually do not have kitchens, meaning you’ll purchase food at their on-site restaurants and bars. Staying at a luxury hostel will undoubtedly enhance your vacation while avoiding the party crowd.

The Central House Hostel Marrakech Swimming Pool
Picture: The Central House Hostel Marrakech is one of the best hostels in Marrakech.

Jungle hostels: Common in tropical backpacker countries in Asia and Latin America, jungle hostels are outside of the city in, you guessed it, the jungle (or sometimes the beach).

With more open space and freedom to do whatever you want, jungle hostels are quite lively– and many can even be considered party hostels– attracting mostly young people and backpackers.

Beds are in cabins, huts, or bungalows rather than standard dormitory rooms. Because jungle hostels are more remote, many visitors stay three nights or longer. If you’re staying in a jungle hostel, make sure to stock up on food and other necessities ahead of time, as transportation to town can be limited.

Greengo's Hotel is one of the best hostels in Semuc Champey, Guatemala
Picture: Greengo’s Hotel is one of the best hostels in Semuc Champey.

Eco-friendly hostels: Eco-friendly hostels can be in the city or the countryside, but their sole purpose is to promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices to help make our planet greener.

If you’re a digital nomad looking for fast connection speeds, eco-friendly hostels may not be a good fit. On the other hand, many eco-friendly hostels are often vegan-friendly, serving locally grown, organic produce.

If the concept of “slow travel” is important to you, eco-friendly hostels are ideal.  

Private room at Dreamsea Surf Resort Nicaragua
Picture: Dreamsea Surf Resort is one of the best hostels in San Juan del Sur.

Youth hostels: Youth hostels, like backpacker hostels, offer mostly mixed dormitories and cater to young travelers, high school and university students on field trips, and local students.

Beds in youth hostels are inexpensive, making them an affordable option for long-term backpackers.

They are often large enough to accommodate several groups at a time; however, the atmosphere is lacking, making it difficult for solo travelers to socialize at times.

Bern Youth Hostel best hostels in Switzerland
Picture: Bern Youth Hostel is one of the best hostels in Switzerland.

We guarantee that no matter which hostel you choose, you will make memories that will continue to fuel your travel addiction!

FAQs

Here we share with you the most asked question:

Are hostels hard to sleep in?

Staying at hostels can pose its challenges when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. With the uncertainty of sharing space with unfamiliar faces, the constant comings and goings at unpredictable times, and the absence of the familiar comforts of home, it's no wonder many travelers find it difficult to drift off peacefully in these accommodations.
But with our tips and tricks, we guarantee that you'll find it easier to fall asleep.

Can couples sleep together in hostel?

Yes, indeed! There are numerous hostels that offer private accommodations featuring double beds or twin beds that can be easily combined to form a cozy double bed.

Do you share a bathroom in a hostel?

Unless you've booked yourself a fancy ensuite private room, you'll be sharing a bathroom as a guest at a hostel. Some hostel bathrooms are directly connected to the dorm room, while others can only be accessed through a hallway. But, don't you worry, regardless of the arrangement at your chosen hostel, the rules of shared bathroom etiquette remain unchanged.

Is it rude to set an early alarm in a hostel?

If you set an alarm to wake up, avoid hitting the snooze button. Given that hostel dorms often have guests sleeping in close proximity, it is important to be considerate and refrain from allowing your alarm to ring multiple times, especially during early morning hours. While it is perfectly acceptable to use an alarm, simply lower the volume to a more subdued level. Additionally, make sure to silence your phone notifications.

Are hostels safe for solo female travelers?

Generally speaking, hostels are safe. However, to ensure an enjoyable experience, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, it's important to drink responsibly and be mindful of your dorm mates. Additionally, always remember to lock up your valuables and pack wisely. Nowadays, there are plenty of trendy and stylish hostels that offer a boutique hotel-like experience.

Is hooking up in hostels common?

Lots of adventurous individuals, fueled by their hormones and the liberating effects of alcohol, seize the opportunity of being far away from familiar territories to indulge in their deepest desires.
To validate this, an extensive survey conducted by Hostelbookers, involving over 11,000 participants, revealed that a staggering 69.3% admitted to engaging in intimate encounters with locals during their travels.

Do you leave your stuff in a hostel?

If you're staying in a shared space, it's crucial not to leave your belongings unattended or outside of a secure locker, even if it's just within your room. In a hostel dormitory, leaving behind your purse, phone, passport, or laptop while you're away poses a considerable risk. Remember to always be cautious and take necessary precautions to keep your belongings safe.

Can older adults stay at hostels?

It's understandable that some older travellers might be hesitant to stay in a hostel. After all, they've worked their entire lives to achieve a certain level of comfort and privacy. But the truth is that with a little preparation, a hostel stay can be a great experience that is both convenient and affordable. Not to mention the fact that it's a fantastic place to meet new people! So if you're an older traveller who is considering a hostel stay, don't be afraid. With the right preparation, you can have a great time and make some new friends along the way.

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