Update: Please note that there is also many many backpacker hostels. Backpacker hostels can be “Cheap hostels”, “homely hostels”, “party hostels” and “lifestyle hostels”.
1. Cheap Hostels – travel on a budget
Yes, although Hostels are already on budget, there is still the kind we call „cheap hostels“.
The cheap hostel refers to the one(s) with the lowest prices in town. Most likely the service and facilities are not to a high standard, and most likely their location is not in the city center.
You can identify this easily through the most obvious hint: the price.
Most of the times, the very cheap hostels do not include linen, breakfast and such. There is also a lot of hostels “pretending” to be cheap. Their trick is to exclude everything and make you pay once you arrive.
Let us explain.
They charge extra for bed linen and towels for instance. These hostels claim you cannot use your own sleeping bag, you have to rent bed linen. So truth be told, it is a mandatory fee they do not tell you beforehand.
Also be sure to have a look at their reviews!
The facilities, services, and ratings are generally of a lower level when comparing with the other hostels in town. Simple logic, right?!
The biggest dorm is usually the cheapest – obviously.
Our recommendation: Unless you are on a super shoe-string budget, better opt-in for a different hostel type.
2. Homely & Cosy Hostels
This is the hostel that shines – on a social level!
This type of hostel is maybe the most cosy one you can find. It instantly feels and looks like a home rather than a paid accommodation.
There is the kitchen you can use, as well as an actual living room and many more little details which make a place feel like a home.
Quite commonly, these hostels also have their own garden to relax in. It is not about the design at the homely hostel. It is more about the super lovely staff, maybe the daily family-dinner or other events.
When reading reviews, you can easily find phrases like “it was so hard to leave”, “it was my home away from home” and “I kept extending my stay”.
Here you might find a age restriction so just in case, make sure you are able to stay at this specific party-oriented hostel before you arrive. It is quite easy to recognize a party hostel simply by their photos on the booking platforms and descriptions on their own website.
Generically speaking, the party hostels are usually not the highest-end hostels in terms of bed quality, design and such. Their focus is really on having an epic time, party, fiesta, events and such. You get the idea!
The traditional youth hostel is one that has maintained its original focus over the years as a cheap, social accommodation option. Here you will stay in big dorms, find huge common areas.
Without a doubt, these traditional hostels are optimized for bigger groups like school excursions and team-building weekends.
Nevertheless, you can stay here as a solo-traveler as well – a perfect option for meeting new people.
This hostel type is also a great option for families.
Many families with young kids love to chose a Youth Hostel.
Our recommendation: Easy-going option and a warm atmosphere. Therefore, it is great. Yet it has nothing to do with backpacking. If you only want young people to hang out with and have a beer, better go for a different hostel.
As you can see there are many types of hostels out there.
And the good news is you can pick the one you like most! Every hostel is of course unique and a lot of them can easily be a hybrid of two types, or maybe even more!
When you are looking for a hostel, make sure you check out the reviews!
This way you get an idea as it’s important to find out which type of hostel might fit in with your travel plans. Are you traveling on a strict budget, wanna try some slow travel in style, or looking for a great party?