If you’re traveling solo, or with a group of friends, don’t automatically write of a hostel stay because you’re no longer 22. I’ve stayed in a few hostels this summer, and am reminded about all the pro’s of a hostel stay (and ways to preemptively avoid any possible cons!)
If you’re staying in a big city (i.e spending little time in your room) traveling solo (and are open to meeting other solo travelers) and want to spend your money on experiences and meals (vs. a hotel) then keep reading on…
Hostels offer various room types. Sure you can stay in a co-ed dorm with 18 beds and use a shared bathroom down the hall, but if that’s not your thing, most hostels now also have rooms that are just for women, rooms that have en suite bathrooms (so no walking down the hall to use the bathroom in the middle of the night) rooms with only a few other people, and also private rooms for two (basically a modest hotel room.)
Most rooms have some kind of locker, cabinet or bin to store your belongings. You should bring a lock (I use a luggage lock) and these are also generally for sale at the reception. I put my most valuable items in this storage area, and then store the rest of my belongings in my suitcase, which I lock with a second luggage lock while I’m away for the day.
I’ve met so many friends while staying at hostels! They’re full of solo travelers (at ALL ages) and many are open to sharing a dinner, tour or walk with someone else. It’s a great way to get insight into another persons life, culture and world. Additionally, hostels generally offer tours of the major sites, experiences, etc. (at super reasonable rates) so you can join and meet other hostel guests this way.
ON KEEPING THE PEACE:
- Because you’re in a shared space, people will be coming and going at different times of day. I bring an eyemask and earplugs, and get along just fine.
- If you’ll be leaving early, or coming home late, lay out the clothing and/or supplies you’ll need to minimize noise.
- Don’t be that person that keeps hitting snooze. No one likes that person.
- Book direct to save money (but read reviews on conglomerate booking sites like Hostel World)
- Most hostels provide sheets and towels, but ask to confirm, and if not – ever ally they rent these items.
SOME OF MY FAVORITE HOSTEL STAYS:
- Seven Hostel in Sorrento, Italy (beautiful roof-top bar)
- The Generator Hostel in Paris, France (great bar and restaurant onsite)
- Castle Rock Hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland (right in the heart of the action)
Mary + the Living Big team!