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When traveling, there are many decisions that you have to make with the most obvious ones being where to go, how to get there and of course where to stay. The reality is that there are infinite options of cheap places to stay when traveling, ranging from hotels and motels to hostels to bed and breakfasts or even with friends or family. While adults generally have to rely on hotels or bed and breakfasts, young travelers can stay in a hostel as well. Therefore when making your bookings, it is hard to decide which option to go with. Here are some of the factors to consider when making your decision.


One of the most important factors people consider when making their hotel bookings is how much it is going to cost. Many young travelers will think hostels are one of the best cheap places to stay simply because they are much more affordable than hotels. However, just looking at the base rate is not enough. If you are traveling by yourself, it is very likely that a hostel will indeed be cheaper but if you are traveling with one or more other people who would be willing to share a hotel room, that can be a cheaper option.

Meeting People

If you are a very social person or are simply traveling by yourself, you may want to try to meet new people on your trip. While you could go to a bar or café to get to know other travelers, that is not necessary if you are staying in a hostel. That is because hostels are generally extremely social environments where everyone will hang out together and is much more open to talking with a complete stranger. This means that you may find someone to explore the city with or even a lifelong friend.


No matter where you are or which of the many cheap places to stay you have chosen, you will need to eat so one of the factors when deciding if you should opt for a hotel or hostel is your  meal plan. While both options are equally likely to include breakfast, hostels stand out if you want to cook your own meals as most have kitchens for the guests. This is especially useful if you are on a tight budget or have dietary restrictions. Just keep in mind that the kitchens are communal and some are messy. It is also possible to make hotel bookings that include a kitchen so you should not rule out that possibility.

Amenities (Pool, internet, games, kitchen, laundry)

When traveling some people do not spend any time at all in their lodgings while others prefer to spend the evenings there to relax. If you are looking for things to do in the place you choose to stay, you need to consider the amenities. While both hotels and hostels are equally likely to have a pool and internet access, each of these options stands out in other ways. If you think you and your friends would like to play board games but don’t plan on bringing any with you, a hostel is the best option as they are likely to have some. If, however, you want to have your laundry done for you or have access to an exercise room, you should probably opt for a hotel.


When traveling you are there to relax so you do not want to have to worry about anything. This means that if you have any valuables with you, you want to know that they are safe. The problem with hostels in regards to this is that the cheapest option is generally a dorm that will be you and a bunch of strangers. All hostels will give you a locker but if you want to make sure that nothing gets stolen, you should opt for a hotel instead. While you could put your valuables in the hostel locker and know they will be safe, the same can’t be said about the rest of your luggage.


The reason that hostels are especially popular with younger travelers is because young people are not as accustomed to privacy as adults are. They have either lived at home or in a dorm at school or with roommates before so they won’t generally have a problem with sharing a room or a bathroom with a bunch of strangers for a few nights. If, however, you want your privacy, hostels are probably not the best option. If you hate waiting to shower or go to the bathroom or don’t like to change in front of others (even if you know they aren’t looking), looking into hotel bookings is probably the best idea. 


Even if you are on a budget while traveling, you still want to stay in a nice area. This means not only a safe area, but one that is close to the local attractions. While it is possible to get either a hotel or hostel in prime locations, you may have better luck finding a hotel in these areas. That is because in general most cities will have about one hostel for every ten or so hotels. This means that if you are looking at cheap places to stay you will have many more options for hotel bookings than for hostels. Simply put, you will be more likely to find one in an area of the city you want.


This goes back to the idea of meeting people. When traveling a lot of young people simply want to have fun and for many, this means going to parties. While both hotels and hostels can offer you great suggestions of clubs or bars in the area as well as the best way to get to, if you opt for a hostel, you may not even need this option. That is because many hostels will have parties or even informal get-togethers. Some will have something as simple as a weekly barbecue while others will have special events or even live music. When selecting your best option out of the cheap places to stay in a city, it all depends on your preferences and what you want to get out of your lodgings.