When traveling abroad, expenses will add up. You've got the expensive traveling costs, especially when travelling overseas in a plane. You'll need lots of spending money, cash for food, restaurants, and money for activities. Unfortunately, you'll also need money for hotels which can get expensive. Luckily, many foreign countries have low-cost youth hostels.
What Is A Youth Hostel Like?
Youth hostels vary from place to place but many youth hostels are similar in how they work. Most youth hostels are family owned. They contain a kitchen to share with the other guests. This is where you'll cook your breakfast. They have bathrooms, which are usually shared, unless you book your own room. For sleeping, there are usually a bunch of bunk beds or single beds spread out across a big room. In nicer youth hostels, you'll be able to book your own room which will give you more privacy and sometimes your own bathroom. Youth hostels usually don't contain many amenities (pool, exercise center, etc.) but they usually have a lobby/living room area for guests to socialize with each other.
- Low cost: A youth hostel will cost you around $20-50 per night depending on the country you are staying in.
- Community Feel: Since you are sharing a kitchen and sometimes a room, you'll get to make friends and talk to others about your travels and adventures. This is good for people who are traveling solo and don't have anyone to socialize with.
- Convenience: You don't need to reserve a room days or even weeks in advance. You can just walk in after a tired day, book a room, rest, and checkout.
- Family friendly: Unlike chain hotels, youth hostels are usually owned by a couple or whole family who will be happy to help you. They will be able to make you feel at home, unlike a hotel.
- You'll be able to vacation longer: Without the high cost of a hotel room, you'll be able to make your money last longer in a foreign country. More money means a longer vacation.
- Little to no privacy: In a youth hostel, you will usually share bunk beds in a room with other bunk beds. This means other people will be sleeping around you.
- People can steal your stuff: With little to no privacy comes lack of security. Since you will be sleeping in an open room with other travelers, people might become tempted to steal your things such as your wallet, bag, clothes, etc. Some youth hostels offer a place to put your things such as a locker. Tip: don't bring an expensive piece of jewelery or carry lots of money in your wallet.
- Loud noise: Some travelers might snore. Others might be up all night talking, partying, or making other noise. It could be hard to sleep with all that noise.
- Shared Bathrooms: Since bathrooms are almost always shared, you might have to wait for others to get ready for the day. This could mean waiting for another traveler to go to the bathroom, take a shower, and fix their hair. This could eat up a lot of time.
- Shared Kitchens: Just like bathrooms, you'll almost always share a kitchen. This means you might have to wait for others to cook their breakfast, then spend the time cooking your own.
- No continental breakfast: As listed above, you'll have to cook your own breakfast. There is no restaurant or continental breakfast.
- Lack of amenities: Youth hostels don't usually have the luxurious amenities that a hotel has. This means no pool, exercise center, hot tub, arcade, etc.
Should You stay In A Youth Hostel?
It depends on your tastes. If you're on a budget and just need a place to crash then a youth hostel is probably for you. Youth hostels are more for solo travelers so if you have a family then it probably wouldn't be a good idea. You don't want your kids running around bothering other tourists and breaking things. If you would like a more luxurious place with privacy, aren't a people person, and will be spending a lot of time in your room, then get a hotel room. If you've got the money for a hotel room, then why not stay in a hotel? Pick the place that will let you enjoy your vacation.