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A backpackers' hostel offers low cost accommodations to travelers, often in a dormitory style setting. They are much less expensive than hotels, motels, or other types of travel accommodations, and are available in many different places around the world. For backpackers traveling on a budget, they are often the best option for saving money and staying in a safe place. A backpackers' hostel will frequently offer a few different types of accommodations to travelers; the most common type is a dorm style room, in which six or eight bunk beds will be placed. An individual will simply rent a bunk. Young people, particularly students, are some of the most common guests likely to be encountered at a hostel, though older travelers may use them too.
Some more upscale hostels will also offer private rooms, such as for couples who are traveling together. Plenty of couples will be fine just sleeping in bunk beds for the night, however; it also allows hostels to maximize space and to fit as many people in the room as possible, so bunk bed style rooms are the most common. A backpackers' hostel will almost always require guests to use a shared bathroom, as private bathrooms are quite uncommon, even if it is possible to rent private rooms.
There are different types of hostels that may be better suited to different travelers. Some are more appealing to people who enjoy drinking and partying, for example, and will actually feature a bar right in the hostel. For people who prefer a quieter experience, it may be a good idea to look for a backpackers' hostel without one. Most hostels will take reservations as well as walk-in guests. Making reservations online is now one of the easiest ways to plan ahead when traveling, and many hostels now offer guests this option.
A backpackers' hostel may offer additional services to guests, either included in the price or for an extra fee. These can include safe, lockable luggage storage, if individuals want to explore without carrying everything with them, for example. Most hostels will also offer Wi-Fi or at least a computer with Internet access. Many offer a community kitchen area where guests can cook themselves simple meals, which can be another good way to save money, as well as washers and dryers for doing laundry. The staff of a hostel will also often be happy to offer recommendations for sightseeing or other fun things to do in the area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is a backpackers' hostel and how does it differ from a hotel?
A backpackers' hostel is a budget-friendly accommodation option designed for travelers, particularly those carrying backpacks, who are looking for a place to stay that is both affordable and social. Unlike hotels, hostels typically offer dormitory-style rooms with shared bathrooms and communal areas, encouraging interaction among guests. They often provide kitchen facilities for self-catering, which can help travelers save on food costs. Hostels are known for their vibrant, community-oriented atmosphere, which is quite different from the more private and service-oriented environment of hotels.
Are backpackers' hostels safe for solo travelers?
Backpackers' hostels are generally safe for solo travelers, with many offering security features such as lockers, 24-hour reception, and key card access to rooms. According to a survey by Hostelworld, 82% of solo travelers have stayed in hostels and found them to be a safe option. It's important for travelers to read reviews, choose well-rated hostels, and take personal safety measures like using lockers for valuables and being aware of their surroundings.
What amenities can I expect to find in a backpackers' hostel?
In a backpackers' hostel, you can typically expect to find basic amenities such as bunk beds in dormitory rooms, shared bathrooms, a communal kitchen, and common areas like lounges or game rooms. Many hostels also offer free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and sometimes even extras like book exchanges, organized social events, or tours. Some may provide private rooms at a higher cost for those seeking more privacy while still enjoying the hostel atmosphere.
How do I choose a good backpackers' hostel?
To choose a good backpackers' hostel, start by considering location, price, and reviews. Look for hostels that are centrally located near transportation hubs and attractions. Compare prices to ensure they fit your budget. Most importantly, read reviews from previous guests on reputable travel websites to gauge cleanliness, safety, and the overall vibe of the hostel. Additionally, check if the hostel offers the specific amenities or services that are important to you, such as lockers or breakfast options.
Can I meet other travelers at a backpackers' hostel?
Yes, one of the main draws of a backpackers' hostel is the opportunity to meet other like-minded travelers. Hostels are designed with communal spaces such as lounges, kitchens, and dining areas that facilitate interaction. Many hostels also organize social events, tours, or outings that can help guests connect. According to Hostelling International, staying in hostels can enhance the travel experience through the social connections and cultural exchanges that occur naturally in these communal settings.