plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

April 2, 2008

frugal travel accomodation: the joys of hostelling

Filed under: frugal — Tags: , , , — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

hostel signWhen I travel abroad, I nearly always stay in a Youth Hostel. The first reason that I stay there is because they are inexpensive, ranging in price from say $5 to $50 a night, depending on your location,  anywhere  in the world.

the benefits

For that money you’ll get a bed in a dorm, and a shared bathroom. You’ll also get to meet other like-minded budget travellers. They are generally an entertaining bunch of people who have just come from where you are going next, and can be keen to enjoy a chat.

Hostels are great places to find all the information you need to enjoy a budget trip. There are details on cheaper excursions, and day trips. Staff are used to travellers without a lot of cash and can get them in on the best deals. On my trips, my friends and I have saved money on Maori cultural trips in New Zealand, buses to Niagara Falls in Canada, surfing lessons in Australia, and boat trips in Slovakia.

Other advantages often include a place to do laundry (helpful if you are packing light), a kitchen so that you could save money on food, and free or inexpensive internet access. Some places have had bars, comfortable shared living rooms with TVs, bikes to borrow and free food. I’ve stayed at a hostel with a hot tub, one with a goth club downstairs, and even one with a pet 2m long crocodile.

you may not know

These days, not all hostels have bunk beds, chores and curfews. In fact, hardly any have chores, although you’re likely to be expected to make your own bed, and clean up after yourself in the kitchen. Some hostels still have curfews – you may be locked out during the day and shut in at night – but these are less frequent, especially with an independent hotel. Although many hostels do have bunk beds, I spent 3 weeks in New Zealand only using hostels with proper beds, and they’re becoming more common elsewhere.

If you don’t want to share a room with strangers, many hostels have smaller rooms that can be booked out for small groups of friends, family rooms, and also regular doubles and singles. These may or may not be en suite, but they are generally inexpensive, and you have the same access to the great facilities and easy to make friends as people in dorms.

what do you think?

As you can tell, I’m a hostel fan. The first one I ever stayed in was in New York in 2000, and the last one was in Washington DC when I was over there last November/December.

Whether you’ve stayed in hostels, or you haven’t considered it before, let me know what you think in the comments. 

Similar Posts:

If you like what you're reading, why not leave a comment below, subscribe to my feed, or check out some of my best posts.

Powered by WordPress