When somebody utters the word “hostel,” it’s likely that images of un-showered, partying 20-something backpackers is what comes to mind. Perhaps you even have memories of such places from your youth, when you spent three months backpacking around Europe, sleeping in a large room with other backpackers, and spending your evenings downing shots of vodka.
The advantage of staying at hostels while one travels is that they are quite often the most affordable accommodations in town. Their affordable nature coupled with the fact that they don’t tend to be as comfortable and luxurious as a regular hotel room means that hostels have long been the domain of the youth. This has contributed to a misconception that hostels are only for young people. While some hostels do cater only to young travelers, you’ll find that many of them will actually happily take in guests of any age.
The important thing to consider if deciding whether or not a stay at a hostel is right for you is how comfortable you will be. Not all hostels are created equal, so make sure to do your research before you book your stay. Even if you’re not interested in sleeping in a room with 20 beds that is full of 22 year old travelers you’ve never met, you do have options. Many hostels actually have private rooms on offer. The accommodations are usually basic, but can be clean, comfortable, and private. The private rooms do tend to be a little more expensive than the bed in a shared room, but they are still a much more economical option than a traditional hotel in many cases. While some hostels pride themselves in catering to the young party crowd, many others pride themselves on being clean, comfortable, quiet, family friendly places.
When you’re considering a hostel, make sure to read the description on their site as well as any reviews from other travelers really carefully. Make sure to figure out what age group (if any) they cater to, and make sure to look at the photos of the hostel as well so you can get a good idea of what it will be like when you arrive. This will help to ensure you book the hostel that is right for you.
What it boils down to is that budget accommodations are for anybody, no matter what your age group. Travel can be really expensive so it’s important to find ways to budget your money for your destination and staying in a hostel can be a fantastic way to do that. Don’t let thoughts of “I’m too old” be the thing that stops you from traveling.
Have you ever stayed in a hostel? Would you agree with my assessment? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments.