Hostels | 6 common misconceptions

The first time I stayed in a hostel was back in 2016 when I did my first solo travel in Miami and I must admit that I had some misconceptions before leaving. But I’m glad it didn’t stop me from booking that hostel because it was one of my best hostel-experience so far! Today, people are more and more choosing to stay in hostels yet there are still a lot of misconceptions around them. So let’s break it down together!

Table of Contents

Hostels are dirty!

I think the number one misconception about hostels is cleanliness. Depending on the size of the hostel, some of them have professional cleaners others have temporary staff, which are travelers as well. Like some hotels yes there are dirty hostels that are neglected by management and staff. But for most of them, they are very clean!
I’ve been in different types of hostels and some of them have very high standards similar to hotels. I will say though that sometimes the cleanliness depends on the travelers as well. Working in hostels I was surprised at the number of people that were messy and dirty.

Hostels are cheap

Yes, most of the time cheaper than hotels or Airbnb but not always! The hostel industry has evolved to accommodate a wider range of travelers. Also depending on the city and location prices can get ridiculously high. Sydney for Christmas and New Year’s Eve will have prices around 150AUD for a bed in a shared dorm!
You definitely can get high-end hostels that are similar to hotels but have shared facilities. Some of them have thematics like pods, cabanas, and that can have an impact on the price. There’s even a beehive hostel in Bali that is on my bucket list!
Bear in mind that cheap doesn’t necessarily mean less quality. Southeast Asia is probably the best example of it. There are so many hostels fitting any budget.

Hostels are unsafe

For people who are concerned about their safety, I personally never felt unsafe. But I do understand why people could feel unsafe when sharing a room with strangers. A lot of hostels offer individual lockers in the rooms so make sure you have a padlock. If not, I would highly recommend keeping your most valuable items with you when you are out of the hostel or get a padlock for your bag/suitcase. I would also suggest not being too vocal about your belongings or if you carry cash with you, not mention it. Just like any other place you have to be careful with your belongings.

Hostels are for solo travelers

As a solo traveler, I will say that hostels to me are the best option to meet other solo travelers but not only! There are all sorts of travelers, couples, married couples, friends, and coworkers. Hostels are so versatile and that’s the beauty of it. They have a different atmosphere and depending on what you are after you will meet all sorts of people.

Hostels are for young travelers

To be honest I thought so too! But I have had the pleasure of meeting elders staying in hostels. The exchange can be so rewarding from both ends. A lot of hostels will show an age “preference” or warning to older people that it’s a majority of young travelers. In some of them, elders aren’t allowed in dorms they have to stay in private rooms which sounds legitimate to me. Most of the time I stay in shared dorms but if you feel uncomfortable staying with men you have the option of getting female-only dorms.

You have to stay in a shared dorm

I have stayed in private rooms that are as good as some hotel rooms! Some even have private rooms that have am ensuite bathrooms. So you don’t have to share the amenities with other people. These rooms can offer double beds or twin beds with extra amenities.
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I personally like to alternate hostels and hotels depending on what the purpose of my travel is. Sometimes I would rather spend less on my accommodation to be able to do more activities. I also like to be in a hostel when I want to connect with other travelers.
So are hostels for everyone? Yes and no, it all depends on how open mind you are. For people who have never stayed in hostels before, I would suggest making some researches. Try to find what would fit best for you. Is it safe to stay in a hostel? Yes, it is! But you need to take a bit more precautions.

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