Our first hostel experience was in Paris in 1999. We went on a romantic trip to Paris but as a student I didn’t have a lot to spend. So we decided to stay in a hostel so we could save some money to spend in the city itself. And to be honest, it wasn’t the greatest experience. We ended up in a huge building with many schoolgroups who made a lot of noise. If we were just looking for a bed, it was ok but I had something else in mind for our romantic weekend.
And now, fourteen years after my first hostel experience I have stayed in more than 350 hostels around the globe. Even though now we have more money to spend on our trips, we still prefer to stay in hostels. When we travel as a couple and when we travel alone.
But Why? Well... This is why.
1. Meet other Travellers
First of all we love to meet other travellers and the easiest place to meet them is in a hostel. On our travels we’ve met so many travellers who love to travel like we do. In every hostel we stayed there were travellers who were openminded and in for a chat, to share dinner or to go for a night out.
2. Travel more or Spend less
And secondly the price. A hostel is a good option if you want to travel more or spend less. Not only because of the lower price of the bed, but by using the kitchen to cook or to enjoy a cold beer from the supermarket after a long day in the city.
3. The staff
But there are more reasons to stay in a hostel. For example the staff. They know the city and the things you would like to do. So if you want to know where to go, where to have a cheap eat or where to have an amazing night out. Go to the reception of your hostel and they know exactly what you are looking for. Maybe they’ll even join you.
4. The language
In hostels in Europe (all around the world for that matter) you can expect the staff to speak proper English and if you’re lucky they even speak your language as well (or they’ll ask a fellow traveller to translate). But they would always try to find a way to communicate with you.
5. The location
The location of the hostel is often very central and closer to the nightlife. In the last ten years the amount of hostels in Europe has increased almost tenfold, so you can find a hostel in every neighbourhoud where you would like to stay.
6. Clean and Safe
Sometimes we meet travellers who prefer not to stay in a hostel because they are “dirty” or “unsafe”. Well, after staying in more than 350 hostels I think we can say that it’s not like that. Most hostels we have stayed in are cleaner than almost anywhere else — they often have a full-time staff that works to keep the place spotless. In fact, in the majority of hostels where we’ve stayed, even the bed was made.
And Yes, sometimes things can get stolen in a hostel. Like everywhere else for that matter. During the last fourteen years of staying in hostels, we didn’t lose anything. Because we lock our stuff in the available lockers or leave them at the reception. So make sure to lock your valuables and you will be fine.
7. Dorm or Private
If you’re not into sharing, than don’t. Hostels do have private rooms and it’s up to you if you prefer to sleep in a dorm or in a private room.
8. Get a discount
And the hostels in our network would love to give you a 5% or 10% discount when you make a direct booking. Check out the website which hostels