Hostels are similar to hotels in that they provide a place for visitors to rest, but they are much different in style. Rather than renting a private room by the night or week, you will rent a bed in a dormitory-style space shared with others. This arrangement forces you to give up some privacy in order to save money, but it often works out well for large groups. You can all stay in a large room together while paying much less than you would pay to rent multiple hotel rooms.
Time Well Spent, Money Saved
Think about how much time you typically spend in your hotel room when you travel. You probably spend most of your time taking tours, visiting restaurants, meeting up with friends and enjoying other activities beyond the hotel room. Since you spend little time in your room, it makes sense to pay as little as possible for that space. A hostel is often the cheapest option and makes the most sense when you just need a warm place to rest up for a busy day of work or fun.
Consider Your Safety
There are many websites connecting travelers with people willing to open their private homes for a night or two, but there is a major safety concern with those arrangements. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, hostels are always a safer alternative. You may still end up sleeping in a room with people you don’t know, but at least you are in a neutral environment similar to a hotel rather than in those stranger’s homes.
You will find many young adults using hostels because they want to see the world but don’t always have a lot of money. That doesn’t mean all hostels are safe environments for young adults, women or children. If you’re concerned about safety, you may want to look for a bargain-priced hotel room instead. For instance, it’s usually easy to find cheap hotels in Boston which provide secure lobbies and private rooms with locks.
While many hotels are located in areas convenient to tourist attractions, convention centers and large business districts, hostel locations are more limited. Take into consideration how far you will need to travel in order to reach your destination from any given hostel. If you will end up spending more on cab fare than you would pay for a cheap hotel located closer to your destination, you end up saving nothing.