When you think of lodging and accommodations, hostels are probably not the first option that comes to mind. They are often thought of as being cramped and only for the young. However, these downfalls are often overstated. Staying in a hostel won't give you the same luxury experience you can expect at a high-end hotel, but there are definitely some benefits to this option when visiting a new city.
1. It's very affordable.
While you might pay $150 a night or more to stay in a hotel room, hostels are remarkably cheaper — think closer to $10 a night, or maybe up to $30 a night at the nicest hostels in town that offer buffet breakfasts. You can spend the money you save on additional sightseeing opportunities and tourist attractions in the city you're visiting. You can get a lot of entertainment for an extra $100 a day!
2. You can meet people.
Hostels are very social settings. Many of the people staying there will be traveling alone or in small groups. Since you share a room with others, it's easy to start conversations and get to know those people. You'll also meet people in the kitchen or dining area. Some hostels even organize social gatherings with the sole purpose of allowing the visitors to meet one another. You can explore the city with these new friends you make from around the world, which can be even more fun than exploring on your own.
3. You can cook.
Eating out costs a lot when you're traveling and trying to eat out for every meal. Plus, the foods you purchase at restaurants are not always the healthiest. When you stay in a hostel, you almost always have access to a shared kitchen. This means you can cook at least some of your meals, allowing you to save money and also stick to a healthier diet.
4. You can get tourism advice easily.
Since most people staying in hostels are there to see the city, you can get plenty of great tourism advice from the other visitors. Ask people what they saw that day and if they recommend seeing it. Ask what everyone else's favorite attractions have been so far. You don't get this level of between-tourist interactions at a hotel or apartment!
Hostels may not be the most common choice of accommodations, but they are definitely a great choice for many travelers. Try this option the next time you travel.