If you are looking to save money on your next trip while meeting people from all over the world, hosteling may be the answer for you. Once thought to be limited to youths and foreign exchange students, hosteling has become popular with travelers of all ages. There are hostels all over the world, even in the heart of major American cities like New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Believe it or not, it is possible to spend a night in downtown for less than $30 by choosing a hostel instead of a regular hotel.
Benefits of hosteling: Cheap lodging
Obviously, saving money is the main reason most people choose hosteling over staying in hotels. In major cities, even the cheapest hotel room is often $89 or more. A hostel bed rarely costs more than $20-30 per night, which can make a significant difference over a long trip. Keep in mind this discounted rate is for a bed in a shared room, usually dorm-style. The kitchen, bathroom, and shower facilities are communal as well, so you may have to allow some extra preparation time in case you have to wait for other guests. Despite these minor inconveniences, hosteling is often the best choice, especially if you do not plan to spend much time sitting around in your room anyway.
Benefits of hosteling: Meeting fellow travelers
Hostelling is great for those who are unfamiliar with the area or simply want to meet other travelers along the way. The hostel staff is usually willing to help you work out bus schedules, find local attractions, or recommend a great place to eat. They are accustomed to helping foreign travelers find their way around town, even those who may not be fluent in English. Many hostels offer group activities like communal dinners or movie showings to give travelers an opportunity to socialize. Hostelling is an excellent choice if you are traveling alone because you can often find other people willing to visit the local attractions with you.
Benefits of hosteling: Great locations
Many hostels are located in unusual buildings or locations, giving you a unique experience in that particular city. There are hostels in converted lighthouses, railroad cars, tents, treehouses, and many other interesting configurations. You can often stay in popular areas for much less by hosteling. For example, San Francisco has hostels downtown, near Fisherman’s Wharf, and in the heart of the city, all for under $30 per night. Hotels in similar locations would cost in the hundreds of dollars each night, if rooms were even available. In addition to being located in interesting places, most hostels are also in convenient locations near local tourist attractions and public transportation. This makes it very easy for hosteling guests to get around town without having to spend money on expensive rental cars.
Benefits of Hostelling: Learn New Cuisines
When you’re hostelling, you’re going to be able to learn so much more about other people’s cultures – including the food that they eat and how they prepare the food.
When I was travelling in France, I stayed with a wonderful couple who created the most fantastic of meats. I figured they were baking them or doing some sort of smoking, but I was very wrong.
It turned out that they were cooking with a French food technique called sous vide. I had never heard of sous vide before, but man was it fantastic. Apparently they put the meat in a vacuum sealer bag to suck the air out. When the air is sucked out, they put the meat inside of the new best sous vide machine to cook the meal to perfection. The meat always came out juicy and tender and amazing. When I got home I immediately bought a new sous vide machine. It was the best purchase for cooking that I have made in along time.
All of this is because I went hostelling.