The term, youth hostel, has long been associated with student, economy accommodations, not with adults. However, if you love adventure and meeting new people, staying at a hostel could be just the ticket!
As Little As $20
Best of all, the price is right. In areas where $100 or more is common, a night’s stay at a “youth” hostel can be less that $20. There are hostels around the world, in almost every country and near some of the most desirable vacation destinations, such as Paris and Santa Fe.
Bargain Basement Prices
Yes, in some of the best places in the world, there’s a hostel with bargain-basement prices. So, why else would you want to stay at a place known best for providing housing for backpacking college students? Why indeed. Some hostels have features normally associated with higher-priced establishments, like ocean views, Jacuzzi tubs, and even an occasional swimming pool. Secure 24-hour access and special-needs accessibility can be found in large, urban environs.
Dormitory Style Accommodations
You can usually book ahead (though there may be a curfew, so don?t expect to come in too late). Though many hostels provide dormitory-style accommodations, others will have more rooms like those found at neighboring motels. The main difference is that it probably won’t be a private room, unless you come with your own fellow travelers. If you do plan on traveling in a group of two or more, some hostels will even reserve space for you (usually only offered in off-seasons).
For a price of at least half that of most other discount hotels, you can stay just two miles from the center of Old Town Santa Fe, with a beautiful view of the two mountain ranges and close to restaurants and Indian pottery shops.
Just an hour from our nation’s capitol and close to the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, you can stay for about $17 with Internet access and a train station nearby. The possibilities are endless and, if you enjoy meeting new people instead of watching TV or ordering room service, try a hostel.
Your Hostel Amenities
Although you will need to plan ahead to bring some of the convenience items which hotels are known for, like shampoo and hair dryers, you will be provided with a pillow and blanket. Most now even include a change of linen in the price; others have them available for a nominal rental fee. You will be using a common bathroom, though almost all keep women’s and men’s rooms (both sleeping and bathing facilities) separate. Each hostel will inform you of their individual requirements and arrangements.
You will find a couple of very reputable hostel sites online, including Hostelling International (HI), Hostels.com, Hostelworld, and European Hostels. HI even provides for reservation booking and reviews of most of their network, with over 4,000 hostels in more than 60 countries worldwide.
They claim that they’re “the most recommended hostels in the world,” and that their “blue triangle is internationally recognized for safe, clean, friendly and affordable accommodations.” The other sites offer similar assurances.
So, the next time you travel with a severely limited budget and dreams of visiting someplace special, think hostels. You may be more than pleasantly surprised with the saved money and people-friendly accommodations.