Years ago, I would have never considered staying in a hostel. The thought of shared bathrooms, bedrooms with bunk beds sleeping several people, noisy teenagers and. let’s face it, low-quality accommodation. But wow, how things have changed. Today I have many hostels on my wish list and I’m sure that I’ll be adding plenty more.
Hostel-type accommodation started just after the First World War in Germany. The idea was that the German urban youth could retreat to the countryside for fresh air and rural pursuits. But now, almost a hundred years later, hostel life has changed beyond recognition. To see some wonderful examples visit the specialists, Hostel World.
Hostels these days tend to be in busy areas in cities and incredibly convenient to see the local sights and visit local cafés, restaurants and bars. Many hostels have their own, in addition to kitchen, dining rooms and lounge areas. What’s more they are often decorated in quirky style so your stay is certainly going to be something a little different.
And don’t worry about the shared-room aspect – most hostels these days offer private rooms (usually for two people) and in many include an en-suite bathroom too. Other advantages? Well, often hostels provide amenities that hotels don’t – or charge for. For instance:
- Luggage storage
- Laundry facilities
- Free wifi
- Library or book exchange
- Computers for guest use
- 24 hour check in, reception and security
- Steam rooms, hairdryers
- Free breakfast
- Travel desk
- DVDs, board games
- Terraces and roof gardens
- Theme nights and events
- Airport transfers
Each hostel differs in the amenities offered to guests. Check out Hostel World to see the variety.
Prices are amazingly low when you compare them to hotels, even if you’re booking a private room with its own bathroom. And yet if you’re really on a budget, shared rooms are nothing like what they used to be in the ‘old days’. Rooms aren’t old-style dormitories these days – they are carefully furnished and bunks have their own facilities and privacy in most cases.
Another aspect of hostel accommodation is that you’ll be able to make new friends if you wish. This is because of the communal kitchens, dining rooms, bars lounges and terraces that most hostels offer.
See an example of a London hostel in the video below.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.