Hostels have this awful reputation attached for being dirty, unsafe, and only for young people. All of these are wrong! I have stayed in hostels more lavish than some nice hotels in many parts of the world. I have found hostels to be safer for solo travelers because they give you the opportunity to connect with other travelers and explore with them rather than on your own. Hostels are for a wide range of travelers; I have seen people from ages 18-70 staying in Hostels. If you are older and prefer privacy, you can always choose to stay in a single room instead of bunking it out with 4+ people in a communal room. If you choose to stay in a single room at a hostel, luckily you still have the luxury of enjoying the atmosphere and connections a hostel has to offer.
Hostels have been some of my favorite places to stay while traveling. They have allowed me to meet new people, travel on the cheap, and experience delightful local adventures. I truly can’t say enough good things about hostels.
In terms of price range, I have stayed in hostels pricing anywhere from $6 a night in Nepal to $25 a night in Paris.
My first Hostel experience was in Galway, Ireland. I was backpacking with a good friend of mine and at the last minute, we decided to book a stay at the Kinlay Hostel Galway. From the first moment we stepped inside, we were making friends with the staff and the other guests staying in the hostel. Our first night there was filled with relaxation and card games in the front lounge area, followed by a full day biking around the Aran Islands. We topped it off by going out with our new friends and roommate from the hostel that night. We stayed for a total of 3 days and every moment was cherished. When we walked to the train station with our friends from the hostel for the last time, I still remember the looks on their faces as we said goodbye. We had all had so much fun together but now were unsure whether or not we would ever see each other again.
Next was my hostel experience in Nepal. A group of people I had befriended with from a recent departing tour and I decided to stay in a hostel together in Kathmandu called the Alobar 1000. I had booked later than everyone else so I was set up in a separate room. My other roommates were mostly men and I know as a solo female traveler you’re probably thinking this would be a scary experience. On the contrary, I actually felt more safe and secure. I felt like they were like a shield of protection for me. My days comprised of either relaxing writing in my journal to going out and exploring the local areas with my friends. One of the most memorable days was when we all went to see Everest the movie in the city of Kathmandu, it was so wonderful to see the movie that took place so close to where we were. I stay there for about 5 days – I was one of the last of our friends to leave Kathmandu.
In Paris, I stayed at the Generator Hostel. This was one of the most luxurious hostels I have ever stayed at. I was in Paris for a photography event and didn’t know anyone. Luckily, the staff opened right up and and treated me as a friend rather than a guest. I felt at home! On my first day there I had connected with two other solo female travelers. We decided to adventure off together to see the Eiffel Tower at night followed by a wonderful dinner with a view. We stayed connected throughout my time there. On our third night together we had planned to go out dancing. While we were hanging out enjoying a glass of wine my friend started to get these frantic text messages asking “Are you alright?” and “I heard something awful happened in Paris”. A terrorist attack had unfolded right in our midst. We were the next district over from one of the largest terror attacks France had ever seen. They turned the news on the main TVs. Everyone watched in horror as the entire attack was unfolding. No matter how awful everything was, my gut told me we were safe – the hostel was in a quiet area and had strict security at the doors. My friend was staying in a private room and, because we both were still shaken up, we decided to stay together. I will always remember waking up, getting out of bed, and looking upon the beautiful city of Paris as the sun rose after the horrible attack. Shortly after that my friends departed and I was alone again in the hostel. I became closer to the staff, trying to talk about anything but the recent events that happened. I got to find out more about their lives, what brought them to Paris, and travel destinations they wanted to visit. Through it all Paris remains an incredibly strong and resilient city and I look forward to visiting again.
Best Hostel App:
Most luxurious hostels in Europe:
Must not Forget:[ ] A lock [ ] Ear plugs [ ] Headphones
Double check that they have the option to use a towel and if not make sure to add a small portable towel to your list.[ ] Towel