Top 7 Reasons Why Hostels Are Often Better Than Hotels, AirBnb And Couchsurfing

Pacific Tradewinds

Top 7 Reasons Why Hostels Are Often Better Than Hotels, AirBnb And Couchsurfing

With so many different accommodation options for travelers these days, it might be hard to decide which one to stay in. You've got hotels, hostels, AirBnbs, Couchsurfing, can get overwhelming! However, if you are traveling on a budget, want to make new friends, and want to feel at home in a new city, hostels are the best way to go. Okay, we admit it: we might be a little biased. But we have some good reasons. Hear us out.

Here's why we think hostels are better than hotels, Couchsurfing, or AirBnb:

1. You'll be surrounded by potential friends. 

When you’re traveling alone and staying in hotels, an AirBnb, or with a Couchsurfing host, it's hard to make friends. You won't be interacting with anyone other than your AirBnb or Couchsurfing host, and while they might be lovely people, they're probably busy with their job or other engagements and won't be able to hang out that much. Of course, it's possible to make friends outside of your accommodation while you're sightseeing or participating in tours and other activities, but these environments aren't always set up to be social, and people will usually already be there with their group of friends. Hostels, however, are filled to the brim with solo travelers looking for people to eat, drink, and explore the city with. All you have to do to make new friends in a hostel is turn to the person next to you while you're making dinner in the kitchen, hanging out in the common room, or unpacking your bag in the dorm and ask them where they're from. Boom! Friendship started. Don't worry - if striking up a conversation with a stranger seems daunting to you, hostels offer plenty of free activities to its guests to help break the ice.

2. ...But you can still choose how you spend your time.

When you stay with a Couchsurfing host, you’re expected to spend time with the person hosting you. This can be a really cool experience, but it can also be awkward if your host has different tastes in conversation or activities than you do. Maybe you want to take a ride on the London Eye or take a boat to Alcatraz or go to the top of the Eiffel Tower or another touristy activity that your host is probably tired of, because after all, it is their hometown, and they've probably done the more "touristy" activities a million times. Or maybe your host is a talker, and you'd prefer your dinner without also being regaled with an hour-long tale of their stressful day at work. In a hostel, if you're not loving the conversation with one hostel guest, you can easily talk to another one. In hostels, there are plenty of people to hang out with if you want to, but you’re not obligated. Hostels allow you to have the option to do either.

3. Hostel staff can give you personalized recommendations on where to go and what to do.

Hostel hosts are more likely to have better local travel information to help you than a hotel would. Because hostels staff are continually helping lots of budget travelers from all over the world, they have become experts in helping you find the best deals and can cater these recommendations specifically to you, the intrepid budget traveler. Also, many of them are budget travelers like yourself, so they will likely be interested in the same things you are.


Happy hostel guests smile over gyoza

4. Hostels can be safer than other types of accommodation.

WHAAAT? Shocker, we know. Contrary to what Hollywood or our parents would have us believe, hostels are not full of people waiting to steal your backpack or stab you the minute you fall asleep. Granted, hostels can have some interesting characters, but it’s usually interesting in the “does yoga in the morning” variety and less of the “stab you in your sleep” variety. What hostels also have is a nearby reception desk, and receptionists and other staff that can help you if anything comes up. Hotels obviously have a reception desk as well, but it’s not as accessible. If you need help and you’re on the 45th floor, the receptionist is all the way down at the bottom. Hostels are much smaller than hotels, so chances are, reception is close to your room. Also, because hostels are smaller, everyone gets to know each other pretty quickly. Even if you’re only in a hostel for 2 days, you’ll feel the sense of community and recognize the staff. Also, there is safety in numbers. If something bad happens to you in your hotel roon and you're all by yourself, there won't be anyone around to help you. In a hostel room, you have four, eight, or sometimes even 10 dorm mates that want a safe environment just like you and can help you deflect the problem. Once you try hostels, you will see that there is a self-policing that goes on in the community that calls out bad behavior. Everyone is looking out for each other.

5. Hostels are often the cheapest option.

If you’re on a budget, you can’t go wrong with a hostel. Whereas hotels in major cities often cost upwards of $100 USD per night, you can get a bed in a hostel for $35. And have the opportunity to meet new friends from all over the world. We’d call that a win.

6. AND you get free stuff.

Hostels frequently have free amenities that hotels don’t, such as free snacks, free guided activities, and other services, like free laundry. Pacific Tradewinds Hostel, for example, has free ramen and PB&J sandwiches 24/7. We also lead free activities every day that hostel guests can participate in to see the city and meet new friends.

The #1 best thing about staying in a hostel? Everyone is in the same boat as you. Everyone is trying to see cool sights and do awesome things on a budget, and maybe make some new friends in the process.

7. If you're homesick, you're more likely to meet someone in a hostel who reminds you of home.

It's easy to feel homesick if you're in a foreign country, especially if you aren't hearing your native language or around anything that reminds of you of home.

When you stay with an AirBnb or Couchsurfing host, the chances that they speak your language or have been to your country are pretty slim. However, in a hostel, you'll be surrounded by people from all over the world, and it's a pretty good chance that at least one of them will have been to your country, speaks your language, or is even from your town.

That way, you'll be able to continue your friendship even when you go back home.

Did we miss your favorite thing about staying in a hostel? Our bad. Let us know on our Facebook page


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