If you have traveled literally everywhere in your own country or abroad, you have probably already chosen between staying in hotels and hostels. If you’re like me, one of the most important factors when choosing one over the other is the budget. But what else should you consider when looking for accommodation?
This guide will give you a useful overview of the factors that could potentially make you choose hotels over hostels:
As a rule, a hotel room is much more expensive than staying in a hostel dormitory. Considering that dormitories usually sleep from 4 to 10 people (sometimes even more!), with a shared bathroom, the price difference is obvious-you get value for money.
However, if you plan to stay in a private room in a hostel, you may be able to enjoy all the benefits (and a private bathroom) without paying what you would do in a hotel. Many private rooms in hostels have comfortable beds, full bathrooms, a safe and everything a hotel room has.
Of course, it all depends on where you are traveling. For example, if you walk through Southeast Asia, what you pay for a nice hotel room is about the same as what you would pay for a dorm bed in some places in Europe. That said, Look at your budget and decide how much you are willing to pay for accommodation. On a tight budget? Perhaps a dormitory bed is the best option. But if you spend a little more, you can opt for a private room in a hostel and save money while having as much comfort as in a hotel.
It is clear that a hostel dorm offers you much less privacy than a hotel room. That said, Think about how much privacy you really need. If you are a solo traveler and only feel comfortable in private hostel rooms or hotel rooms, don’t forget that some hostels also have dormitories for women. For some women, including myself, staying in a women’s dorm is much more comfortable.
When it comes to private hostel rooms and hotel rooms, the amount of privacy you will have is about the same. Hostels tend to be more social, so expect to see more guests hanging out in the common areas. This will not compromise the privacy of your room, but if you want to communicate with other guests as little as possible, a hotel is probably a better option.
Hotels and hostels vary a lot depending on the owners, their vision of the place and their location. Hotels range from small “mom and pop” joints with only a few rooms to huge resorts with hundreds of rooms. Hostels tend to be a bit more uniform in size, but the overall atmosphere can vary a bit. I stayed in quiet hostels, where there were mostly digital nomads who kept to themselves, and also party hostels, where backpackers stayed together and were quite noisy.
This shows that staying in a hostel does not necessarily mean that you will be surrounded by young people in their twenties during the spring break. In fact, there are many travelers in their thirties and older who stay in hostels, and it’s not weird at all. The key is to research the place before booking. In any matter, you can still avoid most of the nighttime disturbances by staying in a private room and only hanging out in the common areas if you feel more social.
The atmosphere of a hotel is much less social than a hostel, so it may be the best choice if you want a little solitude and tranquility. I tend to avoid staying in hotels for this reason, as it makes meeting other people more difficult when I travel alone. A hotel may be suitable for you if you are with your partner or friends and you are not interested in meeting other travelers.
No matter what you choose, there will be security risks associated with staying in any type of accommodation when you travel, especially as an individual traveler. However, there are some important differences.
Hostel dorms are perhaps the most delicate when it comes to security. Although most dorms have lockers where you can store your valuables, they are usually too small to hold your entire backpack. You can leave your backpack with only your clothes and toiletries, which means there is a chance that they will be stolen.
Another thing to consider when staying in a dorm, especially if it’s co-ed, is your comfort level of sleeping in a room with strangers. For some people, this may not feel safe, so it’s important to ask yourself if this is the matter for you before booking.
Private hostel rooms and hotel rooms are about the same in terms of security, and there are many ways to protect yourself in one or the other. Having a Personal alarm and a door frame are two ways to stay safe when traveling alone.
If you plan to stay in the same place for more than a week or two, a hotel is probably not a good choice for several reasons. Firstly, most hotel rooms do not have a kitchen equipped enough to cook anything other than a cup of noodles. Hotels also don’t tend to have communal kitchens like many hostels do. Since hostels tend to be more economical, they are aimed at travelers who want to save money, usually by preparing their own meals. Cooking in hostels is quite feasible and a great way to avoid overspending by eating exclusively in restaurants.
In addition, usually, travelers who plan to stay in the same place for a while want to communicate with other travelers, make friends and get to know the local hosts. Most hostels also organize free or affordable activities for guests, adding another opportunity to meet people. This is much harder to do if you are staying in a hotel, which is another reason why hostels are much more ideal for long-term stays.
Final rating: Hotels vs Hostels
If it wasn’t obvious, I’m Team Hostel. I think one of the main reasons why people don’t choose hostels is because they don’t want to take care of the atmosphere of the party. However, there are plenty of hostels that are much more laid-back, and if you’re not sure about the atmosphere of the place, just ask or read the reviews before booking.
Another reason why people avoid hostels is the reputation they have for being exclusively for young people. However, it’s not at all weird to stay in a hostel in your thirties or beyond. Just choose the right one for you, and if you have doubts, just book a few nights to start and move to another place if you think it’s too noisy.
The communal atmosphere of a hostel makes it much easier to meet other travelers, even if you are staying in a private room. I also found that the hostel staff is much more down-to-earth and friendly, making the experience more accommodating.
In the end, I think many hostels have everything a hotel has, but at a more accessible price, as well as additional benefits such as the ability to meet other people and participate in organized activities. For me, it’s a win-win!