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12 Facts to Keep in Mind before Staying in a Hostel

Photo credit:   Depositphotos

Photo credit: Depositphotos

1) Women Only

Women travelers who are in groups or going solo often look at security in lodging as a big issue. For hostels, it can seem threatening to know you might be staying in a dorm room with 21 male rugby players on a mission to get and stay drunk for their entire stay.

Therefore it is cool to know that women can get in women-only dorm rooms in hostels.

Check with your hostel before hand to find out if you can stay in a bed that is on a women-only floor or room. Also, you might be able to stay in a hostel that is for female guests only. Female focused hostels are exactly that, typically offering amenities, such as full length dressing mirrors and hairdryers, that are most requested by women.

Also these types of hostels tend to be quieter with less partying and testosterone to keep everyone amped up. Yet it is the safety issue that keeps female centric hostels going, as women often feel safer when staying among other women especially when they are traveling to a new country or continent.

  • I’m not even going to read the next 8. I’ve traveled around the world a couple times, but by no means consider myself a travel warrior – yet. These past few years have taken me to some very disgusting hostels, as well as some tremendous ones. For example, a hostel in Japan for $20 a night. Or the bungalow on the beach in Thailand for $10/night. Both far better experiences than some name brand experiences I’ve had in the United States.

    I’ve also stayed at expensive hotels – $250 – $350 per night. These hotels – the ones we’ve come to accept as the way to stay if you’re going to travel thanks to TONS of advertising money – have had fewer incidents, but I have found hair in my towels, stains in my sheets, and shower drains that pools water around your feet. Flip flops wouldn’t have saved me.

    Now, I’m certain some would immediately run to (wait, what am I thinking – Call) the front desk and demanded a better room! And mints! But this is not travel. Because if you can’t take a little discomfort from time to time – either staying in a hostel or a hotel – then you’re probably missing out on the true culture and experience of anywhere you go. Because life is not bacteria free. Nor should it be.

    But hey – some people like saving their whole lives for trips. Me – I’ll take a hostel and see more of the world more often, and simply deal with not having my sheets turned down.

    That my 4 cents…

  • patcos

    A shame Huffpost even saw fit to print this poorly written, cliche-ridden piece of dung. The writer needs to get in a few more semesters at J school or find a professional editor. As for staying in hostels, it’s a fabulous experience that cannot be had in standard hotels no matter how posh one might be. Just like any category of lodging, some hostels are in tip-top shape and maintain high standards and some don’t. Travelers should always ask to see rooms and bathrooms before paying for a night’s stay.

    • When does huffpost ever print anything worth reading?

      • patcos

        Well, actually, yes. But this is just poorly written fluff.

      • bobkamath

        With that sort of comment, why do you bother with Huffpost at all?

        • I like to see how the other side thinks. I don’t just read one side and agree with it because it’s Repubs or Dems. Both sides have different opinions and I try to give both sides equal billing before I come to a conclusion.

          • When I am looking for factual news and my choices are the huff post and the enquirer, it’s the enquirer every time.

  • Rick Steffen

    SNOOTY PEOPLE ! A great article that scratches the surface. I found it informative. Of course its not complete with the space given.

    • Zach Freeman

      It doesn’t scratch the surface, it paints over it. If this article were your only exposure to the concept of a hostel, it would leave you with terribly unrealistic expectations concerning your stay. I doubt that the author ever actually spent a night in a hostel in his or her life.

  • Martin

    In response to #10: I have never seen a hostel that doesn’t provide bed sheets.

    • Zach Freeman

      I have, there was this flea bag joint I stayed at in Denver one time. It was sleeping bags only at that place.

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  • Jeffrey Coley

    The photos accompanying this article are misleading. A “hostel” is basically a flophouse with communal facilities, not a 5-star hotel or a bed and breakfast as the pictures imply. They can be interesting and fun to stay at, especially for young people wanting to experience other cultures and meet new people, but nothing like the photos.

    • Joe

      My thoughts exactly. When I saw the first pic of the “12 facts to keep in mind before staying at a hostel” my first thought was, “number one, it will not look anything like this at all”.

      • Zach Freeman

        Yes at best the accomidations and furnature tend to look like they were purchaced at an auction put on by the bureau of prisons. At wors they look like they were purchased at a crack house yardsale.

  • rubysnan

    My husband and I have stayed in hostels all over Europe and have always been able to find a private room with linens provided by doing a little research. (We are seniors, by the way and have never been kept up by partiers.) Last summer, though, I stayed in a small hostel in Northern Ireland where I had conversations with all the other guests and felt safe enough to leave my room unlocked when I went to take a shower. Mistake. Someone took all the money out of my wallet, though did not bother my one credit card. Luckily I never carry much money, but it was a good lesson to me to always lock my door.