Hostels: What They Are and Where to Find Them

Find the best deals on accommodation at Thailand right here!

Travel Tips
Best Travel Advice
Picking the Perfect Cruise
Cruise Ships
Norwalk Virus
Carrying Prohibited Items
Knowing Security Measures
Airport Security
Hotel Liability
Driving Record Screens
Natural Disaster
Hostels: What They Are and Where to Find Them
How to Plan an Adventure Vacation
How to Increase Your Money while Traveling
Scams on the Road
Self-Defense for Travelers
What to take

Hostels are budget accomodations for travelers. They offer an excellent alternative to the traditional motel or hotel, and they exist in most parts of the world for the traveler who wants to hostel stomp and save tons of cash to travel for longer periods of time.

Usually hostels have rooms with several beds in each. Instead of renting one room to one or two people like hotels do, hostels rent a room to four or more people and may therefore offer a substantial discount. Where a hotel might offer a room for two people at $40 a night or more, a hostel can rent a room to four people at a rate of $10 a night and still make as much money as a traditional hotel, sometimes more. The cost of hostels in the U.S. average between $10 and $20 per night. In other countries (depending on where you go) hostels can be as cheap as $5 per night.

Hostels range from the basics of a room and bath, to huge buildings that include kitchens, internet service, recreation rooms, televisions, gyms, and libraries. Some hostels offer free breakfast and the occassional party or tour. Lockers or deposite boxes are available to store your valuables, but bring your own lock.

If you want to meet other travelers and get travel information, hostels are the way to go. Message boards are posted with notes from travelers looking for companions or selling plane and bus tickets. Transportation deals, flyers from other hostels, tour groups, and other useful information are also posted. If you are looking for something to do in the city you are visiting you can ask the staff for suggestions. They are usually very knowledgable about the area and helpful.

The downside to some hostels are the regulations they have for the visitor. Most hostels require an out of state ID or a passport. Sometimes a bus or plane ticket must be shown to prove that you are traveling, and an extra dollar or two may be charged to rent blankets and a towel as many travelers prefer to bring their own. Occassionaly chores are assigned to offset a few of the costs of running the hostel, and curfews and other rules may affect any party plans that you might have. However, most hostels do not have many rules as they tend to steer independant travelers in other directions.

Hostels are available world-wide in almost every big city, and in several small cities. Hostels are a valuable asset in expensive countries like the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. To find hostels check message boards at bus or train stations, search the internet using "hostels" as the keyword to find hostel resources and guidebooks.