Hotels vs Hostels

During my years of travelling I have stayed in all sorts of accommodation (and not all of it good!). Nowadays I tend to stay in hotels (if I’m not camping) but in the past I have used many hostels across the world… so what are the pros and cons of each type of accommodation?

Hostels

  • Hostels are generally cheaper, so if you are on a budget they are a great option.
  • It is much easier to meet fellow travellers in hostels as you are often in dormitories and there are usually communal areas where people tend to congregate in the evenings. So if you are travelling alone, hostels are a good place to meet up with other travellers.
  • If you enjoy the countryside, you often find hostels in remote places where there is little other accommodation available. Rural hostels also provide places to store muddy boots, bikes, kayaks, etc which hotels often do not.
Hostels are great for walkers…
  • If you join a hostelling association (YHA, HI) you get a discount on stays in participating hostels.
  • Some hostels are very comfortable and offer great facilities for a good price – they have come on a long way and some are definitely more like hotels… most now offer private en-suite rooms.
  • In my experience, hostels tend to be superior to cheap, bottom-end hotels – and for a similar price.

HOTELS

  • Hotels are usually more comfortable, so if money is not an issue, hotels are probably the way to go.

    A very comfortable bedroom…
  • Hotels generally provide more in your room – so if you want to travel light, they are a good option as you are supplied with towels, toiletries, hairdryer, etc. In a hostel you usually have to provide your own.
  • Hotels tend to offer guests more facilities than hostels do – gyms, pools, bars and restaurants, etc… (Although there are also some pretty luxurious hostels that are more like hotels.)
  • Hotels are usually safer as they have better security and you are not sharing a room with other people (who you don’t know).  Unfortunately I have known people’s things go missing in hostels…

I think it would be fair to say that both types of accommodation have their advantages (and disadvantages)… Whilst I mainly stay in hotels nowadays, I still use hostels sometimes as they offer good value for money and are often conveniently located, particularly if we’re out walking in the countryside.

Which do you prefer? Or do you prefer a different type of holiday accommodation altogether?

Happy travelling!

Kate 

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28 thoughts on “Hotels vs Hostels

  1. Hi Kate,

    This is a great post, I love how you’ve balanced the two together and not sided with just one! I never thought I would stay in hostels until I came travelling and now my perception of them has changed massively!

    I always book through booking.com (when possible) and because I’ve become a frequent booker I managed to get a genius upgrade account and get discounts on all my bookings – travel hack!

    Thanks for sharing

    Becky x

    1. Thank you – I always try to provide balanced posts, if possible, so my readers can come to their own conclusions!
      I need to look into that!
      Kate x

  2. This is such a helpful guide. I never really noticed or thought much about the difference between the two until you explained it well. I also like how it’s written. So clear and easy to understand! Thank you.

    1. I don’t use them as much now as I did when I was younger, but the standards have improved so much in hostels (particularly in the UK where they were very basic years ago) that some are better than hotels!
      Kate x

  3. Awesome options! I think I’m more of a hotel person because of the privacy and the comfort level as well. I like having my own space and I definitely love coming home to a relaxing room. But hostels are a great option too especially if you’re not staying in a place for a long time.

    1. I agree – hotels are usually more comfortable! Hostels are great if you are travelling on a budget or travelling solo I think…
      Kate x

  4. This was so interesting. I’ve never stayed in a hostel and don’t know much about them. I don’t think I would like staying with other people like that, though. Especially now that we have two young kids we are traveling with, it would make me really nervous.

    1. Hostels are very sociable and child-friendly places generally – we’ve stayed in hostels with out daughter and she’s enjoyed it as they often provide games, books, etc for people to use…
      Kate x

  5. I’ve never stayed in a hostel, I think I would if I was traveling alone just because it’s cheaper and a great way to met people. But as I’ve always traveled in a group hotels have just been more convenient.

    1. Exactly – a lot of solo travellers use hostels as they’re a great way to meet up with other travellers…
      Kate x

    1. Sometimes you just find a hostel that is in a great location! I’m open to trying all sorts of accommodation when I’m travelling…
      Kate x

  6. Nice article. It’s all about the money usually isn’t it? We’d prefer to be able to stay in posh hotels all the time but its not viable so we balance between hostels and cheap hotels. Sometimes there isn’t a lot of difference.

    1. Thank you. Absolutely – although I have occasionally chosen a hostel over a hotel because of it’s location… I’ve also stopped in some lovely hostels and some awful hotels!
      Kate x

  7. I honestly like both but hotels is for people who like to be treated better and as you said it require more money.

    1. You’re right, it is money-driven for most people… although sometimes there is a hostel more conveniently located than a hotel so it makes sense to use the hostel intuit situation.
      Kate x

  8. I never even realized there was such a difference. I know the difference between hotel and motel. I love the idea of a hostel, but with four young kids, I’ll probably stick to my hotels.

    1. Hostels are fun…my daughter enjoys staying in them as they’re usually pretty family-friendly.
      Kate x

    1. I think cost is a major factor for many people… that said, I do sometimes use hostels just because their location is more convenient.
      Kate x

  9. I know that using hostels made it possible for a lot of my friends to travel around europe on a student’s budget. Thanks so much for this article!

  10. I had never really looked into hostels when traveling but they seem like in the right circumstance they would be a great option. Thanks for sharing what they offer and that they even offer discounts on some capacity.

  11. I’ve done both, and I have to say that it totally depends on the travels? I’ve had a hostel that didn’t have warm water, which was a bit tough, but it did provide the sheets, towels, air conditioning, etc. It wasn’t bad at all. It was very tidy, and even had a television in the room!
    I would obviously almost always choose a hotel if money weren’t a thing, but a hostel is such a great experience that I think everyone should try at least once 🙂 Great post Kate! xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    1. My experiences have been similar… but then again I’ve stayed in some awful hotels too!!
      Thank you – glad you liked it!
      Kate x

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