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