By Daniella Ventresca
Hostels have been in business for decades. Often times, people believe Hostels are the cheaper, less luxurious, dirtier version of a Hotel. Hostels were often believed to be where the young people stay, to party hard and mess around; all while saving a few bucks. Hostels were shown in movies as dirty, dingy, dark places – often described as the “place to avoid”.
However, Hostels simply aren’t that. Hostels have come such a long way in a short period of time. Hostels offer a communal feeling, with an inviting and infectious energy of like-minded adventure seekers. Hostels are a great way to meet people, relax, explore, cook and enjoy downtime. Hostels have the additional bonus of usually being in a prime location, offering things like paddle and surf board rentals, bike rentals etc, while other Hostels even host yoga classes, cooking lessons, weekly dinner and movie nights. Rare Hostels even provide assistance with resume building and Business Certificate Completion help. Hostels are a great way for backpackers of all ages to feel safe, secure, comforted and assisted – as there are many people to learn from. Vital, knowledgeable staff make transitioning on your trip, smooth and efficient, too.
- Hostels have a very inviting vibe.
Hostels are awesome, because they are full of people just like you and I. They are full of travellers of all ages and adventure seekers. Hostels are where the people who never fit in, belong; and where the popular kids, migrate to. Hostels offer a community feeling, of nurturing souls who understand one-another. Often times, Hostels have a big communal kitchen and dining/social, where new friends can be made, and old friends can chat about their day. It’s a great way to meet new people, and learn about new cultures, cuisines and travel tips.
Travel tip: Your vibe affects your tribe.
If you’re miserable, you probably won’t meet very many people. However, if you’re energetic and kind, you’ll meet tone of life-long friends. Be open to new people, thinking, ideas and be inviting, because that’s the whole purpose of travelling.
- Hostels are full of like-minded people.
Those whom often stay in Hostels, aren’t big business folk. They aren’t normally flying first class, or fine-dining themselves as they present a multi-billion dollar project to their job corporation. No. Instead, Hostels are a place where people go to rest their heads, meet new people, have a beer, enjoy a morning coffee and stop along the way as they find their “happy place”. Seriously, we are all here for the same reason at the end of the day – to sleep at night, and explore in the day.
- Hostels are more affordable.
Hostels are the less expensive (not cheaper) version of a Hotel, yes. They offer a less isolated feeling, as they boast wonderful travellers who are embarking similar challenges. Hostels are a great way to save a few dollars, and travel on a budget. When you invest in accommodation at a Hostel, you are investing in both the room and the service. When you purchase a night in a Hostel you are purchasing the entire experience.
- Eat healthy and cook at the Hostel.
Unlike Hotels, home-cooked meals are almost always “a must” at Hostels. Hotels don’t all offer a kitchen within the room – making simple things like eating, a challenge. Hostels often have a huge communal kitchen with multiple refrigerators and dry storage cupboards to stow your belongings. This makes eating, both healthy and affordable!
Travel Tip: Cook in the kitchen (and always clean up after yourself!)
A grocery store trip of $10-$15 could feed you multiple times, while one meal out is easily upwards of $15-$20. If being budget conscious is on your mind, cook at the Hostel!
- There is no commitment.
Hostels have this great policy where you can book one night, see what it’s like and then choose to either extend your stay or check-out the next day. There is no minimum commitment when staying in a Hostel. And the best part is, if you want to extend your stay (which us travellers, often do after meeting the world’s greatest people), there is a 99% chance that you’ll be able to do so, hassle free.
Travel Tip: In my experience, booking 2 nights to start was the best way to explore an area and really feel it out. One night to get your stuff in the Hostel and actually rest before exploring the next day. As you explore that next day, you can rest assured that your things are stowed safely, without the hassle of lugging it around from sight to sight. When you get back to the Hostel, you can either choose to extend your stay (because obviously, you love it!), or move on to the next Hostel, after getting one last good night’s rest. If you just book 1 night and like it, they may be booked out the next night. On the contrary, if you book too many nights and you don’t like it you feel obliged to stay while resenting every moment with an non-refundable fee. 2 Nights stay is a safe bet that you’ll be able to make a more educated decision on your next move.
- Bunk it up like a sleepover or stay in private room options.
Hostels have options. If you’re a solo traveller, it sometimes nice to feel like you’re having a sleepover with your best friend, when you choose to stay in a dormitory style room. I’ve met some of my best friends from staying in 4-6 bedroom dorms. Not all sunshine and rainbows? That’s cool, too. Don’t fret, you can always book or change from a dorm bedroom, to a single room where it will be just you. It’s a really flexible way to ensure you have somewhere peaceful to rest your head at night. Sometimes, it’s nice to just fall asleep in your own room, while other times, you may desire the comfort of someone else being near you. That’s the great thing about Hostels – the choice is ultimately yours.
- Travel Help.
Hostels are full of advice from experienced travellers. The staff is often full of knowledge, excited to assist travellers, while other travellers have stories out the yin-yang to share. Hostels are a great way to change plans, add on additional stops, car share or plan something entirely new.
Travel Tip: Bondi Beach Backpackers has numerous road trip itineraries, day trips and Sydney guides located at the front desk to make your travel excursions, easy and convenient!
- Rentals & Discounts.
Different hostels have different rentals available, based on their location. Rentals can include bikes, paddle boards, surf boards, computer time, as well as discounts for local hot spots of eateries, fitness facilities, etc. This is a great way to take part in the actives you’ve been dying to try and save a solid dollar or two!
Travel Tip: Bondi Beach Backpackers offers surfboards, body boards, skateboards, snorkels & masks, restriction free fast Wi-Fi, resume and business card building, tax file number assistance, Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and White Card assistance as well as timeless travel help and advice – all at NO additional cost. How great is that!?
- Free Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi in Australia (in particular) kind of sucks. It’s actually the slowest public internet I’ve ever experienced– if there is even any Wi-Fi to offer. Your Hostel (Bondi Beach Backpackers) however, has the best Wi-Fi around! Seriously, there are rarely any internet, downloading, or connection delays ever, at a quality Hostel.
Travel Tip: Some Hostels, like Bondi Beach Backpackers have no time or data restrictions on their Wi-Fi Did I mention that they also have FREE SIM cards included with your stay!?
Hostels are normally AWESOME for their accessibility to trains, buses, and all public transport measures. However, you do get what you pay for. Less Expensive Hostels are often far from the action, whilst well-located Hostels are usually a few dollars more expensive. When you pay an additional dollar or two/per night, you save that money by reducing your public transport time and cost. Regardless, Hostels often boast with countless eatery options, as well as convenient locations for cell-phone set ups, backpacker needs, toiletries and more. Hostels are usually within walking distance to the essentials you require.
Travel Tip: Google the area you want to be in first. By this we mean booking a Hostel near the City is great for those whom need quick access to the city often; however, it’s not great for those who want to be in walking distance to the beach. Know yourself well enough to make again, an
By Daniella Ventresca