Many people I talk to are hesitant to stay in a hostel. They may have had a bad experience in a hostel or they may have learned all they know about hostels from horror movies. I have stayed in a variety of different hostels, and I have had some great experiences. Hostels can be a great resource to use when traveling for a number of different reasons, such as:
Hostels are a great way to save money while traveling. If you are willing to share a room with others you can stay for a fraction of the price you would pay for a comparable hotel.
Good hostels have a great, communal feel. I have met all kinds of interesting people from all kinds of different places in hostels. While I love seeing new places, one of my favorite parts of traveling is the people I meet in the hostels I stay at.
In my experience, hotels tend to recommend "touristy" restaurants and activities, while hostels tend to recommend more "local" places. When I travel, I prefer to see the real place and avoid most of the tourist area. Also, hostel staff realize that people staying in hostels tend to be on a tighter budget, so they will recommend things that are more inexpensive (but still awesome).
Many hostels are located in amazing places. They might be on beach front property or right in the middle of a city. There are locations I couldn't afford if staying in a hotel, but with a hostel they are well within my reach.
Although there are many benefits to staying in hostels, there are also many bad hostels out there. Prior to booking a hostel, you should do your research. Sites such as Hostelworld.com and Booking.com have ratings and reviews of various hostels. You can use these to find a hostel that would be a good fit for you.
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