Featured image from Sant Jordi Rock Palace – see the full review!
The other day I told someone about my life working in hostels, and I was given the most disturbed look I’ve seen so far! There’s no shortage of negative hostel myths flying about the travel world, but those myths seem to be magnified for those people who never have (and unfortunately never will!) experience hostel travel for themselves.
So after hearing many of the same nervous enquiries time after time I thought I’d try and settle some of those negative hostel myths for you all – so you can agree with me that hostels are awesome!
#1 Hostels are only for cheap budget travellers
The general perception for those who have never stayed in a hostel is that they’re only used by cheap travellers who can’t afford “decent” accommodation. But these days hostels are so much more than just budget accommodation!
True, they do tend to be a lot cheaper than your average hotel. But travellers are also more than willing to spend more for boutique hostels, or hostels that provide an incredible unique experience. Read about my first luxury hostel experience by clicking here, or check out an incredible hostel experience in Rome by clicking here!
A morning spent working with other digital nomads in ClinkNOORD (see the full review)
#2 Hostels are dangerous
Concerns for the safety of possessions, as well as personal safety, can be a huge turn off for travellers.
Yet the majority of modern hostels offer great locker facilities, and people that stay in hostels often look out for each other.
A lot of readers who contact me are solo female travellers who aren’t keen on the idea of shared dorms. Ultimately, to get the best travel experience you should seek accommodation that makes you feel the most comfortable, and whilst I’ve never personally had trouble with male roommates, plenty of hostels offer female-only dorms to help ease your mind!
For more on this, read: Are Hostels Safe? Personal Safety Tips for Staying in Hostels
#3 Hostels are dirty and badly looked after
Whilst you will no doubt experience the odd dirty and run down hostel on your travels, a lot of hostel owners are travellers just like yourself who want to provide an affordable but comfortable home for others on the road.
In the majority of hostels I’ve stayed and worked in, cleanliness was the top priority and I have without a doubt stayed in hotels that have been dirtier than hostels.
Here’s the immaculate bathroom at MEININGER Hamburg (see the full review here)…
#4 Hostels are full of drugs
This stereotype drove me mad when I worked in hostels.
Above all, I believe that hostels offer travellers a home from home, something that is compromised when you have a few people discussing the various cocktails they were hoping to get in front of shy travellers who just want to relax with a movie in the lounge.
Despite the odd “high-and-proud-I’ve-tried-everything-under-the-sun” show off, hostels are not drug dens and I wouldn’t be such a fan of them if this myth was true.
#5 Hostels only offer beds and pub crawls
Some travellers prefer to fill their days with cultural activities, rather than sleeping off their headache from last night’s party. Others really like to party. The good news is that there are different types of hostels out there that can help cater to your needs!
But even when I worked in party hostels, the owners made sure I sat down with guests and gave them tips on where to eat, what activities to do, what shows to see, etc.
In my opinion, hostel workers can offer far more personal and detailed recommendations for guests than can hotel staff. Hostel staff have always seemed more than happy to pitch their ideas and share their favourite spots – and as a hostel worker I often took out guests on my days off to show them the city personally!
Below is a pic from a day tour of Montenegro I took from Old Town Hostel Kotor (see more photos)!
I hope I’ve helped sort out some of the hostel myths that may have prevented you travelling!
If there’s more that scares you – Let me know!
Lots of love,