Sunday, 12 October 2014

Hostel Misconceptions

                                                                                                                                Pictures from Hostelworld
Hostels are one of the greatest inventions for young travelers to stay across Europe. If you have never stayed in a hostel then you may know more of the myths than the facts, and that can be quite daunting. In reality hostels are really fun and safe and clean (not to forget super cheap). So in hopes to clear up some of the misconceptions I will try and provide some facts and personal experiences that may convince you that hostel life is the way to travel!!!

Of course I was hesitant when my friend suggested we stay in a hostel (for my first time) in London. My first thought was that my all of my things were going to get stolen, then I jumped to I wont get any sleep and then of course I thought what if there is a crazy person in my room (sometimes I can be dramatic). But of course none of these things happened and it was in fact a great place to stay.

 Common Misconceptions

Myth: Hostels are dirty
Truth: Hostels (especially in Europe) are generally new and renovated. Do your research as you would for a hotel, read reviews and you will be just fine. I found the hostels to be cleaner than the lower budget hotels, so if you are on a budget hostels are definitely the way to go.

Myth: They will have bedbugs because so many people stay there
Truth: You have an equal chance of encountering bedbugs at a hotel or at a hostel. Bedbugs do no discriminate against clean or dirty, expensive or cheap.

Myth: You will be in a room with 20 people
Truth: Hostels have a range of rooms available.
- private rooms with private bathrooms (YES that is an option)
- private rooms with shared bathrooms
- multiple beds with private bath for the room
- multiple beds with shared bath for the floor
- all female rooms, all male rooms, co-ed rooms 

- different number of beds per room usually starting around 4 or 6 and some go up to around 20 

Myth: Everyone Parties and will come in drunk at all hours of the night 
Truth: You will encounter a range of people and personalities staying in hostels. In some hostels I found everyone was in bed by 9-10pm, in others people came in at all hours during the night (sometimes quietly and sometimes loudly). You cant predict what will happen - but ear plugs and eye masks do come in handy, also don't be afraid to ask the people to be quiet (just try the nice way first).

Myth: You will have something stolen
Truth: Locking up your stuff up and being careful not to leave electronics or valuables in the wide open can pretty much eliminate any worries of things going missing. There were times I didn't even have locks and just put my belongings in a locker and closed it - and I never had anything go missing. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so bring the locks.

Myth: You wont get any sleep
Truth: At some point you are bound to experience the drunk person stumbling in late at night, who then turns on all the lights and then seems to knock everything over or struggles to open their locker - but they will soon get into bed and it will be over. The only issue that really gets to me is snoring. Depending on what type of sleeper you are this can be a nightmare, however once again if you bring a pair of earplugs they can help prevent you from having a sleepless night. I also fall alseep to music in my headphones to eliminate any noise in the room.

Myth: Only hippie backpackers and drunk twenty-somethings stay in hostels
Truth: The majority of the people you will come across will probably be twenty-something travelers but I have also stayed in a room with two 40 year old woman as well.
The way people travel is changing and hostels are becoming more widely accepted by different groups of people and different ages. 
The best part of staying in a hostel is meeting different people and sharing the experience together. 

Two boys serenading my friend and I in our Hostel in London!


Have any more Misconceptions to add or that you want cleared up - add it to the comments below!!!

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