Hostels vs. Hotels: Which is Right for You?

Hostels vs. Hotels: Which is Right for You?

by Maggie Peikon on

Planning the perfect getaway isn't always easy. There are countless variables to take into account: where to go, what to do, what to eat and where to stay. With so many choices the possibilities are endless. The possibility of making a bad choice? Equally as endless. So, to avoid disaster, you do your research. Websites like TripAdvisor and Travel + Leisure tell you where to go, where to eat, and what to avoid.

Now you've got your flight booked, and list of things to do, but the decision of where to stay still leaves the mind reeling. Ultimately, it comes down to what you are looking for in a vacation. Are you the adventure seeking type who's comfortable with “roughing it”, or are you looking for some R&R, and a little taste of luxury?

Based on what kind of getaway you're looking for, you'll be able to determine if you're better suited for hostel life, or hotel life.  

If you're looking for...

Connection With Fellow Travelers: Go for a hostel. There's a sense of camaraderie and “family” within a hostel—something you won't necessarily find in a hotel. Share adventure stories over s'mores at the fire pit, or chat a fellow traveler up over morning coffee in the kitchen or common area. You just mind find the perfect companion to the day trip your travel-partner doesn't want to accompany you on. On the flip side, if you're traveling solo you could easily find yourself a travel buddy this way, too.

A Romantic Couple's Retreat: Go for a hotel. Nothing ruins a romantic getaway more than roommates, or noisy neighbors. Some hostels do have an option for a room for just two travelers, but you're still sharing all the outside amenities with others. A hotel that can provide a couple's massage followed by cocktails on a balcony might be a better choice.


Something to Fit a Tight Budget: Go for a hostel. This does not necessarily mean that you're passing up all the comforts of a standard hotel. Things will just be shared between you and other guests. Think: kitchen, lounge area, and bathrooms, too. You will save money on your morning coffee and meals here, too. Hostels usually come equipped with full kitchens for guest use, so you can whip up a budget friendly meal with local finds.


Room Service: Go for a Hotel. While most hostels provide breakfast on the daily, don't expect anything too fancy. At a hostel, you're mostly looking at a spread of bread, jams, and some yogurt. Though, there are kitchens available for use if you'd like to cook for yourself. If you're looking for a little extra-special treatment, read: breakfast in bed or french fries delivered at midnight, a hotel is the way to go.


Some Place Fun, and Maybe a Little Crazy: Go for a hostel. With large groups of travelers looking to let loose, hostels are usually a breeding ground for a good time. Some boast simple pleasures like movie nights and friendly rounds of cards, while others have in-house cocktail bars and host booze cruises. Sound like something you might be into? Check out The Pink Palace Hostel in Corfu, Greece.

A Little Bit Of Luxury: Go for a hotel. Hostels often don't have the same amenities we long for when we head for vacation. If you're on the quest to 'treat yo-self' opt for a hotel. At the very least, if your idea of luxury is a private bathroom with a soaking tub, head straight for the hotel and avoid most hostels.

An Easy Way To Travel With A Group: Go for a hostel. With dorm-style rooms you and your buds can all stay together, under the same roof, in the same room.

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