Hostels are great – here’s why:
It’s a sad reality that hostels have got a bad rap in the past. “Are hostels safe?” You ask… Someone always pipes up with a horror story – “My friend found a cockroach in her bed” etc – and then there were the films… Taken… Hostel… etc… which didn’t help things at all. But at Euroventure we love hostels and we’re trying to spread the message that things have come on a lot in recent years. Hostels are cheap, sociable, clean and often pretty luxurious! What’s more they’re the only way to stay if you’re travelling solo. So with that in mind, let us dispel once and for all myths that we’ve heard from you guys…
1. Hostels are dirty
FALSE. Hostels are a business like any other. If people aren’t happy with their stay, they won’t go back. With so many hostels competing, hostels have to be modern and clean to stay relevant, so you’re very unlikely to come across a grotty one.
In addition, if you travel with Euroventure, you’re doubly safe, since we check out each of our hostels personally to make sure they meet our high standards of accommodation. If they don’t, we don’t use them. Simple as that. By travelling with us, you eliminate the risk of a dodgy hostel.
2. Hostels are basic
FALSE. Post 2000, we’re in the era of the Boutique Hostel. Gone are the days of a cold bunk bed and communal showers. Now staying in hostels is all about quirky decor, comfy beds, in-hostel bars and plentiful free wifi. Hostel staff are always keen to make you love their city, so you’re likely to come across loads of sociable activities hosted by the hostels we use – think pub crawls, walking tours, club nights etc.
As if this wasn’t enough, hostels often have plenty of facilities to help those travelling for long or short periods of time to feel at home, for example laundry facilities, fully equipped kitchens, free breakfasts, TV, computers and the opportunity to work at the hostel in exchange for your stay. Some of our hostels even have rooftop pools or hidden bars!
3. Hostels are in the middle of nowhere
FALSE. Hostels in films might always be in the middle of nowhere but that’s certainly not the case most of the time. All the hostels we use are centrally located and easily accessible by public transport or on foot. Often they’re less than 5 minutes walk from the station, so staying in hostels frequently means you don’t have to lug your bags about!
4. Hostels aren’t safe
Are hostels safe? It’s the question we get asked ALL the time.
The answer is simple. Yes, hostels are safe. Can we guarantee 100% you won’t have a bad experience? No – just like in any situation. But we can do our best to prevent it! All our hostels have 24-hour receptions, lockers in the room for your valuables (so sharing a room needn’t worry you), locks on the door and in many cases key-card only access to each corridor – so they’re just as secure as a hotel, if not more so! With regards to personal safety, you’ll be in a room with other travellers – people who 99% of the time are just looking for a good time and a cheap place to stay. Hostels won’t stand for criminal or anti-social behaviour, so if you suspect anything suspicious is going on, just tell reception and you can be sure they’ll be out there sooner than you can click your fingers. If you leave your valuables lying about unattended, no one can guarantee they’ll be safe – but that’s the same anywhere in the world. If in doubt, lock em up. Check out our safety guide for solo travellers for more on this!
5. Hostels are noisy
FALSE. While it’s true that there are party hostels which are pretty sociable and can be a bit loud, it’s all part of the experience if that’s what you’re there for! At Euroventure we try to use pretty balanced hostels with a good mix of people and a laid-back vibe, so you can relax without being overwhelmed by party animals. Most people in hostels are pretty considerate and bad behaviour won’t be tolerated by staff, so don’t worry about missing out on your beauty sleep. If you’re after an even quieter experience, you can always opt for private rooms for a bit more space to yourself.
6. Hostels are full of WEIRDOS
Ok so maybe this one is true… but only the good kind of weirdos – hippies, artists, idealists, escapists, short-term travellers, long-term travellers, first-time travellers… and the ones like us who just love seeing new places and meeting new people. If you’re travelling alone staying in hostels is the perfect way to find others who might be heading your way later on – long train journeys are perfect for getting to know people from all over the world. And even if you’re already in a group, you never know who you’ll meet – from drunken pub buddies to lifelong friends, we’ve met them all by staying in hostels.
A great tip for travelling is to check out who’s in your room when you arrive – if you see someone on their own, invite them with you to get dinner or a drink, you never know where it’ll take you…
Want to read more about choosing accommodation for your Europe trip? Check out our ultimate accommodation guide.
Convinced yet? We hope so. We use some of the best hostels across Europe and we’d love you to experience them for yourselves! Book a Euroventure and take the stress out of interrailing, with all trains and hostels tested and booked for you. Learn more about our service here.
If you know you want to travel Europe, but aren’t sure where to start, why not check out our Ultimate guide to travelling Europe.
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Words by Catherine Livesley | Photo credit: Czech Inn, Sant Jordi Rock Palace, Funk Lounge Hostel