HOSTELS. Here is my list of ten myths, but there are most certainly more.
- You have to be under age 30 to stay at a hostel.
Hostels are open to all ages.
- You have to be traveling solo to stay at a hostel.
You can book as a group.
- You will have chores assigned during your stay.
Having to help with upkeep is the exception rather than the rule. If this is a concern, check with the specific hostel.
- Staying in a hostel means staying in a dormitory.
Many hostels have private rooms of varying sizes. Most have dormitory beds too. (Private rooms cost more.)
- Hostels are only found in cities.
Hostels are all over.
- If you have stayed at one hostel, you are familiar with the hostel experience.
Hostels come in all varieties. You may find bunk beds in a bedroom of a home. You may find the hostel is in a church basement or even a small hotel. Some may be in high rise buildings with game rooms and cafeterias. Just about all offer some sort of communal lounging space and cooking area. Some have vast grounds; others have outdoor decks. You may be invited to pick any vegetables from the garden that you want. You might take your tea by the creek in the back yard. Or you might be invited for a game of billiards. Or you may end the day preparing skewers for the hostel’s free barbecue. The best you can bring to a hostel is an open mind to something new.
- People only stay at hostels because they can’t afford to stay anywhere else.
Some people like to stay at hostels because it affords opportunities that a hotel is unlikely to offer. It may sponsor group outings or walking tours . Generally, you have ample opportunity to socialize with other travelers when staying at a hostel.
8. Hostels are only open during certain hours of the day.
Some are open 24/7. Some have registration desks open during certain hours. Some are locked at midnight. This is information that you can learn ahead of time for a specific hostel.
- Hostels are always near bus stations.
Hostels are in all sorts of places. Some are on country roads; some are in city centers; some are in suburbs and some are even near bus stations.
- Rural states in the USA have no hostels.
I’ve stayed at hostels in Idaho and Iowa.
When I’m on a road trip, I generally try to put some hostel stays on my itinerary. At a hostel, you get to talk to other travelers and hear about where they are from and why they are there. Scrabble games are quite possible in a hostel, not so much if you turn up in a hotel lobby. A little sociability is a good thing every now and then.—TMLL
“I survived many a youth hostel bunk room reading Tolstoy by flashlight.”— Maria Semple
“As we read or hear the word hostel we all become nostalgic.”—Niharika Choudhary
Buy it. Read it. Let me know what you think. –TMLL