So, I bang on about being finished with hostels quite a lot on here but, truth be told, some of them now even appeal to me.
Are you a Grown-up Traveller interested in staying in hostels but not sure where to begin? Hostels are no longer just for gap-year backpackers and college students. More and more travellers over 50 are discovering the joys of hostel life. Hostels can be a great option for older adults looking for affordable accommodations, opportunities to socialize, and a unique travel experience.
The Benefits of Hostels for Mature Travellers
Hostels offer several advantages that make them an appealing choice for mature travellers:
One of the biggest draws of hostels is their affordability compared to hotels. Dorm beds can cost as little as $20-30 per night, while private rooms are often in the $50-70 range. This makes hostels ideal for travellers on a budget. Splitting costs with a travel companion can make hostels even more economical.
Hostels make it easy to meet fellow travellers. Common areas like kitchens, lounges, and game rooms facilitate social interactions. Many hostels organize activities like pub crawls, walking tours, game nights, and dinners that bring guests together. For solo Grown-up Travellers, hostels provide opportunities to make new friends and travel companions.
Hostels tend to be centrally located, putting you right in the heart of the action. You’ll get a more authentic feel for the destination than an isolated resort. Hostel staff are often locals who can provide insider tips. And you’ll likely meet young residents who can clue you into local hot spots.
Shared Travel Wisdom
Fellow hostelers, both young and old, can provide a wealth of travel information. Veteran backpackers and experienced solo travellers often have valuable advice to share. The social atmosphere promotes learning from one another.
How to Choose the Right Hostel
While hostels offer great perks, it’s important to pick the right one for your needs and comfort level. Here are some factors to consider:
A central location close to public transportation, shopping, restaurants and major sites is ideal. Hostels on the outskirts can feel isolated. Read reviews to get a sense of the neighbourhood.
Look for hostels that offer:
- Comfortable beds – Many have individual “pod” style bunks for privacy.
- Secure storage lockers for valuables.
- Access to WiFi, a guest kitchen and laundry facilities.
- 24-hour reception desk for assistance.
- Dorms: Shared rooms usually with bunk beds. Opt for smaller dorms (4-6 people). Women-only dorms are available.
- Private Rooms: More expensive but provide privacy. May have one large bed or two twins.
- En-suite vs. Shared Bath: En-suite bathrooms offer convenience but cost more.
- Party Hostels: Geared towards young party crowd. Can be loud.
- Quiet Hostels: No organized activities. Better for relaxation.
- Social Hostels: Offer activities but are quiet during sleeping hours.
Reviews will indicate the overall vibe so you can determine if it suits you.
Some hostels may not be suitable for those with limited mobility. Inquire about handicap-accessible rooms and bathrooms if needed.
Recommended Hostels for Mature Travelers
Here are some top-rated hostels frequented by Grown-up Travellers:
With locations throughout Europe, Generator Hostels are modern and stylish with hotel-like private rooms. They organize events like wine and cheese nights appealing to older guests.
- Average Price for Private Room: $65-100
Soul Kitchen Hostel – St. Petersburg, Russia
This highly-rated hostel caters to guests of all ages. It has stylish en-suite rooms with orthopaedic mattresses and a relaxed, social atmosphere.
- Average Price for Private Room: $30-60
The Inn Crowd Backpackers – Vancouver, Canada
Located in Vancouver‘s hip Yaletown neighbourhood, this small hostel has an outdoor patio and organized activities like happy hours and movie nights.
- Average Price for Dorm Bed: $35-50
The Hive – Vienna, Austria
The Hive offers twin and double rooms with LCD TVs and modern bathrooms at reasonable prices. There’s a guest kitchen and lounge with free coffee and tea and you’ll be well-placed to explore the hidden gems of Vienna
- Average Price for Private Room: $70-90
Lisbon Calling – Lisbon, Portugal
This highly rated hostel close to top sites has a relaxed, social vibe. Its lounge organizes dinners, movie nights and pub crawls open to all ages.
- Average Price for Dorm Bed: $20-40
Tips for Mature Travelers Staying in Hostels
To make the most of your hostel experience:
- Pack earplugs and eye masks in case dorms are noisy.
- Bring a small lock for lockers and a room key sleeve that attaches to your wrist.
- Adjust your sleep schedule to match younger travellers. Many hostels have quiet hours from 10pm-8am.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up if noisy dorm mates keep you awake. Notify staff right away.
- Be open-minded and friendly when interacting with younger travellers. Listen and share travel stories.
- Exercise caution with valuables. Don’t leave them unattended in common areas.
- Read up on solo travel safety tips if travelling alone. Be aware of your surroundings.
- Consider hostel private rooms if dorms don’t appeal to you. You can still use common areas to socialize.
Enjoy the Hostel Experience
Hostels offer an exciting and affordable way for mature travellers to stay, meet new people, and engage with local culture. Choosing the right hostel for your needs will ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip. With an open-minded attitude, you’re sure to have a rewarding hostelling experience.
Have you stayed in a hostel as a Grown-up Traveller? Share your experiences and tips in the comments!
|Benefits of Hostels for Mature Travelers||Choosing the Right Hostel||Tips for Staying in a Hostel|
|More affordable than hotels||Central, convenient location||Use earplugs and eye mask|
|Social interaction opportunities||Amenities like kitchen, laundry, lockers||Bring small lock for lockers|
|Cultural immersion||Room type based on preference||Adjust sleep schedule|
|Share travel wisdom||Atmosphere suits your interests||Speak up about noisy dorms|
|Read reviews to determine vibe||Be open-minded with young travellers|
|Consider accessibility needs||Exercise caution with valuables|
|Consider private room over dorm|