Have you ever had a one-pot meal? In my country, it takes the form of the ubiquitous 'kichidi'- You put in rice, pulses, veggies along with every other thing under the sun and it magically happens to taste good!
For me, as a traveller, hostels are those one-pot meals which I savour throughout my journey- I check into a bustling hostel instead of a well curtained and furnished hotel room.
Those who lived in a school/college/university hostel will be able to connect with this, a traveller's hostel is no different. People from different countries, time zones and backgrounds (professional & personal), different tastes and choices all land up at the same place. That is why I call it a one-pot meal.
What is exchanged here is not a list of itineraries, but experiences of different levels.
So why hostels, and What can you expect??
> Firstly, it's pocket friendly!! It starts from as low as INR 800. I've never spent more than INR 1500 for a hostel and have always had amazing experiences.
> You can meet a bunch of likeminded people from around the world. I've enjoyed interesting breakfast conversations, random day trips, making quick local dishes down in the kitchen and learning a bit of different languages.
> Solo trips are great- no doubt about it. However, I can't imagine myself staying in a room all alone. The bunk beds never let me feel alone.
> You get free walking tours, discounts on day packages, food, museum entries and more.
> Most of the hostels have a fully stocked and equipped kitchen. Buy stuff from a nearby grocery store and you can cook whatever you want. How cool is that!
Things to keep in mind:
> Though hostels gives you space under the bunk bed or a rack to put your luggage in, it's always advisable to carry a safety lock. > Always book ahead. During peak season and weekends, prices could be sky high.
> Keep tabs on the check-in and check-out timings; it could be different for different hostels. However, after checking out you can still keep your luggage in the lockers (sometimes for a small fee) and use the common areas, including the kitchen and the restrooms.
> There are mixed dorms, and exclusively female dorms. Check before you book.
Also read: Amsterdam - More than just a sin city
Be prepared for:
> Lack of privacy - There are people around almost all the time. > You might get a roommate who snores all night (I had one in Rome!!).
Book a hostel stay on Booking.com, hostels.com or hostelworld.com
You are good to go now!! Hope it was helpful. Share your experiences in the comments section.
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Cover image credits: Element5 Digital