Hostile Towards Hostels?

What is a hostel?

Hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Dormitory rooms can be co-ed or same sex and are usually equipped with bunk beds. Private rooms are available for higher rates.

[A shared room at El Hostel in Guatemala]

Is it Safe?

Generally, yes. Just as there are bad hotels, there are bad hostels, but that is what reviews are for. If you do your due diligence reviewing places before you book just as you would any other accommodation, you will be just fine. And yes, it is safe to stay in a hostel as a solo traveler. Hostels are housing travelers that are usually backpacking, or touring just like you and ages vary, but that typically does not matter. You are sharing the room with strangers that are as open and willing to connect with you as you are with them.

How do I book a hostel?

Locating hostels is as easy as a simple google search, but I recommend using a hostel booking platform such as hostelworld.com. The site allows you to search over 33,000 properties in 170 countries.

A good hostel will have functioning amenities, lockers for your belongings, and keys to your room. Below are the top 5 items

  1. Cleanliness – Everyones’ standards are different. Read reviews and look at pictures in profile to determine if the location is suitable for you.
  2. Cost – Budget can play a huge role. I like to filter hostel listings from lowest to highest and filter through cheaper options to compare.
  3. Amenities – Wifi, Lounge, Hot water, Kitchen, Cafe? Pool?
  4. Location – How far will you be from the activities you want to partake in?
  5. Service – Is the staff helpful and friendly?

Reviewers will give you insight to all of this; their experience and suggestions.

My experience

El Hostel was just 1 of 3 hostels I stayed at during my study abroad in Guatemala. The beds were clean, there was free breakfast offered, which is always a plus, and a clean shared bathroom. There were 7 girls, and 1 guy in our group. He could have stayed with us girls in the dormitory, but since there was a private room open, he took that. The staff was super friendly and helpful and the location allowed for easy access to local bars and eateries. If you are ever in Guatemala I highly recommend trying this hostel out.

[Lounge/Dining Area]

[Far Left: The front desk, equipped with tour brochures and travel information. Far Center: Cafe counter.]

To Sum It Up.

If you are looking for a cheaper way to travel and an easier way to meet fellow travelers, then checkout hostelworld.com and explore hostels for your next destination. If you have any other questions or comments feel free to put them down below.