If you’ve seen the movie hostel, do yourself a favor and disregard those awful stereotypes. Unfortunately, hostels have a poor reputation of a place where you might get killed, but also considered only for young backpackers. Some travelers can enjoy a hostel, while it might not be someone else’s cup of tea. Regardless, hostels are not only for 20-somethings, but can be enjoyed by all ages.

More private rooms are available: The best way to describe a hostel to someone who is unfamiliar with the term is to describe a college dorm. The typical layouts of hostel rooms are multiple beds, which can hold up to 10 people. Older travelers, couples or newbies might be hesitant to stay in a hostel for this reason. Little do they know that more hostels have private rooms which can often be a lot cheaper than private hotel rooms. Private Rooms may not have all the luxuries of the Hilton, but can be the best of both worlds-privacy when needed, but the opportunity to mingle with other travelers.

The social connections: Now that you’re in a hostel, you’re most likely mingling with many travelers who share your similar goal-traveling! Age has nothing to do with connecting with others, in fact, it might even be advantageous. Imagine meeting a lifelong vagabonder who has great insight about travels in South America. Or, who knew you’d meet another solo female traveler who is recently divorced. Travelers come in all shapes and sizes and so do your connection; who knows if you’ll meet someone you will travel with, become friends with or even fall in love with!

Easy access to information about a city: Though tourism kiosks and information centers are a great way to learn about what to do in a city, hostels can easily provide that same option. Most hostels have their own information desk where they can arrange excursions, or bookings, such as airport transportation. Also, many brochures, pamphlets and having all access information right under your roof is extremely helpful, especially if you’re looking to meet new people; one can easily join a group tour and make new friends.

Saving money on travel expenses: Who doesn’t like saving money? Hostels are by far the cost friendly option when it comes to traveling abroad. Especially in big cities that might have overbooked rooms during peak season, hostels can be a great option to save some much needed cash that can be used on souvenirs! Not only are hostels cost friendly, but can also include free breakfast and Wi-Fi for travelers who need to be online.

The uniqueness of a hostel: In the last decade, the face of a hostel has changed dramatically. We can’t think of them as college dorms, but as a newly renovated brand in itself. Hostels are creatively making a name for themselves with unique room layouts, lounge and bar areas or interesting amenities. For instance, some hostels have an itinerary of events for the week to encourage travelers to be social. You might be playing traveler’s Jeopardy and win a free night on a hostel for all you know. Each hostel has its own appeal to each traveler; just make sure to find one that matches your travel and personal needs.

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