Don’t Overlook Youth Hostel Stays!

When I was a teen I used to stay in Youth Hostels with ten people in the same room. Before we left for the day, members had to present themselves to the manager to do a chore before checking out!

Youth hostels have changed (as have I!).

My post last week prompted on youth hostels prompted me to reflect that hostels still remain an amazing way to travel – and not necessarily just for teenager backpackers. For example, in Sydney, Australia during a really busy peak time in that city, the chepaest decent hotel room I could find was $400 a night. In the end I booked a room to myself at an inner city youth hostel in the Glebe area for $77 a night. The room was basic, spotlessly clean, quiet and the bed comfortable. The hostel itself, was located near a supermakrert with an amazing range of reatrsuarnats surrounding it.

Most of today’s hostels offer twin, single and doble rooms in addition to dorms (which these days rarely sleep ten people!)

One of  best features of a hostel stay is the opportunity to easily meet other travellers of all ages and get amazingly useful travel advice from them. Hostels also offer access to washing facilities, tourist information and great travel deals. In the midst of a long trip, none of this should be overlooked.P inned to notice boards of hostels, you will find offers of cars, lifts, equipment and airfares.

Of course, not all hostel are created equal. Hostel world has  a rating system  which helps avoid the flea pits and find gems.  The Hoscars awards,, each year identifies the world’s best hostels out of 25 o00 hostels worldwide as voted  by one million hostel customers  on six criteria – character, security, location, staff, fun and cleanliness. The Top Ten Large Hostels in the world in 2011 were:

  1. Travellers House,Lisbon, Portugal – (also won Most Fun Hostel, Best Character, Best Location and Best Staff)
  2. Lisbon Lounge Hostel, Lisbon Portugal
  3. Yes, Lisbon Hostel Lisbon, Portugal
  4.  Hostel Mostel, Sofia, Bulgaria
  5. Friendly Fun Franks Backpackers Hostel,  RigaLatvia (owned by Australians, Latvians and English)
  6.  Montreal Central, Montreal, Canada
  7. Han Tang Inn Youth Hostel,  Xi’anChina
  8. Home Lisbon Hostel (what is it with the Lisbon Hostels)
  9. EastSeven Berlin Hostel,  BerlinGermany
  10. Castle Rock Hostel, EdinburghScotland

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