Lie #1: Hostels aren’t safe
Truth: Whatever the reason for hostels getting an initial bad rap, I can say with confidence that hostels are safe to stay in. As a solo female traveller, I stay in hostels, and I feel safe in hostels. If you feel that a hostel is unsafe then it’s usually one of two key factors. Number One is that you didn’t do your research and you’ve ended up in a part of town where you don’t want to go out after dark. Number two, the guests in the hostel are the cause of your insecurity and this is something that the staff has no control over. Both of these situations are avoidable, rare, and not because of the hostel, but because of outside factors. If a Guest or the area of the hostel is making you feel uncomfortable just leave, grab your bags and tell the front desk you wish to leave and tell them the reason. If it is because of another guest, the front desk attendant may even help you get a new hostel booked.
Lie #2: Hostels are only for young people
Truth: This one is especially not true, and you’d be surprised at how many older people, as well as families, stay in hostels today. This can really be an awesome thing too. Older travellers have so many amazing insights and great advice to give younger people and so many great stories to share with you.
Lie #3: Hostels are dirty and gross
Truth: I have stayed in all types of hostels ranging from family-style living to the wildest ongoing party dorms. I have only had a few complaints about the cleanliness of hostels. Hostels clean their linens with every rotating guest or if you are staying for a few weeks you just have to ask the front desk for new sheets, and they will change them for you. You might encounter a messy roommate or two in a hostel (who’s backpack doesn’t explode when you get to a new dorm? Mine sure does, every single time). But, rest assured, your bed sheets will be clean, the floor will be cleaned, and the bathroom will be cleaned every day by the staff.
Lie #4: Hostels are for partiers and backpackers
Truth: Not necessarily! The thing about traveling is that it is extremely exhausting. Many people staying at any hostel really just want to get a good night’s sleep. There are some hostels with a reputation for attracting partiers, but by doing your research, it’s pretty easy to tell which hostels draw those crowds and if you want you can avoid those type of hostels. Me personally, I like the party hostels as I find they are the best place to meet other travelers, it doesn’t mean you have to drink and party every night.
Lie #5: Other travelers are going to steal your stuff
Truth: You’re probably wondering how I can assure that, and I can’t 100% say that there’s not a possibility, but it’s extremely unlikely that you will be robbed in a hostel. Most hostels provide lockers with your accommodations in order for you to secure your valuables. That may be a stand-up locker in your dorm room or a bin under your bed. This security feature has become standard in most hostels. Always pack a lock with you in your backpack if they hostel does not provide one. Well, I’m searching for a hostel; a locker is the number one amenity I look for before booking. The thing with hostels is that you’re staying with other travelers and backpackers who totally understand what it’s like to be on the road.
Lie #6: Hostels are all sex, drugs, and buckets full of alcohol
Truth: Well, some of them are. That’s right. There are specific hostels that specialize in creating the party atmosphere. Typically labeled as “party hostels” within the community, these places tailor to travelers looking for nonstop entertainment. This basically means 24hrs of opportunities to get drunk and the hostel hosts different activities for travelers every night, because when you’re traveling, every day is a Friday. The environment is crazy and as much as it can seem overwhelming, it’s definitely worth the experience… at least once. Although, your liver might say otherwise. But if you don’t want to stay in a party hostel there are multiple other kinds of hostels you can choose from.