Common Hostel Myths
I think that the biggest hostel myths that I have encountered among people backpacking are here below.
Only for Youth
There are many people out there that still have this idea that hostels are for young people. To be honest, there is some truth to this myth as there usually is. The fact is in the olden days hostels were called “Youth Hostels” and were targeted at young backpackers. Today though, the word hostel has become much more encompassing. In my experience, these days everyone stays at hostels. I have encountered older couples in their 70s and 80s, young students, middle-aged people, and people of all different creeds. Hostels today really are for everyone.
The next travel myth that I have commonly heard, is that hostels are dirty, especially the bathrooms people say. Well, I think that saying all of them are one way is somewhat of a generalization. Sure, you will find a dirty hostel, but you will also find a really clean and tidy one. It all depends on the one you choose. Many hostels have a full-time staff at your service that clean regularly. You are able to check these features by looking on websites such as Hostel World for aspects such as ‘Cleanliness’.
This myth goes somewhat with the last one. There are un-secure hostels just as there are un-secure hotels and homes. Many hostels come with features like security lockers, lock boxes, and other things to keep your valuables contained. It is up to you to check for this.
All in all, hostels are not what Hollywood might have you believe. They are quite easy and economical, and although you are not going to get a 5-Star Hotel Experience, I would offer that you have much to gain from them. Hostels offer a sense of community of people on a similar journey. It is also, in a way, a home away from home, where you can cook and spend your time as you would at home.
Check out my article on How to Choose a Hostel.