my boyfriend and i are traveling to europe to backpack for a month and are curious to learn about cheap accomodations. it seems like most hostels i have looked at don't have private rooms. how common is it for a couple to room in a dorm room with others? i don't want to do something totally unacceptable. are there other cheap alternatives? budget hotels, maybe? where can i book those?
A lot of hostels in Europe have private rooms for couples and in some hostels where i've asked if they're not too busy they'll put you in a smaller mixed dorm thats not been used, most places will try to accomodate you if they have the space otherwise budget hotels are a similar price anyway.. which countries are you travelling to ? This would help to get a list of places..
On staying in a dorm as a couple. It's generally not a problem at all in my experience, although both of you have to be up for it. If anything I think the 'burden' is more on the couple than on the rest in the room I've stayed in quite a few dorm rooms with couples around me. The only thing to look out for is that they are not segregated dorms, ie boys vs girls because then you'll be sleeping in separate rooms. Some hostels have this, but most go for mixed dorms.
As Nikki mentioned, there are usually a couple of private rooms for couples too, but most hostels don't advertise these much.
Hope that helps!