I'll be travelling on my own in Australia and New Zealand and I've only stayed in a hostel once or twice in my life. To save on costs, I plan to stay in hostels, but I'd prefer a room to myself since I'm the kind of person who likes my private space and some time to myself. I'm just wondering though if hostels allow a person on their own to stay in a double room? Because often I see hostels that only have dorms and doubles available, so I'm wondering, if I wanted to stay there, would I have to go with the dorm option (which I'm willing to do if there is nothing else, or to save more money).
That shouldn't be a problem but you would generally pay the same price as if you were staying in the room with two people (if it's a double of course, when it's a single that's not a worry). So it can be quite a bit more expensive than staying in a dorm room (15 bucks vs. 50 probably on the cheaper ones).
When travelling around Australia I usually stayed at dorms, but from time to time I'd splurge on a single if it had a tv, so I could watch what I wanted and not what the rest of the hostel was watching
It pretty much works like Sam said by most the time you'll have to pay as if two people were staying in the room. If travelling all alone staying in dorm rooms most the time is a much better way to go then staying in the single/double rooms all alone in complete isolation. It's good every now and again to spend a night in a single room, but if you are doing this in Australia for any prelonged period of time you will go through a lot of money paying as if you were two people travelling together instead of one. Australia isn't cheap at the best of times, so you will want to try and save where possible if you haven't got unlimited funds.
Usually a good way to mix both having a bit more space and also having some people to socialise with is by staying at YHA hostels (or the more expensive hostels). YHA hostels are normally the cleanest best quality hostels but are always a lot less party ones. Usually if you stay in the cheaper hostels that is when you find the most partying/social atmosphere, bigger dorm rooms allowing for less room etc.
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 6, 2007, at 6:24 AM by aharrold45 ]
i agree with the other posts; I am also a private person so i am not too keen on dorms, but when i travelled in australia and NZ alone dorms were a really good way to meet people. towards the end of my trip i spent about a week in single rooms as i was fed up with dorms - while it was nice to have my own space i did feel isolated so if you did this for your whole trip it might be a little lonely. even though you like your own space you will probably enjoy the company of others as you are travelling alone, and its a good way to get tips for onward travel etc. Remember the rooms in hostels will be basic so you will rarely have the luxury of a TV to keep you company like you would in a hotel room.
you might prefer the quieter hostels rather than the busier, party places if you like your own space. i would do what the others have recommended and just splurge every now and again as a treat.
Thanks everyone for the tips, they've definitely made me less wary of hostels and staying with a bunch of other people. I'll probably be more used to it by the time I actually travel, but it's good to hear that not every hostel is a party place (which I definitely want to avoid) and that there are good sides to the dorms.