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I Can't Stand Hostels

Travel Forums General Talk I Can't Stand Hostels

1. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 8y

Okay, I am 41, so that should be the kicker on this....

...But I've never liked hostels.

The communal rooms always blow because there is invariably some dude (or dudette) who has taken it into their head that living in a hostel means that whatever you want to do is what everyone else wants to do....Lights turn on at two in the morning. People have sex everywhere(but never invite) and no one understands the idea of keeping their voice down.

I submit that Backpacker Hostels are low rent resorts. A safe haven from having to associate with the locals. A place where you can get things served up your way, and not theirs. A place to be above it all.

There are all THOSE things

But there is this too.

I travel to meet people that I would normally not meet. I find hostels a little too self congratulatory. People who meet each other in the hostel and kibbitz on how "We Got Here" and then go off and hang around together being so "travelly" while they eschew local joints and hound sellers into the ground for every little thing.

Obviously oversimplified.

But I like to find the local hotel. Room don't have to be great. I see locals who are here for funerals or reunions or marriages. I sit in lounges and hatchet job languages. I hear long winded local stories. I eat atrocious food...I try to see what I can.

I present this as a conversation piece, not a diatribe.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 8y

I have little experience with the small local hotels (what I have was all bad; no "locals" staying as far as I could tell, and pretty much impossible to get to know anyone), so just to provide a counter point to the hostels part of your non-diatribe... :)

If you stay away from the big flagship and party hostels in the big cities, and instead go down to the smaller towns and villages with fewer tourist attractions, you'll quickly learn that locals do stay there: they're the managers (or owners), and they have all the most interesting tales to tell. Stay for a week or two (though just 3-4 days is often enough), hang out in the lounge with a cup of tea and a book (rather than being out all day), and you'll get to know both them and all the other long stayers. These are the people who live in hostels and for whom being considerate of others comes completely natural - simply because through long experience they know how important it is. They might come in at 2 AM, but they'll be prepared and carry a small flashlight so as to not have to stumble about in the dark or turn on the main light.
I somehow doubt there's many hotels out there where you can hang out in the lounge for an evening (warming yourself by the fire) accompanied by the resident cat and half a dozen other guests, talking the night away, and then have the manager join you for a couple of card games after he's closed up, giving you advice for the best local hikes and which little bakery you absolutely have to go to for some heavenly fudge. Yet to me, this is the perennial hostelling experience. Sure, many (most?) hostels won't be like this - there's the party hostels, the grumpy managers, the nights where the rest of the hostel is filled with a large tourgroup with people only socializing amongst themselves, etc, etc. But the good experiences are common enough that I keep coming back for more, again and again and again.

3. Posted by andy11 (Full Member 136 posts) 8y

Its not hard, just keep away from them and get yourself a tent ot hotel. You have to appreciate that the younger agegroups really only want to mix with their own age bracket. This is their adventure of a lifetime remember, free and hippie life.....

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 23, 2008, at 5:26 AM by andy11 ]

4. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

I like my privacy, too. I enjoy a private room in a hostel--cause then you get to share the common areas but close the door when you're ready to be alone for the night. I'm a light sleeper, so any little noise keeps me awake. I can't imagine I'd sleep much in a dorm room!

That said, I love B&Bs and guest houses. You meet the locals, who always seem so nice and willing to help. Plus breakfasts are fantastic, the room is lovely and unique, and the price is usually very affordable.

5. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 8y

I fully agree with Sander and Tway.

look what type of rooms the hostal offers,if there are big cheap dorms just stay away from this place.
there are the b+b type with privat rooms wich I like best and if you are in the talking mood there is for sure somebody with the same interests like you have.
Like Tway I like my own room where I can do what I wanna do,sleep or read my book
without disturbing the other gaests or be disturbed by homecoming drunks in the wee hours.
a nice place to sleep is for me a very importend part by the planing of my vacation.
sometimes I book a double room to avoide the smallest room and the double rooms are only a little bit more expensiv then the singles.
Oh, and since I fellt 2 times out of a single bed I take care to get at least a queen size bed!

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 23, 2008, at 7:19 AM by marlis ]

6. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

Quoting Piecar

I submit that Backpacker Hostels are low rent resorts. A safe haven from having to associate with the locals. A place where you can get things served up your way, and not theirs. A place to be above it all.

.

1. A safe haven from associating with the locals? a low rent resort? and you also mention how travellers tend to be so "TRAVELLY". A place to be above it all?

WHICH HOSTEL IS THAT??? Do such hostels exist in Asia. It sounds like fun. I could really use such a haven to protect me from the locals.

1. People go to hostels because it cheaper and we want to save money so we can travel to more places.

2. As for meeting people, I AM NOT GOING TO BE A HYPOCRITE, I do secretly love meeting caucasians and other foreigners, including PERKY and yes "TRAVELLY" blondes from the US of A, preferably young and less intelligent to refrain from talking about Darwin's theory of evolution or the foreign policy of Maldives. But I play it cool. I know people need their privacy and those who are extremely congenial can be annoying.

3. As for meeting locals, the people who work at the hostels are locals and yes locals also stay at hostels (atleast in Asia).

7. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

[quote=Piecar

People have sex everywhere(but never invite) and no one understands the idea of keeping their voice down.

.[/quote]

Okay, I would hate HOSTELS too...

8. Posted by writergrrl (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Well, I'm 44 (does that mean I win?) so here's my take....

I like hostels...sometimes. I am with you in that I don't like the kids having sex above me--mostly they lack creativity and I wish I they'd learn some more entertaining techniques

I hit one when I simply need to hear English, it's the only place around or even for information . I like to hear about what other's have experienced. Good places not listed in the guidbook that I might want to visit. I think there are a lot of pro's to hostels.

That said, I am with you in that I travel to meet locals and immerse myself in a culture other than my own. I guess (for me) its too easy to stay in a hostel. By 'easy' I mean that it's familiar and comfortable. I want to be challenged. To see something new. To not stay within the boundaries of the world I know oh-so-well. And immersing myself, by staying in a local hotel or even renting a room for a few months, allows me to step outside my comfort zone. It gives me new eyes. And I really love that. So hostels have there place but I would not make them my only choice as far as a place to stay.

I hope that made sense...

9. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

I like hostels...sometimes. I am with you in that I don't like the kids having sex above me--mostly they lack creativity and I wish I they'd learn some more entertaining techniques

It made perfect sense

Dorm rooms for me differ in different parts of the world too. I found dorms in East Europe to be particuarilly frequented by party goers. While in the West of Europe party hostels seemed to advertise themselfs as that a bit more. Though having said that the latter kind of West Europe hostels also housed more long term residents too.

In Asia I found dorm rooms to be fine. Though a lack of security lockers was a pain.

Iranian dorms were really just quads turned into a 'dorm'

South America was a pick n mix affair.

At 33 I can handle hostel dorms for a week, but then usually treat myself to a private for a good nights sleep. I find if I have to get up at 4am for a bus or train hostel dorms are great. Cheap for half a nights sleep, that wouldn't have been good anyway.