The Ultimate Pros and Cons of Hostels

How do you feel about hostels? Or do you have any feelings at all about them? I’ve stayed in my fair share of hostels, but they’re definitely not for everyone! If you’re not sure whether the hostel travel style is for you, you’re in the right place. I’ve got your quick and honest list of hostel pros and cons right here! 


Good Place to Meet Other Travelers

This is a major pro for solo travelers who don’t want to be loners. People who stay in hostels are usually party people who like to have a good time, and it’s a great way to meet people if that’s your thing!

You never know who you’ll meet!
Read next: How Solo Travelers Respond to Rude People

Often in Convenient Locations

Hostels may be inexpensive, but they’re usually right in the middle of everything you want to see and do. It may not be the “best” area, but it will most likely be convenient! Often you’ll find a hostel just a couple of blocks off the main drag, close to metro or subway stations, or even right downtown.

You might be surprised at just how good hostel locations can be!
More here: Your Ultimate Guide to Accommodations

Breakfast Usually Provided

Very often, breakfast is provided at hostels. And just as often, you’ll see people packing up that breakfast to take for lunch as well! What’s served will vary by location, but it’s usually enough to get you through until lunch at the very least.

Not a bad way to start the day!
Read on: How to Enjoy Dining Solo


This is the most important factor for college students and people who just want to travel: is it cheap? And yes, hostels are incredibly cheap! You can find hostels in prices that range from $5-$50, depending on how cheap you’re willing to go!

If you want to travel on the cheap, hostels are the way to go!
More here: 6 Ways I Afford to Travel


No Privacy

Unless you book a private room (which costs more than dorm-style rooms), you will have ZERO privacy. If this is important to you, a hostel is not going to be the best choice! You might be in an all-girl or all-boy room, but more than likely, you’ll be in a room that’s a mix of everyone. Oh, and you will be sharing everything, including bathrooms, with everyone.

You may feel like someone’s always watching you!
Keep reading: 7 Things to Expect on Your First Solo Trip

Unattached Bathrooms

Not only will you be sharing a bathroom with dozens of your closest roommates, you will also be walking down the hall to get there. It’s highly unlikely that it would be attached.

So much for bathroom privacy!
Read on: Solo Travel Mishaps

Toiletries Not Provided

If there are toiletries available, they’ll be communal, and the cheapest possible quality. But more than likely, there will be no toiletries available. Just remember to bring your own!

Be sure to bring your own if your hair and skin are particular!
More here: The Ultimate Guide to Solid Toiletries

Need to Bring Your Own Sheets and Towels

Along those same lines, you may need to bring your sheets (or sleeping bag) and towels. This is not a big deal if you’re not trying to pack light, but if you’re a carry-on only traveler, this is a true inconvenience, especially if your towel is still wet from your shower! Always double check before booking!

This is NOT what you’ll find in a hostel!
Keep reading: How to Pack the Perfect Carry-on

Questionable Cleanliness

I’m sure there are standards they’re supposed to meet, but the people running the show at hostels are usually college-age or a few years older. They’re also making very little money, perhaps only room and board in exchange for their work. Would you trust and un-paid college kid to clean your bathroom?

After a long day of hiking or touring, it would be nice to know you’re sleeping in a clean bed!
More here: How to Travel and Still Have Good Hygiene


Personally, I’ve stayed in enough hostels to last me a lifetime! But what about you? Are hostels your preferred travel accommodation? Comment below with why or why not!

Want more? Check out my Accommodations Page for everything you need!

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