Hostels have been around forever, my parents call them Youth Hostels which I think is adorable. Airbnb on the other hand is the newer option. While it definitely has some solid benefits, I think that it’s popularity is a bit over-hyped. So in this short article I’m going to look at the benefits and drawbacks of staying at a hostel or Airbnb, so that it’s easier to make the best decision.
Benefits of Hostels
-It’s so easy to meet people. If you stay in a dorm you’ll probably meet some of the people you’re staying with. And even if you don’t, you can just go to the common area and see what’s happening.
-Dorms are the cheapest option and can make travelling on a budget doable.
-Hostels often have cool benefits like cheap happy hours, free breakfast, free entry to clubs, free walking tours, and other discounts.
Benefits of Airbnb
-You get your own room and you don’t have to worry about a drunk Spanish guy coming in at 3am and aggressively rolling his Rrrrrrsss. This is great if you want to get some solid sleep, or if you’re travelling with someone and you can split the cost of the room.
-If you have the cash and you want to splurge you can rent an entire apartment for a few days. This is something that was difficult to do before Airbnb, especially in a foreign city where you don’t speak the language.
-If you rent a room you’ll get to meet someone who will probably have some good advice about the city.
Drawbacks of Hostels
-Sleeping in a 8 or 10 bed dorm is precarious. Even with ear plugs in you still may be woken up.
-You have to keep track of all your stuff and possibly pay for a locker. If you’re worried about theft, hostels aren’t that secure. That being said, I’ve spent 6 months of my life living in hostels and never had anything but a pair of socks stolen.
-Sometimes the WiFi is crap, especially in South East Asia. Not a big deal if you’re writing emails, definitely a big deal when you’re trying to get work done.
Drawbacks of Airbnb
-It’s expensive! You’ll often end up paying a premium price to get that room for a few days. This is true of longer rentals too. You’ll end up paying plenty more than a roommate normally would.
-Not nearly as easy to meet local people.
-Limited check in times. You can arrive at a hostel at the funniest hours, it doesn’t usually matter. Showing up to your Airbnb at 1am may not be cool.
What’s the Best Choice?
I only use Airbnb are when I’m going to be staying somewhere for more than a week. When that happens it’s nice to have a room where you can leave your stuff laying around. It’s worth the extra money, especially if you’re travelling with someone.
Most of the time though, hostels! They’re fun, they’re social, and they’re cheap. Many of them also have private rooms if you want to pay for them. Regardless of where you choose to stay, make travel a priority. Check out the hostels and Airbnb rooms in your favorite city, make a booking, and start an awesome adventure today.