There are many opinions and stories about hostels. The hostel industry grows and develops really fast that is why many of the stereotypes that you might have heard about don’t have equivalent in reality.

While working in the hostel industry I’m getting to know the structure and operation of hostels. I am a participant in everyday life in the hostel and of the development of this vibrant environment.

Unfortunately, I still face with many wrong stereotypes about hostels which exist also in heads of potential hostel’s clients.

Let’s dispel some of those stereotypes and check how it is in reality.

stereotypes vs reality

1. Budget accommodation means low standard – False!

Currently, hostels are trying to offer services at the highest level. Although it is budget accommodation always in the first place stays hostel guest and its comfort. Hostels are created by people who travel by themselves so they know what is best for great hostel experience.

2. Dirty rooms, bathrooms and kitchens –  False!

javea youth hostel

Youth Hostel Javea, Javea (Photo: Youth Hostel Javea)

The low price doesn’t mean a lack of cleanliness. Believe it or not but hostels actually do hire housekeepers. Mess in the room happens if you share a dormitory with messy people. Very often the problem comes from not knowing the hostel rules.

3. Never-ending party – False!

I will not lie to you: many hostels are the party ones. However, staff always try to keep the party low after a certain hour of a day. Each hostel guest has the right to rest. If during your journey you look for relaxing do not choose the party hostel.

4. Lack of security – False!

Most of the hostels offer in the shared dormitories lockers where you can leave safely your stuff. For some of them, you will need your own lockers and some are opened with personal code.

the last stamp

The Last Stamp Hostel, Santiago de Compostela (Photo: The Last Stamp)

5. Small rooms – True/ False

The River Hostel, Valencia (Photo: The River Hostel)

For that, I do not have one answer. I’ve seen both: huuuuge dormitories and so small that you can’t even put your feet between beds.

5. Bed bugs – False!

Nowadays there are inspections and controls so you can rest assured you will most probably not meet any bug. What is more even some of the hostels do not allow travellers to use their own sleeping bags in order to omit chances of having bed bugs.

6. Lack of privacy – False!

If you prefer more privacy the easiest way is to book a private room. Even in some of the shared dormitories, the solution created by hostels is hanging curtains on the bunk beds.

7. Old, destroyed buildings – False!

If you imagine hostels as old-fashioned and dirty places you are mistaken. Right now it is in fashion to create hipster, boutique and stylish spots with the spirit and good vibes. The idea of hostels is perfect for inconspicuous, old spaces.

17-02-2014. Fotgrafías The River Hostel, Valencia.

The River Hostel, Valencia (Photo: The River Hostel)

I hope that I dispelled your doubts about staying in the hostel at least a little bit. If you have heard about any other hostel stereotype, let me know!


Posted by Ewa Gabara

Posted by Ewa Gabara

Founder of Don’t Mess With The Receptionist. I geek out on hostels and I’m a long-time receptionist turned into a copywriter. I help the hospitality and travel brands conquer the world with words.

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