Hostels vs Hotels: Which is Right for Your Next Trip?

By Gene Hooks
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Where to stay is a big decision when planning a trip. There are a variety of accommodations to choose from, ranging from the most luxurious hotels to the cheapest hostels. The various types of accommodations offer a variety of advantages and disadvantages, but it’s important to understand the differences between them to make an educated decision. This article explores the differences between hotels and hostels, so you can make an informed decision when planning your next trip to paradise. Let’s get started!

Pros of Staying in a Hostel

Staying in a hostel has many advantages over staying in a hotel. First, hostels are much more budget-friendly and economical accommodations compared to staying in a hotel room.

Hostels are usually more laid-back and social than hotels, with communal areas for travelers to mingle and share stories. This makes them ideal for solo travelers looking to meet new people and groups of friends wanting to explore a new city together. The rooms are usually shared, so it’s a great way to socialize with other travelers from all over the world.

Third, hostels offer access to great amenities, such as kitchens and large common areas that you would not find in a hotel. For digital nomads and remote workers, hostels offer great workspace areas which you can use to get your work done while on the go. 

Hostels also have experienced staff members who know the area well, and they often offer organized activities so you can get out of your room and explore the local city or town!

Cons of Staying in a Hostel

One of the cons of staying in a hostel is that many times you don’t know who you’ll share a room with. This can be uncomfortable if you aren’t familiar with taking risks or dealing with loud people or different cultures.

Also, while hostels are usually cheaper than hotels, they are not always as secure. Hostels often have public access and fewer security staff than a hotel, leaving your belongings more exposed to potential theft if not safeguarded correctly.

Hostel rooms are sometimes crowded and noisy and may not provide 24-hour maintenance or room service like most hotels. You may also have to bring your own sheets, pillows, and towels. And, if you’re not into sharing a bathroom with people you have never met or having to queue when the need arises, this can be a big surprise to you if it never crossed your mind!

WiFi is a fundamental aspect of life in the 21st century, so it’s nothing unexpected that most hostels offer free WiFi when you register. But the connection can be shady in areas that are out of the way, especially when several people are using the same connection at once, which will usually be the case. It’s possible to have an enjoyable experience online, but streaming can be a headache due to slow speeds.

Hostels are frequented mainly by the younger crowd, often under 30. This can serve as a pro or a con!

The quality of hostels varies widely by location, so it’s vital to do extensive research before committing to stay in one!

cozy hostel in the morning with blue backpack in foreground

Pros of Staying in a Hotel

The pros of staying in a hotel are numerous and make it the go-to option for travelers who like comfort and convenience. Hotels often offer amenities like room service, specialty restaurants, mini-bars, spas, gyms, pools, and concierge services.

When searching for a hotel, you’ll typically find multiple options across all different price points. You can choose the one that best fits your budget and the desired level of accommodations.

What’s more, hotels generally provide greater privacy than hostels, as rooms usually have their own bathrooms or shower facilities. And those noise control measures allow travelers to sleep free from disturbances or disruptions.

Hotels also tend to be quite luxurious and can give guests a sense of lavishness with their plush mattresses, feather pillows, high thread count sheets and premium bath towels that appeal to travelers looking for pure pampering during their stay.

Cons of Staying in a Hotel

One of the cons of staying in a hotel is that they are usually more expensive than hostels. Hotels generally offer luxurious amenities such as access to fancy restaurants, pools, and spa services – but these come at a higher cost.

Hotels can often be impersonal and formal, which lacks the communal atmosphere hostels offer. You’ll have less interaction with other guests as, for the most part, everyone keeps to themselves.

Many hotels also don’t give you much freedom to use their facilities, making it tricky to cook any meals while traveling. So a hotel might not be the best option when it comes to preparing food or washing your clothes.

Some people find hotels quite stressful as they can be strict about noise levels and have restrictions on how many people can occupy one room at once.

Tips For Finding a Good Deal

When searching for both hostels and hotels, you should always compare rates to get the best deal. You can start by reading reviews to see if customers had any issues or enjoyed their stay.

Always ask whether the hotel or hostel offers Friday or Saturday night specials for cheaper rates during your trip, and don’t forget about online discounts that pop up occasionally.

Also, consider the location of the hotel and hostel in relation to the sites you want to visit during your trip. Is it close enough? Locate a nearby park, train station, cafe, and grocery store for convenience and cost savings too!

Finally, consider any loyalty bonus programs that particular chains have set up. These can be incredibly helpful when hunting for good deals on hostels and hotels around the world.


When making a selection between a hotel and a hostel, think about your expenses, the conveniences you require, and the type of experiences you are after. Generally, hotels are more costly and deliver more amenities, yet possess a more formal and restrained mood. Hostels are cost-friendly, exhibit a more relaxed social environment, and may have fewer amenities. Travelers should keep in mind that while many hostels today provide sharp facilities and offer sufficient comfort. They might not be as secure or peaceful compared to hotels. 

The decision between a hostel and a hotel will ultimately come down to your individual preferences. If you are searching for a secure and luxurious experience, a hotel could be the best selection. But if you wish to meet other travelers while economizing, thus a hostel could be an ideal option. The table below gives you a visual rundown to help you make the best-informed decision possible!




Privacy in General

Laid Back Atmosphere


Wash Your Own Clothes

Room Service


Cook Your Own Food

Private Bathroom

Large Common Area


Meet Like-Minded Travelers


*In some cases, we may earn a commission if you purchase from companies linked to within articles. Full disclosure here.

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