My Loves and Loathes of Staying in a Hostel
A common topic amongst travellers and one I still hadn't experienced to-date, I decided it was about time I understood what all the fuss was about. Staying in a hostel. Of course, I had my reservations about taking on this endeavour, and having found my own personal ways of saving while traveling through Air B&B and just finding great hotel deals, for a while I was content. But that was Europe, and this is North America. So... having booked a flight to Waikiki for a solo vacay to do yoga on the beach and find ways to renew my creative spirit, I figured why not.
Here are my top loves and loathes of staying in a hostel.
Staying in a Hostel, Loves
- The people. Hands down, the best part about staying in a hostel? The people you are bound to meet! While I'm inherently an introvert, typically happy to be on my own, I would be lying if I said traveling solo didn't at times get lonely. Plus, the people tend to make the memories that much more unforgettable.
- The affordability. Of course, this is one of the greatest benefits of staying in a hostel. Having spent less for my entire trip than I would have on one night in a hotel on Waikiki Beach, my funds were available for other things... like yoga on the beach.
- The convenience. Surprising actually: I found the check-in/check-out process to be more simple and seamless than that of most hotels.
- The kitchen. I'm a disaster without a cup of coffee (or two) and a meal in the morning, which is always a challenge for me when traveling. Having full access to a kitchen made this aspect of travel much, much easier. I could still be a real human being, yay!
Staying in a Hostel, Loathes
Okay, for the record, there wasn't a single thing I loathed about staying in a hostel (I just used that word in the title because it sounded nice next to the other 'l' word). Some things I disliked, however:
- Feeling like my greatest assets might get stolen. Not a single thing of mine was stolen, but I disliked the fear that my greatest asset and form of livelihood - my laptop - might get stolen. I simply made adamant use of the lockers to guard against this.
- A lack of privacy. This is to be expected when sharing a dorm room with 4 or 6 other people! I stayed in an all-female dorm, which was great, but I did find myself missing my before-bed routine of journaling and reading.
- Worrying about waking others up. While I'm normally not an early-riser in my day-to-day, I was up before 7am every day in Hawaii, sometimes attending a morning yoga session on the beach, and at other times just strolling the beach in peace. It was a bit tricky to get up, get dressed, and sneak out of the dorm without waking the others up... which kind of sucked. PS. Did you guys know that the iPhone doesn't have the option for a vibrate-only alarm? What's with that?
That's it! Overall, I highly recommend staying in a hostel on your next solo vacay... you'll meet some seriously cool people AND save a ton of money. Just bring some ear plugs for some peaceful sleep ;)
PS. I stayed at HI - Waikiki Hostel.