❤️This post is based on personal experiences in places I personally visited and my own gallery😉❤️
Sometimes the opinions of others could make you miss out on the things you could experience. I know for sure I have heard a friend of mine say, “I would never do hostels.” Uhmm…..I didn’t bother to hear much because I knew whatever would be said would impact me negatively and was meant to discourage me from trying it out.
I must say sometimes the comments of others do affect our decisions and sometimes they shouldn’t. Plus, if you allowed people to control you like that, then you may never enjoy your own adventures.
Travelling on a regular basis for an African may not come that easy especially if you do it because you really fancy it. And since I obviously didn’t ditch my friend, I was curious (just a bit) to find out why those strong statements against hostels . For starters, she was very honest about how we Africans have a difficult life and why subject ourselves to more difficulties of staying in such places? ”And besides, Faith, I would rather wait for my company to pay for the cost of my travel so I get to stay in the coolest of places because that’s not the life I have known….luxe.” I heard her loud and clear. What about that travel person who is so passion driven to see lots of places such that as they are at it, they are already planning their next move? Would you wait for a sponsored trip? I get it. Her bone of contention was that Africans are already poor so why make travel a misery by staying in misery? Did she really say that? lol!
My friend will probably wait forever to have adventure or should try her luck in the next life but she needs to know the good and the bad before sounding so judgy.
- Cutting on costs and seeing lots for less
The advantage of staying in a hostel is the fact that you can cut on costs and could actually see more places that way than waiting to win the lotto to ever see the coolest of cool places on this place we call earth! If I ever got the opportunity to do let’s say, Mauritius …….for starters, I have done my mini research and concluded it’s slightly more of a pricey island compared to Madagascar. Why on earth will I miss the opportunity to see beautiful Mauritius because my budget included stays in luxe resorts or many star hotels?
I will gladly include hostels so I even enjoy the island for a longer time. My experience in hostels when it comes to cutting costs is that I have also taken time researching which hostels have a ‘homely touch’. Yes, some hostels just offer basics but others are quite comfortable to be at like Shoki Shoki House of Zanzibar. All the advice I would give here is that you take your time online searching for them before your trip than do the, “I will cross the bridge when I get there.” Plan your hostel stay the way you would a five star hotel which gets me to the other advantage of hostels which is:
2) Making friends easily
Seriously like some of the places I have found it so easy to make friends coming from all four corners of the world (wait, does the world have corners?)is in a hostel. A hotel will have that peace and quiet, we get it, but part of the thrill that comes from some travel lovers is about who we meet.
I am happy to mention that some of the like minded people I have met, I did in a hostel. In the community I come from, I would say very few find travel appealing or worse still, they don’t even wanna talk about it but in a hostel, rest assured that my favourite topics are all over. It’s here that you can learn more about other countries other than yours from the horses’ mouths and from all the beautifully different people around the hostel which brings me to the next advantage which is:
3) Enjoying group tours
Yes, we are self proclaimed solo travellers but we do love some good company while at it. And going back to my friend who is blunt about hostels, she should know that I have done some coolest trips because of joint efforts with other hostel mates and if I have to wait to be super rich (be able to book a whole cruise ship) lol! The lovely moments I have had in hostels will just ‘zoom!’ pass me by.
Bottom line is even as a solo traveller, we are aware of the people around us too. And this spending of time with people reminds me of some disadvantages that cause people like my friend to speak ill of hostels:
- Shut up!
Noise levels at times can be quite annoying. I am a light sleeper and pretty sure I have an internal alarm clock in my head that reminds me I have to shut down and this usually happens early hours of the night like just before 9 pm and at around mid night I have no sleep at all and honestly with this kind of sleep pattern, I really don’t do well around people who are loud at about the time I need to sleep.I wake up feeling grumpy. Am afraid my friend was gonna be right had she rubbed this point in but she didn’t.
Some clients you will find here are party animals and because these hostels are kind of made to repel boredom just embrace the few times its gonna get loud.The other thing to note is, as you are enjoying your sleep at whatever time, someone flew into the country at an odd time and will check in your room at the time you are enjoying being in dreamland! This won’t be so much of a problem if the place is not :
Guests would not be subjected to so much noise if not for the way most of them are cluttered up.Thumbs up to those hostels that have owners that consider the claustrophobic traveller and not just display the need to make money by having so much going on or too many beds in one room! Hostel owners shouldn’t just allow clutter and it’s for this reason that there is :
3) Not much tidiness
Hostel owners usually have rules about keeping amenities clean especially after using them. I doubt this rule is followed religiously by most of the clients but that traveller who feels there is clutter in this place after all, will keep the trend.This may not be the case for every hostel as they have dependable cleaning services but even with them, in a hostel there is need for you to clean up after using stuff because they offer self services and if you are a clean freak…..these places may not be for you.
4) Finder’s keepers, loser’s weepers
Not everyone that stays in these hostels is sober or has your best interests at heart. Just because you met fellow travellers and had a good time is no reason for them not to dip their hands in your stuff.Not that I have experienced it but it’s a place am so self conscious about where I put my stuff just in case.I have heard funny stories of how other travellers checked in and because they stayed there for long, there was not much pushing for payments from the owners for the remaining days, besides, this client paid for the other days right? The client eventually took advantage of the thoughtfuless of the owners and just left without paying for other nights! Some have also just helped themselves with other people’s stuff and this is not cool.
So if these other bad thoughts were running through my friend’s mind, no wonder her negativity but to that adventurous soul willing to try these places out…..hostels are not such a crazy idea after all.