Hostels vs Hotels
Before we get into the debate of hostels versus hotels, let me tell you a little bit about myself so that you can see where my point of view comes from. I'm 26, male, and have been living in my own apartment for 4 years now (so needless to say, I love my own space). I know, the first thing that scream out at you is "Hotels all the way"! Let's go through the pro's and con's of hostels and hotels before you make any assumptions.
- Easy to meet travelers
- Cheap food
- Free tours
- Communal Bathrooms
When choosing which accommodation you will stay in, you need to first choose what you want out of your travels. Are you traveling alone and seek an adventure, or are you traveling with your spouse or friends and want privacy? How long are you traveling for and what is your budget?
When I left home, I booked hostels for most of my destinations with hotels sprinkled in for a few days so that I could get some rest. I was very surprised that I enjoyed hostels as much as I did. In my 4 months in Europe, I never locked anything up and only had a phone charger stolen. While I do not recommend being as trusting as I was, I never ran into anyone who had anything stolen. I also only had one bad experience with a rude roommate, although I have heard stories of some roommates not being as polite as they should have been. I don't consider a bad experience someone snoring or coming in after midnight because you'll learn to sleep through all of that (or in my case, just stay out later than everyone else).
This is not to say that in a hotel you cannot meet anyone, but hotels are not built with common area's or have like-minded travelers. If you are traveling to meet people and are open to different culture's, hostels are the way to go.