Hostelling for the Not-So-Young, Part Two

Hostelling for the Not-So-Young, Part Two

Read Hostelling for the Not-So-Young, Part One First

HIUSA is Part a Worldwide Chain of Hostels in 70 Countries

HIUSA is Part a Worldwide Chain of Hostels in 70 Countries

How to Book a Hostel 

Hostels come in all shapes and sizes, new and old, here and there. I like to use “HI” hostels. Hostelling International hostels are affiliates of a worldwide organization in 90 countries featuring over 4,000 hostels. You’ll need to buy a membership card ($28.00 annually) before you travel. However, there are many non-affiliated hostels around the world that work just as well.

You may book online, in person, or over the phone. I try to book my next hostel when checking out of my current one. HI hostels are connected with an online booking system, making it convenient for me to do that.

Benefits of the Hostel Experience 

Skiing in the Alps, white water rafting, historic walking tours and pub crawls are activities I did from the hostels in Europe. Between the friendly English-speaking staff to the bulletin boards in the hostels, it’s easy to plan a local excursion. And since many are geared toward the budget traveler, the prices are reasonable and usually better than what a hotel concierge can do for you.

Go to Dinner with People you Meet while Traveling - photo by Michael Dwyer

Go to Dinner with People you Meet while Traveling – photo by Michael Dwyer

I love all the people you meet from around the world. English is the second language for so many, just walk up to someone and start a conversation. You may find a wing-man for a couple nights at the pub in Dublin or a ski buddy in Austria. At the very least, you’re likely to get a restaurant suggestion or be advised of the latest exhibit at a nearby museum.

Some Disadvantages 

Well, there can be a few negative experiences. Snoring is up there on my list. Since you’ll be sharing your room with others, take earplugs or fall asleep listening to your IPod. Less privacy is the norm in hostels, especially in the bathrooms. I shower at night to avoid the occasional line that may happen in the morning. I also suggest taking a combination lock – there are often lockers to use in the hostel.

Start Travelling 

You have so many options with the huge hostel network found in Europe that you just need to get out there and begin travelling. I meet all ages of people from all over the world in hostels and feel very comfortable doing so. If you are just out of college, or if you are in you 40s like I am, or even if you are retried and enjoying those “golden years” – hostels are for you.

Enjoy the Moment when Travelling

Enjoy the Moment when Travelling

Be a traveler, not a tourist. Meet the people, learn about the culture and enjoy the adventure. Hostellers make great friends for life. I plan to hostel forever, budget aside, and to get more from my vacation experience. It only takes a few overnights to get in to the grove of hostelling – I know you’ll love it like I do.

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About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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