More than just hotels: Youth hostels, couch surfing and more

Lower Your Travel Costs

By Booking Hostels

Old or young, staying at hostels during your travels can save you some serious cash. If the high price of hotel rooms is keeping you from taking a vacation, don’t despair. The money you will save by booking hostels instead of hotels can lower your travel costs significantly.

What exactly is a hostel? Created in Germany by a man named Richard Schirrmann, the first “youth hostels” were part of a charitable movement to allow underprivileged youths to experience a country setting. To teach them a good work ethic, they were also required to care for the hostel themselves. This included cleaning, cooking and landscaping.

The idea of affordable residences or “hostels” quickly caught on, and Schirrmann’s idea eventually evolved into a group that is now known as Hosteling International, (HI). You will be happy to know that the cleaning requirement of the hosteling experience was eliminated by almost all of the hostels, although a few die-hards remain! Unlike chain hotels, hostels are unique and range from brownstones to rustic cabins to restored castles.

You can find lots of good information online about booking hostels, both HI hostels as well as independent hostels. Some of the websites I’ve used are,www.hostels .com., and

Although hostels started out as inexpensive travel lodging for students and youths, they are now used by all age groups to save money and meet people. From backpackers to students to senior citizens to families with children, anyone can book hostels, and often for a fraction of what you would pay to book a hotel room.

Do not book a hostel if you are are an introvert who demands peace and quiet. You will have less privacy in a hostel and many times, a little more noise. Hostels have more common areas, including kitchens, where guests often meet. It can sometimes get loud. Also, you will probably have to share a bathroom. If privacy is important to you, though, most hostels now offer private and semi-private ensuite rooms, for a little more.

But if you have a sense of adventure and like the idea of meeting fellow travelers and saving some cash, hostelling just might be for you!