Look, you may harbour a deep running appreciation for all things luxurious when you’re on a trip abroad or even if you’re taking a local trip, but there’s a difference between luxury and overpriced products and services which are usually just given a fancy name or brand. At the end of the day, caviar is just salt-cured fish eggs, which fair enough costs quite a bit as a result of the distance it usually travels and due to its scarcity, but what good does it do anybody if you’re willing to pay any money for your bit of caviar?
What I’m getting at is that there are elements of luxury travel which aren’t worth the luxury tag they carry and in this particular instance I’m talking about accommodation. Yes, you’ll get all which comes with the five-star treatment staying in a five-star hotel offers, but if you’re travelling for leisure purposes then you should perhaps look beyond hotels for your accommodation and look more towards hostels.
Your whole stay doesn’t have to be in a hostel — you can perhaps test it out and see how it is and if you don’t like it then you can perhaps look towards your five-star hotel preference again. I truly suspect that if you’re a true traveller you’ll love it however, particularly if you’re travelling solo.
Staying in a hostel as your accommodation forces you to interact with locals on a level which goes beyond the formalities of being checked into a place of accommodation. You get a much more personal interaction in which you can immediately make some good friends and be in for a much more authentic experience.
Of course this is only if that is indeed what you want. I know of a lot of people, including myself at times, who sometimes just want to be left alone while they’re inside their hotel rooms and perhaps complement that with some serious laying about on a secluded beach to “get away from it all” and enjoy a quiet, relaxed vacation. In this case it’s understandable to choose a hotel as your preferred accommodation, otherwise you miss out on a whole lot if you always overlook lodging at a hostel.
A friend of mine who is shy by nature won’t stop talking about her new best friends from the USA, China and South Africa who sort of gravitated towards each other as they were sharing a dorm in a Moroccan hostel. They formed a travel group with lasting friendships beyond their North African adventures, all because they were all sharing the same space for some time. That’s something which hardly ever happens in a hotel and I’ll have you know that in many instances, hostels don’t necessarily have to resemble budget accommodation.
You could very well go for a private room and then still enjoy the opportunity to meet other travellers in the common, shared spaces of the hostel, but otherwise travellers should really consider hostels as accommodation because it creates natural opportunities for interactions with locals and other travellers.