The Hostel Experience: Why You Should Consider a Hostel Instead of a Hotel
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The Hostel Experience: Why You Should Consider a Hostel Instead of a Hotel

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Sure, everyone can appreciate the perks that come with staying in a nice hotel: a queen-sized bed, room service, maids to do the dirty work, an indoor pool and mints on your pillow. 

Hostels on the other hand, may seem dirty, loud, or too closely resembling the dorms from which you’ve finally escaped after a couple years of shared bathrooms. 

First sight of the place may even elicit a “why didn’t we just stay at the Comfort Inn?” However, let me urge you to give up the five star maid service, set aside the expensive linen sheets, and indulge in an experience that is adventurous and fun and may give you a taste of Europe without the $800 plane ticket. 

The greatest thing about hostels? The people. Hostels are crawling with foreigners and as if simply listening to their accents isn’t enough, they are genuinely trying to make friends and will stir up a conversation any chance they get. It’s like a dorm full of people from all over the world. 

Yes, you sleep in bunk beds. Yes, the bathrooms are communal. But the atmosphere, I would argue, is to die for. The walls are multicolored and adorned with odd paintings, photographs and song lyrics. The lounge contains a shelf of old books free for the taking, along with a stack of board games like Monopoly and Scrabble in case there’s a long day that calls for a night in. The bathroom door is scribbled with uplifting notes encouraging you to travel or to live life to the fullest. 

And what would a dorm be without floor programs? There are weekly events like community bonfires or a pub-crawl downtown. Not only are you meeting people as you get ready in the bathrooms or in the walks to the kitchen for some free waffles, but the events provide a setting in which you almost immediately feel comfortable to make some new friends. 

Especially being the broke college students that we are, hostels are likely one of the cheapest options for a weekend getaway. But the experience is more than a reduced price or a convenient location. The hostel experience gives you a chance to interact with people in a setting outside the classroom or a Thursday frat party, provides perspective on a community that exists beyond our immediate bubble, inspires you to realize that there are life lessons to be learned through travel, and surrounds you with an atmosphere that allows you to feel immediately at home in a place you may have never been before. 

Thus, I encourage you to travel, whether it’s cross-country or to our neighbors in San Diego. Meet new people, experience a world outside of the Westwood bubble, scribble a message onto the bathroom door. Sometimes, the experiences you remember the most are the ones you didn’t expect. So pack your bags and take a trip outside of your comfort zone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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