You have heard of them before but you are not really sure what is a hostel.
There are many misconceptions in the United States regarding what a hostel is and what they are about.
Not many people are familiar with what they are, and what it’s like to stay in one.
Hostels are a community-based form of accommodation, where travelers from all over the world share a room full of bunk beds. I think that this is where people get confused or feel concerned about sleeping with people that they don’t know.
However, the security within a hostel always ensures that every guest is properly screened. It’s imperative that everyone is being respectful and adhering to the policies of the establishment. If staying in a co-ed dorm isn’t for you, female-only dorms are usually an option at hostels, as well as private rooms.
The social norms of the United States are strongly influenced by individualism. Therefore, communal living situations like hostels aren’t as common as they are in Europe. Hotels and motels provide guests with an experience that’s tailored more towards privacy, and individual accommodations.
Hostels bring us back to a more community based living situation, where peace and teamwork play an important role in co-living. They are a more affordable means of accommodation than staying in a motel or hotel. In addition, they provide a unique social experience. Hostels tend to attract young travelers who are looking to meet other like minded individuals.
The intent behind International Traveler’s House is to spread peace through knowledge of culture. We offer different activities at all of our locations- ranging from language lessons, hiking trips, yoga classes, art projects, cooking, and local outings. Breakfast is included at all of our locations, and we do family dinners on occasion as well.
While the accommodations are pretty straightforward to explain, the experience of staying in one is not as easy to describe. Hosteling is a transformative experience. It’s something you have to experience for yourself.
Imagine this: you have just booked a weekend at ITH Beach Bungalow, located in Pacific Beach.
Maybe you spent the day snorkeling in La Jolla Cove, or jet skiing in the bay.
You’re greeted at reception by someone that is from Brazil.
After getting a tour of the Bungalow, you check into your room at the top of the stairs, where you can smell the ocean breeze.
It’s Friday, and the family barbecue is just starting.
Staff members and guests have put together a feast of items to barbecue. Everyone has pitched in something different to contribute.
You’re surrounded by people from all over the world sharing food and culture.
Over by the hammocks, a few Irish guys are laughing and enjoying a view of the ocean.
In the TV room, a group of people are being taught French by one of the volunteers.
Throughout the remainder of the weekend, you explore San Diego with other guests at the hostel. Strangers quickly transform into friends, and lifelong family.
You have already planned to come visit them in their country next year.
You’ve shared your hopes and dreams with each other.
Someone from Germany taught you how to surf.
A Venezuelan woman lent you her sunglasses, because you lost yours on the flight.
You check out after eating way too many tacos, wondering if you took enough photos.
It cost you a third of the money to stay in a hostel than a hotel, and you left with three times the amount of knowledge you came in with.
You learned how to say hello in Portuguese and Russian.
The yoga teacher taught you stress management skills that you will practice for the rest of your life.
This vacation was unlike any other.
You leave feeling inspired.
Your stay at the hostel made less of an impact on your bank account.
It left an everlasting impact on your heart and soul.
Hostel travel is on the rise and we are glad to be hosting first-time hostelers from around the world. I would love to hear more about your experiences at hostels in the comments below.
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