Backpacker Hostels: The Ultimate Guide for Budget Travelers

Backpacker Hostels: The Ultimate Guide for Budget Travelers
  • Apr 27, 2023
  • 9 Min Read
  • Views: 126

Are you an adventurous traveler on a tight budget? Do you dream of exploring exotic destinations, meeting new people, and creating unforgettable memories? If so, backpacker hostels might be the perfect accommodation option for you. In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about backpacker hostels, including their benefits, drawbacks, types, features, and tips for choosing the best one for your needs.

1. Introduction

Backpacker hostels have been around for decades, providing a unique and affordable lodging experience for travelers. They are especially popular among young adults who are on a tight budget and looking for a social and cultural experience. Backpacker hostels offer a range of accommodation options, from dorm rooms to private rooms, with shared or private bathrooms. They are typically located in the city center or close to tourist attractions, making them a convenient and accessible choice for travelers.

2. What Are Backpacker Hostels?

Backpacker hostels are budget-friendly accommodations that offer shared or private rooms for travelers. They are designed to provide a social and communal experience for guests, with common areas such as lounges, kitchens, and dining areas. Backpacker hostels are often run by locals or travelers who are passionate about hospitality and tourism. They aim to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for guests, where they can connect with other travelers, learn about local cultures, and have fun.

3. Why Choose Backpacker Hostels?

Backpacker hostels have several advantages over other types of accommodations, especially for budget-conscious travelers. Here are some of the main reasons to choose backpacker hostels:

  • Affordability: Backpacker hostels are typically much cheaper than hotels, especially in expensive cities or tourist destinations. They offer a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets, from dorm rooms to private rooms.
  • Social Experience: Backpacker hostels are a great way to meet other travelers from all over the world. They often organize social events, tours, and activities, which allow guests to connect with each other and make new friends.
  • Cultural Immersion: Backpacker hostels are often located in local neighborhoods, which allow guests to experience the local culture and lifestyle. They also offer tours and activities that showcase the local history, cuisine, and traditions.
  • Flexibility: Backpacker hostels usually have flexible check-in and check-out times, which allow guests to adapt their schedule to their travel plans. They also offer 24/7 reception and security, which ensure that guests can come and go as they please.

4. Drawbacks of Backpacker Hostels

While backpacker hostels offer many advantages, they also have some drawbacks that can affect certain travelers. Here are some of the main drawbacks of backpacker hostels:

  • Lack of Privacy: If you choose a dorm room, you will have to share the space with other travelers, which can be uncomfortable for some people. Even if you opt for a private room, you might still have to share the bathroom or other facilities with other guests.
  • Noise: Backpacker hostels are often located in busy areas, which can be noisy at night. Also, because they are social environments, guests might stay up late or make noise, which can disturb your sleep.
  • Safety Concerns: While most backpacker hostels are safe, there is always a risk of theft or other types of crime, especially in crowded or touristy areas. It’s important to take precautions and keep your belongings safe.
  • Cleanliness: Because backpacker hostels have shared facilities, such as bathrooms and kitchens, they might not always be as clean as you would like. It’s important to check the reviews and ratings of a hostel before booking it, to make sure it meets your standards.

5. Types of Backpacker Hostels

Not all backpacker hostels are created equal. There are several types of hostels, each with its own atmosphere, features, and target audience. Here are some of the main types of backpacker hostels:

Party Hostels

Party hostels are designed for travelers who want to have fun and socialize. They often have a bar or club on-site, and organize parties, events, and pub crawls. Party hostels are usually located in nightlife areas, and attract a young and energetic crowd.

Quiet Hostels

Quiet hostels are for travelers who prefer a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. They usually have strict noise policies, and discourage parties and loud music. Quiet hostels are ideal for solo travelers or couples who want to rest and recharge.

Eco-Friendly Hostels

Eco-friendly hostels are for travelers who care about sustainability and the environment. They use eco-friendly materials and practices, such as recycling, composting, and energy conservation. Eco-friendly hostels often offer educational programs and activities related to sustainability.

Luxury Hostels

Luxury hostels are for travelers who want to enjoy the benefits of a hotel, but at a lower price. They offer high-quality amenities, such as private rooms, en-suite bathrooms, and premium bedding. Luxury hostels often have a design or boutique feel, and attract travelers who value comfort and style.

6. Features of Backpacker Hostels

Backpacker hostels offer a range of features and amenities, depending on the type and location of the hostel. Here are some of the main features you can expect to find in backpacker hostels:

Dorm Rooms

Dorm rooms are the most common type of accommodation in backpacker hostels. They usually have bunk beds or single beds, and can accommodate from 4 to 20 guests. Dorm rooms are a great way to meet other travelers and save money on accommodation.

Private Rooms

Private rooms are available in most backpacker hostels, and offer more privacy and comfort than dorm rooms. Private rooms can have a single, double, or triple occupancy, and can come with shared or en-suite bathrooms.

Shared Bathrooms

Shared bathrooms are common in backpacker hostels, and are usually located in the hallway or near the dorm rooms. They can be gender-segregated or mixed, and can vary in cleanliness and quality.

Common Areas

Common areas are the heart of backpacker hostels, and are where guests can socialize, relax, and have fun. Common areas can include lounges, kitchens, dining areas, rooftop terraces, and outdoor spaces.

Kitchen Facilities

Kitchen facilities are available in most backpacker hostels, and are a great way to save money on food. Guests can cook their own meals and store their groceries in communal refrigerators. Kitchen facilities can vary in size and quality, and might come with cooking utensils, dishes, and cutlery.


Wi-Fi is essential for most travelers, and backpacker hostels usually offer free Wi-Fi to their guests. Wi-Fi can be available in common areas or in the rooms, and can vary in speed and reliability.


Lockers are a security feature offered in most backpacker hostels. Guests can store their valuables and luggage in lockers, which can be located in the dorm rooms or in common areas. It’s important to bring your own padlock or rent one from the hostel.

Laundry Facilities

Laundry facilities are available in some backpacker hostels, and can be a lifesaver for long-term travelers. Guests can wash and dry their clothes using the hostel’s washing machines and dryers, or by hand in a sink or bathtub.

7. Tips for Choosing and Staying in Backpacker Hostels

Backpacker hostels can be a great option for budget-conscious travelers, but it’s important to choose the right hostel and know how to make the most of your stay. Here are some tips for choosing and staying in backpacker hostels:

Read Reviews and Ratings

Before booking a hostel, read reviews and ratings from previous guests. This can give you an idea of the hostel’s atmosphere, cleanliness, safety, and location. Look for recent reviews, and pay attention to the overall rating and the specific comments.

Check the Location

Make sure the hostel is located in a safe and convenient area, close to public transportation, attractions, and amenities. Use Google Maps or other online tools to check the neighborhood and the distance from the airport or train station.

Pack Wisely

When staying in a backpacker hostel, it’s important to pack light and bring only the essentials. Consider bringing a travel towel, a padlock, earplugs, and a sleeping mask. Leave valuable items at home, and keep your passport and money in a secure place.

Respect the Rules and Other Guests

Backpacker hostels have rules and policies for a reason, so make sure to follow them. Be respectful of other guests’ privacy, space, and belongings. Avoid making noise late at night or early in the morning, and clean up after yourself in the common areas.

Embrace the Experience

Staying in a backpacker hostel can be a unique and enriching experience, so make the most of it. Socialize with other travelers, try new foods and activities, and learn about different cultures and languages. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude, and you might make lifelong friends.


Backpacker hostels can be a great option for travellers who want to save money, meet new people, and have a unique experience. By choosing the right hostel, packing wisely, and following the rules, you can enjoy a safe, comfortable, and memorable stay. Remember to read reviews, check the location, pack light, respect other guests, and embrace the experience.


Q. What is the difference between a dorm room and a private room in a backpacker hostel?

A dorm room is a shared accommodation with several beds in a room, while a private room is a private accommodation with a single or double bed. Private rooms are generally more expensive than dorm rooms.

Q. Are backpacker hostels safe for solo female travelers?

Backpacker hostels can be safe for solo female travelers, but it’s important to do research and choose a reputable hostel with good reviews and ratings. Female-only dorms or private rooms can also be a safer option.

Q. Can I cook my own meals in a backpacker hostel?

Yes, most backpacker hostels have kitchen facilities where guests can cook their own meals and store their groceries.

Q. How can I find backpacker hostels in my destination?

You can find backpacker hostels in your destination by using online booking platforms such as Hostelworld, Booking.com, or Airbnb. You can also do research on travel blogs and forums, or ask for recommendations from other travelers.

Q. Are backpacker hostels only for young travelers?

Backpacker hostels are not only for young travelers, but they do tend to attract a younger demographic. Many hostels have age restrictions, so make sure to check the hostel’s policy before booking.