At risk of sounding like the materialistic princess I really am, the thought of staying in a hostel repulsed me. Sharing a room with hareem pant-wearing and weed smoking hippies was not my idea of a good holiday. But for me to be writing a post on whether hostels are good for couples you may be wondering if I bit the bullet and put my judgement aside. Well, I most certainly did.
While I wasn’t blown away by the experience and still very much prefer the luxury of a 5-star hotel, I did have a nice time. I can totally understand why hostels are such a good option for people, especially if you are on a budget or if you’re travelling alone and what to meet new people. But the question of whether hostels are good for couples is a complicated one.
During a recent trip where we met another couple, (you can read about my guide to holidaying with another couple here) we decided to stay at Plus Berlin as a cost-effective option that would suit all four of us. Despite the fact that 10 minutes into my first hostel experience, my friend’s boyfriend almost fell through the top bunk of one of the beds as it collapsed the minute he put weight on it – I very much enjoyed the experience.
The hostel was huge. It boasted loads of rooms and had an indoor swimming pool, a giant restaurant and some beautiful outdoor areas. The only disappointing factor was that the common room was pretty small. We only popped in there once and because of the size, it was pretty awkward so we left. But, most importantly, our room was very clean. And considering that for 3 nights it cost us around £50 each, I really can’t complain.
I understand that I am late to the party when it comes down to staying in hostels. Many of my friends and probably a lot of you have stayed in hostels solo but if you are wondering if hostels are good for couples, I have put together my advice below.
Hostel vs Hotel?
Firstly this question is more than likely dependent on one thing and one thing only – budget. But beyond that, I think the first thing you need to consider when deciding between a hostel or a hotel is what you want to get out of the trip. If you’re planning a romantic getaway then a hostel probably isn’t the right choice. Unless you’re into voyeurism and want a whole room of strangers to watch you while you’re at it (I’m not judging), then you’re likely better suited in your own space.
However, if you’re there for a good time and plan to be out and about most of the time and you just need somewhere to rest your head, a hostel is a much better and more cost-effective option.
Choosing the best hostel for you
Even though I am not the most experienced hostel-goer, I have many friends that are and from the sounds of it, they differ a lot. As a couple, it’s again about what is of most priority to you. That might be staying central, being close to the airport or being in an environment where you can meet loads of new people. Despite my previous stereotyping, not all hostels are full of young single 20 somethings looking to ‘find themselves’. In fact, some are less party-party and lean on the family-friendly side so it really does depend on what you are looking for.
Websites like HostelWorld are great at helping you figure out where best suits your needs no matter where you are in the world.
Hostels: Expectation vs reality.
I know I wasn’t being particularly adventurous having my first experience of a hostel in Berlin, just a short flight from all my home comforts and a very similar culture to the one I have spent the last 24 years living. But, it far exceeded my expectations. I was, in fact, pleasantly surprised. I’m sure people do have bad experiences and I guess sharing a room with a load of strangers in an environment that is totally different can have its traumatic moments but once we got settled our room it didn’t feel that different from a hotel.
Is a hostel a good idea for a couple?
I mean, if I was a solo traveller, looking to meet new people (which I probably never will be) then a hostel would be the best option. But for couples, it depends very much on you as people and what you want from an accommodation. It’s a great way to see the world on a budget but if you’re anything like me, where I stay makes or break a holiday, so I would always choose something more luxurious.
So there you have my thoughts on whether hostels are good for couples. And before you ask, it’s totally not cheating if you had private room between just the four of you AND you’re own private bathroom. That is still a hostel experience!