What is a Hostel?
Maybe you have seen the movie Hostel or you don’t like the idea of sharing a room. Check out this post to dispel myths about why you should stay in a hostel.
A hostel is a budget-friendly accommodation that you may share with others. Each hostel is very different but they can share some basic amenities. A hostel reminds me of slumber parties with your best friends.
Why should you stay in a hostel?
- Inexpensive: Many people often say, ” they would never stay in a hostel”. I personally can not afford to travel for 2 weeks, if I stayed in a hotel every night. A hotel can cost anywhere between $100-300 per night. Lets do some basic math calculations: 100 X 14 = $1400. Hostels can cost anywhere from $15-85 depending on the type of room you get. I can save the money that I would spend on lodging and book more tours to explore the city.
- Make Friends: If you are a solo traveler, staying in a hostel is a great way to meet people from all over the world. I have made friends that went with me to salsa dance in the streets of Colombia or accompanied me to eat popular Cuban dishes.
- Great Location: Hostels are usually located in the heart of the city. They may be near beaches, restaurants, and historical landmarks.
- Breakfast: Sometimes free breakfast food such as toast, fruit, or boiled eggs are offered to the guests. It’s not anything fancy but if you are a budget traveler this will keep money in your pockets.
- Kitchen: A kitchen with a stove and refrigerator is provided. Guest can utilize the fridge as long as they label their food. Cooking at the hostel can help save money on eating out.
- Wifi: Able to connect to the internet while on the property. Some may even offer access to computer stations.
- Security: Lockers are provided for your most valuable items. I usually lock up my purse, passport, and cash inside the locker. I do not lock up my luggage and have not had any issues with theft.
- Fun Events: They usually have a bulletin of planned activities that are usually organized or fun things that may be happening in the city.
How to choose a Hostel.
Check out Hostel World, an online website where you can find over 35,000 properties in 170 countries around the world.
- Read Reviews: If a hostel has great reviews and ratings regarding cleanliness, location, security, staff etc then I would recommend booking.
- Location: Is the room close to public transportation or is it within walking distance of popular attractions? Staying close to restaurants and tourist sites will help you save money on transportation.
- Type of dorm: Some people prefer privacy when traveling. Check to see if the hostel offers private accommodations. Are you comfortable staying in a mixed dorm or would you prefer to stay in a gender-specific room? I have stayed in both female and mixed dorms and felt safe.
- Pricing: How much are you willing to pay? For example, a private room may cost $60 and a dorm room may cost $25 per night. The more people in a room, the cheaper the cost will be. I typically stay in a 4-6 dorm room because I prefer a smaller crowd. In my opinion, more people equal more problems.
Hostels in Puerto Rico
I stayed at Mango Mansion for only $25 a night. After flying all day from Los Angeles, I was grateful for a comfortable mattress. Ever get excited when you get a whole airplane row to yourself? Imagine my excitement when I discovered that despite paying for a 4 bedroom dorm I had the entire room to myself.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I was happy to know they provided a light breakfast. I had waffles, boiled eggs, pineapples, watermelon, and coffee.
If you stay at Mango Mansion during the weekend, walk to La Placita. It is a popular place in town that is known for its vibrant nightlife.
If you are hungry, check out Bebo’s cafe. I ordered a popular Puerto Rican dish called mofongo.
I met up with my friend LaRhonda, with whom I met in a travel group. I encourage you all to seek out new friends when you travel. Great friendships can turn into life long travel buddies!
Nomada Urban Beach Hostel
I absolutely loved Nomada Urban Beach Hostel. It is located on Calle Loiza near Ocean Park Beach. It had a very modern vibe that appeals to millennials. They have a rooftop complete with bar and grill area, cool looking seats, swing chair and even the option to sleep in a private tent. On the second floor, they have a full kitchen and private rooms. The third floor is complete with dorm rooms, showers, computers, and an entertainment system.
I stayed in a mixed 6 bedroom dorm. Due to the low tourist season, I only had one male roommate. Some women are uncomfortable with the thought of males sleeping in the same room. Fortunately, my roommate was super nice and even gave me a ride to the airport the following morning.
If you want to check out the nightlife, there are lots of bars and restaurants within walking distance. I wanted to eat seafood and the front desk staff recommended La Cueva Del Mar. I had the fried catfish and it was delicious. Don’t forget to check out a food tour for more delicious Puerto Rican cuisine.
What are your thoughts about staying in a hostel? If you have stayed in a hostel what was your experience? If you have not, why haven’t you? If you are still not convinced that you should stay in a hostel, check out booking.com for other rental properties.