Jason and I are backpackers. When we travel, all we have are our large "backpacker" backpacks. And the only accommodations we seek are hostels. This is for a number of reasons. Here are a few:
1. They're cheap! I think the most we've ever paid to stay at a hostel was 15 Euros in Dublin and the cheapest was $6 in Bocas Del Toro, Panama.
2. The vibe is much more our style. .. and our style is chill and laid-back. Most hostels have many common areas and/or activities in which you can interact not with just the staff, but with other like-minded travelers.
3. We meet so many cool people from all over the world. Since most hostels have common areas where you can eat, or cook, or play games, or read, etc. you get to meet a lot of different people. And when you meet a lot of different people from around the world- that's just another hook-up or couch to sleep on in their home country! We've met people from the UK, New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, etc. etc. And it's pretty safe to say-- most, like 98%, of backpackers are really awesome, fun, chill people so it's great to hang out with them. (And am I saying Jason and I are really awesome, fun, chill people? Why yes, yes I am.) =)
and 4. We collect hostel ideas. Mine and Jason's dream is to own and run a hostel, so every hostel we go to, we like to take mental notes (or sometimes real notes and pictures) of things we like (and sometimes don't like) about hostels we stay at so that we can use that information for our own.
(And, speaking of running a hostel-- we have a surprise to share, that I won't tell just yet. In a few weeks I shall be revealing something pretty major-- so stay tuned!)
I'm always encouraging people, especially friends, to stay at hostels when they travel because it can be such a cool experience. Hostels have a bad rap with many people-- but most of those people either a) have never stayed at a hostel themselves or b) are bojee (which means high-maintenance, fancy, expensive-taste) aka the type of people that drive me nuts (just saying).
Anyways, if YOU are ever traveling and have a chance to stay at a hostel- DO IT! Word is bond.