2014 no way, not even if I was in my 20's...it is an accident waiting to happen.
Some people you meet on the street are enough to make you want to walk on the other side.
So if I sleep in a room with strangers, what am I really doing with my safety.
You have no idea if they are using drugs..or in need of money, no it's not something that I would even consider.
I have slept on the street once, and it is safer.
Wow, I'm really astounded at some of these responses. Actually, I'm travelling around Europe at the moment and am actually in a backpacker hostel right now. I've been hostelling since I was 18 as it's such a great way to meet interesting people from all around the world, and I've rarely encountered any of the issues or dicey people that have been mentioned here. Backpacker or budget traveller hostels are not homeless shelters or refuges for drunks and junkies. They provide cheap accommodation and interesting company for people who would prefer to spend their travel time exploring the places and cultures of other countries rather than lazing beside a swimming pool or bar in some inane generic resort. It also enables extended travel so that people can truly experience another country, rather than simply flit through and say, 'well, I've done France.' I'm certainly not a dirty, ignorant drunk, and very few of my fellow travellers are.
No way, I'd never stay at a hostel - even for the thrill of being a backpacker. I prefer my own space, and things can go missing when sharing a large room with others. I prefer my own single room when away.
It's definitely one of those things that should be on a bucket list; to say you did it. There are pros and cons to this situation:
Pros - meeting new, interesting people, cost-effective, communal living, socializing through hostel activities
Cons - lack of personal space, cleanliness issues, communal living, lack of security, restrictions
It can either be a terrifying or exhilarating experience!
I have stayed in a few, since at the time it was all I could afford. Some were great and some were horrible. The best ones felt like staying at a friend's house, where you never worried about your stuff getting stolen and people spontaneously got together and pooled resources to share an evening meal. The worst was probably one where I was woken up over and over by drunken idiots and some doofus sleeping through his alarm. It also had a truly shudder inducing toilet.
Not anymore. When I was younger and more adventurous I backpacked around Europe with a friend and had a great time staying in various YHAs - I was on a budget so it was a great way to see as much of the countries I visited as possible. We never left anything of value in the rooms, and some of them weren't the best, but it was an interesting experience. These days I wouldn't do it because I have kids and I like to sleep on a comfy bed at the end of a day of sightseeing.
I have as a single traveller - and now we book them out - so 32 - 45 of us will book out the whole hostel - it's fantastic and the kids love it. http://holidazeandhellidaze.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/lupine-adventures-pittwater-yha.html
Also in New York we did, my partner and I. We got an apartment room, that had it's own bathroom. We paid $95 a night for it. Then we moved to a Suite in a fancy hotel and paid $900 for a SMALLER room, that had a louder airconditioner. So you never can tell.
I would for the cheapness of it, but as a family of 3, not sure if there's many family Hostels around, for extended travel I would look out for family hostels for part of the trip, save a bit of money.
Staying in hostels is the best way to meet other like minded travellers and discover the best hidden gems a location has to offer.
Sadly, I think that people who are too precious to try staying in hostels will be denying themselves some amazing experiences.
I have stayed in many hostels across the USA and always had an absolute blast. I even ended up living and working in USA Hostels San Diego where I made some of my best friends.
Just one example of an experience I wouldn't have had if I hadn't been in a hostel was in San Francisco. We were told about a special event that was happening at 5am the following morning to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the great earthquake which we never would have known about had we just been obliviously holed up in a hotel. It was an spine tingling moment as hundreds of us made our way in the early hours of the morning to the service and stood in pitch darkness as the sirens rang out in remembrance. Such a historic moment and I still remember it vividly and am so glad we were chatting with the other hostel patrons who were in the know.
I also think that if you want to spend your days lazing by a swimming pool, you might as well just book into your local hotel. Why waste your money on traveling if you don't really want to experience or see anything of the local culture.
Don't get me wrong, hostels can be noisy and cold and you basically need to lock your food up with a padlock so it doesn't get eaten by the strange French Canadian guy who sings in the shower (personal experience), but you will meet some of the most fascinating people who will happily share with you the best places they have discovered to visit. You will undoubtedly make friends from all over the world. Personally, I wouldn't miss out on that for any 5 star hotel!
I used to when I was younger however in this day and age and with all the drugs around, I'm not sure if I would do it again.
I did it freely without a care in all sorts of hostels around the world, however perhaps the most truthful answer for me now would be BRING ON THE RITZ CARLTON! (Not that I have ever stayed there.
I have stayed at backpacker's hostels when we were first married and on our way to the Northern territory, they weren't too bad, we went back to the same one in Alice Springs a few years later and unfortunately changed management, it became like a sleazy hotel.
have stayed in one in Cairns Queensland Aus, I was 76 my friend 75, we had a living room bedroom and bathroom for $30 Aud a night, great experience, meeting and getting to know young People from all over the world and we are both female