Inside a modern U Hostel room with bunkbeds and purple and white decor
A hostel is a style of accommodation rather than a standard and they can be run to any level of cleanliness.
Photo Credit: Uhostels

7 Absurd Myths About Hostels That'll Make You Rethink Them

Hostels Can Be a Great Budget Option

When I talk about staying in hostels on my travels all over the world, many people are intrigued — but there are a few who wrinkle up their noses in disgust. “How could you sleep in a hostel dorm with a bunch of strangers?” they ask, utterly horrified by the prospect.

Usually the people who say this have never stayed in a hostel before, so they are working on inaccurate preconceived notions about what it is like. There are a lot of misconceptions about hostels which scare people away from this great low-budget form of accommodation.

One of the main questions people have about hostels is, “are hostels safe?” It’s a common assumption that they are dangerous and untrustworthy.

Let’s take a look at some of these myths — and what the actual truth about hostels is.

They Are Dirty

Why is there a notion that hostels are dirtier than hotels or guesthouses? Some hostels are dirty, but some hotels are filthy, too.

Some hostels are spotless and gleaming, with better standards of cleanliness than some guesthouses or hotels I have stayed in. A hostel is a style of accommodation rather than a standard and they can be run to any level of cleanliness.

Inside a private hostel room in Isaacs Hostel in DublinEarplugs work wonders for shutting out any noise, and an eye mask will keep out the light.Photo Credit: Isaac's Hostel

You Won’t Get a Good Sleep

When you are sleeping in a dorm room with four to 10 other people, the number of factors that might affect your sleep increases. The guy in the bunk below you might be a loud snorer, the girls across from you might come in late and wake you up with their drunken chatter, or the couple next to you might be packing their bags at 5:00 a.m. to catch an early flight.

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to sleep. Earplugs work wonders for shutting out the noise, and an eye mask will keep you from hissing like Gollum when someone turns on the light.

Also, many hostels around the world offer private rooms for a slightly higher price — so if you don’t mind the extra cost, you can sleep in peace and quiet.

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Inside a colorful room at the Old Prague HostelHostels are just a fun style of communal accommodation for travelers on a budget, not horror movies come to life.Photo Credit: Old Prague Hostel

They Are Dangerous

I blame films such as Hostel for making people think that if they stay in a hostel they will be violently murdered and chopped into little pieces. The truth is that hostels are just a fun style of communal accommodation for travelers on a budget, not horror movies come to life.

I’ve been traveling for the last five years and have stayed at dozens of hostels and I haven’t been murdered once!

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