Backpackers’ hostels have come a long way from what used to be just places of cheap lodging to save money. Hostels are made for travellers, often by other travellers. Today’s hostels are more synonymous with a lifestyle. Our friends over at Charlie have it articulated how staying in hostels can help you travel in style. With stylish and sociable common areas, state-of-the-art equipped facilities and often embellishing strong design tones, they now attract travellers from all walks of life…and more often than not retain them.
So, let’s begin with why we think it’s advantageous to stay in hostels:
Friendly Communal Areas
Apart from the obviousness of saving money, hostels offer something significant which hotels don’t – the opportunity to socialize and make friends. Sure, hotels offer lobbies and other public areas potentially offering socializing opportunities. But the real difference is the mindset. It starts with the hostel management willing to set the tone as such. The next key is to recruit staff who go above & beyond to be exceptional hosts. And finally the guests themselves – hostel travellers tend to be readily more approachable. At the end of the day everyone is attracted to the common areas to have a good time together and to celebrate their travels.
What eventually transpires from plenty such gatherings is this magical energy which you ought to experience for yourself – it can’t be put into words. Dance together, play games or simply exchange travel stories over beers. That’s what hostel common rooms are all about.
The importance of communal areas is obvious. This is why we have created multiple indoor & outdoor public areas for you to mingle with other travellers at ITH.
One of the most significant advantages hostels pose are the cheaper prices for accommodation. Dormitories with bunk beds are the most popular choice. Accommodating multiple folks into a single room helps hostellers offer prices that hotels simply can’t beat. However, most hostels also offer private rooms at cheaper rates than hotels. If shared rooms are not your thing, this is an option to reckon.
Budget travellers are far less finicky about privacy, and thus typically don’t mind sharing rooms with other travellers. A bit of privacy is a worthwhile trade off for cheaper prices. But it is safe to say that most folks still enjoy privacy as much as affordable. Modern hostels have thus begun catering to this hostel luxury by offering bed-level curtains. It surely makes your kip a tad bit more private. Another trendy solution are capsule beds. Not many hostels furnish this option. But when offered, it can be quite attractive because of the closed private space capsule beds provide.
ITH was one of the first hostels in India to furnish beds with curtains in the Superior Dorm category. We offer mixed and female-only dorms at modest prices.
Communal kitchens have to be among the top-desired hostel amenities. Food can quickly build up towards the top of your travel budget, especially when dining out everyday. Maybe it is just the matter of finding food to your liking, or one that suits your food lifestyle. For instance, finding vegetarian or vegan food in meat-heavy societies can be a real challenge. This is where communal kitchens at hostels tend to be saviours. The ability to buy food at the local market, or even the neighbourhood supermarket, can help cut food costs significantly.
Then of course the very charm of cooking together and sharing your food with other travellers as a community is unbeatable. Where else can you find a young Spanish traveller willing to share his grandma’s secret Gazpacho recipe with you while you in return share your own authentic Chinese fried Spinach with them? In the name of trying out authentic food from other cultures, this is as authentic as it gets!
At ITH we offer a full food & drinks menu as part of our in-house bistro. Nevertheless, we also offer a fully-equipped communal kitchen where you can cook your own vegetarian food.
Most hostels organize some kind of social activity pretty much on a regular basis. Think yoga classes, dances, movies, or even cooking classes. Participating in such activities can be a great way to interact with and befriend your fellow travellers. This is especially beneficial for the shy ones who would rather not approach the other in just the regular setting.
At ITH we put up movie & sport screenings from time-to-time as well as impromptu parties. Hindu festival celebrations are of course core to our being and are periodically organized for all major festivals, with Holi being the most popular.
Friendships beyond Borders
Last but surely not the least are the many friendships that are sewn together at hostels. The curious opportunities that hostels provide for people to open up to each other and share the most incredible stories from their travels or even from back home are enormous. This often ends up forming true friendships that go beyond borders and stretch across decades, if not a lifetime.
Hostels are also brewing grounds for many a love stories, in case you wanted more compelling reasons to become a hostel traveller yourself…
Numerous new friendships have formed within the walls of ITH over the years. We are delighted every time we see total strangers checking-in and turning into dear friends by the time they check-out.
We’ll leave you with a bit of advice:
If you have an innate desire to see the world far & beyond, or if you are seeking love in an unexpected place, perhaps it is time for you to pack up and go. Go, check into a hostel in a faraway land. Explore. Whether or not you find love, whether or not you find friends, you will definitely find a newborn self-love and a new light to see the things differently in the same good old world of yours.
Are you tempted to become a hostel traveller just yet? 😉