Are Hostels Safe? 8 Myths About Hostels Debunked


Hostels have always been a budget traveler’s best friend, offering affordable accommodation options in some of the most beautiful and exciting destinations around the world. However, despite their popularity, there are many misconceptions and myths that deter potential guests. People wonder: Are hostels safe? Am I too old to stay in a hostel? Are they only for people who like to party? 

Before I traveled Europe this year, I was unaware of what hostels truly represented and had no idea of their immense benefits. In this blog post, our team is debunking eight common myths about hostels. Read on to learn more – you might be surprised!

1. Hostels are only for backpackers

One of the most common myths about hostels is that they are exclusively for backpackers. While hostels may have their roots in catering to backpackers, today, they welcome a diverse range of travelers, including solo travelers, couples, digital nomads, students, and even retirees! Hostels offer private rooms and amenities that appeal to a wide array of preferences and budgets. Read our guide to all the different kinds of hostels you can book with HostelPass. 

2. Hostels are dirty

In reality, many hostels prioritize cleanliness and provide regular cleaning services. Modern hostels often have well-maintained facilities and comfortable and fresh bedding. Some hostels are like hotels and even provide similar amenities, like towels and bathroom toiletries (soap, shampoo, hairdryer, etc). Definitely read reviews before booking your hostel to ensure a pleasant stay and so you can get a feel for how clean the hostel is!

3. Hostels are not safe

Are hostels safe? If you’ve only seen hostels through the horror movie, Hostel, I’m glad to tell you hostels are nothing like that! Safety is a top priority for hostels and many hostels have secure entrances (ex: a keypad to get in), storage lockers for your luggage and valuables, and 24-hour reception desks. Additionally, hostels often have a sense of community, and many travelers look out for each other. 

4. Hostels are only for young people

Contrary to popular belief, hostels are not just for young people. Travelers of all ages can find hostels that cater to their preferences and needs. Some hostels may have a more youthful atmosphere, while others offer a quieter and more mature environment. I’ve met people in hostels who are 50+ and thriving, and it’s amazing to meet people from different backgrounds and experiences in hostels. 

5. Hostels are just a place to sleep

Many hostels have volunteers or staff whose job is to cultivate community and organize activities and events. If you’re looking to meet new people or hang out, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find many hostels offer amenities similar to hotels, like free breakfast and communal spaces for socializing – including rooftop bars! With HostelPass, many of our partners offer free welcome drinks and free/discounted tours, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the many benefits.

6. Hostels are only for people who like to party 

While some hostels are known for their party vibes, not all hostels are the same, and the atmosphere will differ depending on who you meet, when you stay, and what sort of activities the hostel has planned. Throughout my travels this spring, I met a wide variety of people. While some liked to stay out and go dancing, some preferred doing day activities and then chilling and talking in the hostel at night. Many hostels also offer quiet areas and enforce noise policies to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep for all guests. There’s something for everyone!

7. Hostels lack privacy

Although hostels are known for their communal areas and dorm-style rooms, many offer private rooms with their own bathroom. These are perfect if you want your own space but are on a budget or want access to community and shared spaces. If you don’t have the budget to book a private room, many hostel beds also have privacy curtains, which are used to block out light and create more privacy between you and the rest of the room. Often, travelers will be respectful of your privacy if they see you have the privacy curtain pulled, so don’t discount the decency of other human beings! 

8. Hostels are always in bad neighborhoods

Hostels can be found in a variety of locations, including city centers, beachfronts, and scenic countryside areas. All of our accommodations on HostelPass have been carefully selected to ensure the best travel experience so you don’t need to compromise safety for convenience. Indeed, our company was founded by a solo female traveler, so we definitely prioritize safety for our community, and all our hostels show that!

Ready to experience hostels in Europe? 

Hostels have evolved over the years and now offer a wide range of options for travelers of all kinds. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a student, a digital nomad, a couple, or a retiree, you are bound to find a hostel suited to your travel preferences and needs, and hostels truly have something to offer everyone.

I hope I’ve calmed your worries with questions like are hostels safe, clean, and more than a place to sleep. So, don’t forget your hostel essentials and get ready to book your next adventure with HostelPass!

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