If you are what you’d politely call a frugal person (read: you’re close enough to broke that it’s a concern but still splurge on Uber Eats on a weekly basis), you’re probably the kind of person who either travels on a minimal budget or not at all. And given that travelling is probably one of the best things you can do with your time in this humble human’s opinion, that second option just won’t do.
Cynical people will tell you that you should save up until you don’t have to “spend your time in hostels”, while sneering or, I don’t know, stealing puppies to make a fur coat. But why discount hostels off the bat so quickly?
We’re guessing you’ve heard a whole lot of BS about what it’s really like to stay in one, so we’re whisking away your misconceptions faster than you can say, “yes, I would like to have a fourth serving of the continental brekkie”.
1. They’re all out of the way
Unless you’re off on a super intense healing meditational trip where you want to avoid every last scrap of humanity on this green earth, you’re probably going to want to be right in the thick of things when you go on holiday. You know, ease of access, surrounded by fun and activities.
It’s another big ol’ misconception that hostels are all out of the way, down awkwardly placed back alleys that have not-so-friendly folk wandering around nearby. That’s just nonsense – there are hostels right smack bang in the middle of the city.
There are countless YHA Australia locations around the country ranging from lil’ baby country shacks through to multi-storey city sites with hectic views, so whether you want to be around people or you want to isolate yourself in favour of blankets and a good book, there’s a hostel for anyone.
2. They’re packed with dudes playing Wonderwall
Hostels are full of all types of folk – and yes, there will likely be a lot of backpackers and frugal travellers – but the most dreaded of all customers is the middle-aged dude with the sliiiightly out-of-tune acoustic guitar slung around his neck, just waiting to bust out a ditty at a moment’s notice.
He’s the type of bloke who hangs in the corner like a furtive frog, just waiting for a terrible pun or opening where he can interject with a sniggering, “oh you like horses? You know, my good pal Daryl Braithwaite was pretty fond of ’em too…”
But entertainment at hostels doesn’t have to be that colossally cliché. There are rooftop bars, indoor pools and saunas, and a bunch of discounted activities nearby if you know who to ask. The options are endless.
It’ll have you outta the room and raring to go before you can say, “So anyway, here’s Wonderwall“.
3. They’re not as much fun if they aren’t overseas
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Excuse me but Australia is a bloody huge place so if you’re trying to tell us that you’ve seen it all and that a holiday won’t be as much fun when you’re still on the same colossally huge continent that would take literal weeks to traverse – mates, you’re kidding yourselves.
As someone who was regularly taken on caravan trips up and down the east coast of Australia as a kid, let me tell you right here and right now that a hostel can be just as much fun in Australia than it can be somewhere like Europe or Asia.
Plus Australia is just bloody beautiful so you might as well go check it out. People literally fly from all over the world to come see our backyard, so don’t be a snobby binch and get to seeing it yourself.
4. They’re crap for privacy
“Why yes, I’d love to share the room with twelve mouth-breathers who seem to have gone unwashed for a period of months” is not a sentence you’ll ever cop from anyone with any semblance or shred of sanity. But the underlying sentiment that hostels are bad for that much-needed privacy is outdated AF.
In all seriousness, this argument is probably the most laughable on the list because the very simple fix is…. well… don’t book a group room? Woah – I’m sorry, didn’t mean to just dump that one on ya without warning. It’s a big revelation, I’m sure.
For real, there are STACKS of ensuite double rooms available and you can always go in with your mates on a four-bed room if you don’t wanna share with a buncha strangers. But really, am I the only one who finds it hilarious that people are all worked up about privacy when it’s literally their call to purchase a group room?
5. They’re not super ~romantic~
If you’re travelling with a partner you’re gonna want to make sure that everything is absolutely perfect – whether you’re freshly dating or have been together long enough to leave the door open when one of you is having a wee (gross but you do you).
Hostels haven’t historically been painted as the most romantic of getaway spots – and while that can be true sometimes, it sure as heck isn’t the general rule. Scope out places like Nimbin Rox YHA or Townsville YHA – they’re stunning, romantic and have that little somethin’ somethin’ that’ll put you and your boo in the mood.
Besides (brace for vom-inducing sentiment, the likes of which you’ve never seen), you can be utterly romantic anywhere as long as you’re together. And ya know. Getting busy.
So next time you roll your eyes at the thought of staying in a dodgy little hostel, check yourselves pal. YHA has a buncha excellent places available all over Australia so you might as well travel with a bit of class – and ya know, without breaking the ol’ piggy bank.Image: Chantelle Schmidt