Tag Archives: hostel

Reasons why January is THE month for traveling and staying at a hostel

December is an awesome month to travel, but if budget traveling is your thing - then January's the month to go. Image via Grosen Hain

December is an awesome month to travel, but if budget traveling is your thing – then January’s the month to go. Image via Grosen Hain

We all know why December’s a good month for traveling. Christmas is the international symbol for family time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean staying at home. New Year comes with even more desire for exploration. Even though the resolutions are nothing but clichés most of the time and they don’t last much, a traveler would never deny himself the pleasure of another fantastic journey. If not for the sake of new promises, at least because there are lots of reasons why January is, in fact, the one month of the year we should be taking seriously into consideration when planning trips. Here’s why:

The prices

This is the main reason – everything is so cheap in January! People are often afraid to recommend so-called dead periods as great times to travel, but we should reconsider this statement, and start thinking outside the box – the economic benefits are huge.

Image via Five Dollar Travel.

The air travel industry recognizes a period as ‘dead’ due to the lack or small number of flights taking place. And as basic capitalism knowledge would suggest, this is also the time of the year when some of the most consistent discounts are offered. All you have to do is wait until the beginning of January when the discounts will boom and book your ticket then. December is one of the most expensive months to travel, because of the peak season, reason for which you won’t see any truly significant discounts until the beginning of January, when it’s best to act.

And if we’re speaking of industries, everything’s cheaper this time of year: from museums to theaters, concerts and even pubs, not to mention how affordable it becomes to even come shopping in a new country where you’ve always wanted to buy yourself a pair of boots from.

But it’s not just the travel companies who suffer of lack of customers during this time of year, the hostels are in the same situation as well. After a month as full as December, one would only expect the discrepancy to feel even more powerful that it would normally seem, which is why many hostels offer discounts as well. After cleaning the mess from the New Year’s party, the hostel staff often starts noticing the difference of atmosphere – instead of hundreds of people calling daily to ask for just another spare room, there is very rare activity in the empty rooms.

Of course, most people don’t travel in January – and if you do, you’ll also have the luxury of avoiding the huge lines and crowded areas. You’ll be able to eat in whatever restaurant you want, you’ll enjoy peace and quiet, and you’ll be able to do things in your own way – no rush, no worries, just peace and quiet.

So, have we convinced you yet? There’s still a bit to go from this month, what are your travel plans for the start of the year?

Who stays at hostels? A short review of what to search for

Suppose you’ve already packed for a destination where you’re about to visit. Suppose you’re not traveling alone, you’re going with your significant other, family, friends or just coworkers. There are lots of people who don’t opt for hostels because they start from the premises that the only people they’ll find here are students. And it’s not entirely wrong, because this is how hostels became popular in the first place. On the other hand, this perspective is not necessarily true either.

There are all kinds of hostels popular for being family-friendly or partying-friendly or whatever-you-need-friendly. All you have to do is some research before actually booking a place in case you’re traveling on a budget or you simply want to visit the world like a traveler, not like a usual tourist. The chances for you to magically go to the type of hostel you’d like to stay at without reading something about it at first are quite small, unfortunately. This is why you should first look for location and then see the reviews from people who’ve already been there in order to make the right decision.

However, after you’ve done some online documentation, all you have to do is book the hostel. Just in case, we’ve made a list with the most probable kinds of people you’ll be seeing in hostel.

 

First of all, it’s the party animals – the ones who don’t travel for the touristic attractions, but for the social networking, the people, the culture, the fun. They’re the kind of people who want to have fun like all the natives from all the states and places they’ve visited. If you’re lucky enough to catch them sober, you’ll see they’re very friendly people and you’ll be surprised how educated they are, even though the stereotype says they’ve never followed any serious academic assessments. Of course, it may be not the solid general culture that will amaze you, but the amazing experiences they’ve had all over the world, the stunning places they’ve seen between hangovers and the awesome people they’ve met. And if you’re cool enough, they may even end up talking about you in their future trips, who knows? They’re always prepared with tons of alcohol and they make friends in the morning while they’re still drunk to have some new company for the night. It’s not a rule, but in the popular hostels for partying they’re the last ones to leave the premises and the first ones to raise their glasses in the air every other night. If they’re really interested in you and you seem to be quite a distinct character they may even join you to visit all the attractions as soon as you’ll invite them.

 

Then, it’s the couples. Usually young ones and not very sociable, they either spend their time exclusively together or you’ll barely see them – leaving in the morning and arriving after midnight. Of course, the older couples who’ve started the trip just to socialize and meet new awesome people are a little more friendly and – surprisingly enough – they don’t prefer couples necessarily when socializing, so telling them to join your party or play some board games in the late evening after dining someplace nice would sound like a great idea for both parts. Depending on the kind of couple, some of them prefer to stay at family hostels, where there’s no one to disturb their romantic time together and everybody will treat them like a family – they’re going to be one someday soon after all, right?

 

As about the families, they’re almost never seen at the party hostels and it’s only normal like this. All they want is spend some relaxing time together away from their everyday life full of new job assignments and grown-up problems. As a rule, they’re more polite than eager to socialize and meet new people, the purpose of their trip is far from meeting new interesting people. However, if it happens, they’re going to be nice, spend some time with you, and treat you like you’re one of their own. Once you get to be friends with them there are really good chances to keep in touch even after you’re back home. Again, if you’re nice enough and not too pushy (they hate this, but – hey – who doesn’t?) you may even end up planning some trips together in the future (mostly during the holidays, they don’t have too much free time to enjoy roaming around.

Taking your kids on a trip with you and staying at a hostel is another good idea – especially since there are lots of other people doing this too. And if you’re not with a large group of friends (who may even have their kids with them as well) making friends with other families who’ve brought their children on holiday is a great idea. Your kid is also allowed to have fun, so don’t be too selfish before denying him any kind of socialization with other families.

 

The students are not the first category of people who choose hostels as accommodation, but they’re pretty attached to this kind of life on the road. There are many types of students as well: the ones who came to other country for a scholarship for instance tend to be more serious, choose a hostel where to stay during their entire semester (or period of study) and keep themselves busy with school-related problems. You’ll see them partying, but mostly on weekends and during the holidays if they haven’t returned at home to see their families. And there are the students who are either dropouts or have decided to interrupt their education for a year or two in order to visit the world, get to know people and cultures and gain some useful life experience. Of course, some of them are the party animals we were talking about in the first paragraphs. But not necessarily, others you may see always keeping a book on their shelf (another one every day), or carrying their guitar wherever, some bohemian, others just hipsters, but pretty different from the party animals. The distinction is easy to make – these ones are more preoccupied to see places and get to have some interesting conversations rather than just get drunker than the previous night.

 

And, of course, there are the full grown-ups. People who were sent on delegation to work from another place and find hotels impersonal or just can’t afford one often decide to stay at a hostel. Of course, they’ll carefully choose the most calm and comfortable option, the most silent of the places (even though it’s not in the center of the city – this way it’s cheaper as well!). Quiet places are what they look for most of the times and if there’s one category they best fit with, it’s clearly the family hostels! Because they’re away from their families and friends for a long period of time, they often get to be friends with the receptionists and other people from the staff who will soon enough treat him as family more than just another tourist. If you’re looking for a nice place where you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset on a balcony or terrace drinking your coffee while planning what more there is to visit, the kind of hostel you’re looking for is the one in which the full grown up on a delegation would choose. And searching for some reviews online is not that hard to do, especially if you can’t afford (because of either time or money) more than one or two trips per year (and sometimes not even that). If you’re generally stressed out or very tired, accommodation should matter a lot more than if you’re just casual about your every trip.

Don’t forget to book in advance so that your research will not have been in vain!