Pros and Cons of Youth Hostels El Paso, Tx

Jan - 07 2013

Is a Youth Hostel Stay Right for You?


Like all budget accommodations, youth hostels aren’t perfect. You won’t get turndown service each night, but your stay won’t blow your travel budget. Before booking a youth hostel room, consider the pros and cons of hostels.



  • Cost

  • Youth hostels are inexpensive. Unless you bunk on a friend’s couch or find a low-cost bed and breakfast in a private home, you’ll probably spend less on youth hostel lodgings than you would pay anywhere else.

  • Information

  • It’s easy to find out about a particular youth hostel and learn about hostelling. Hostelling International’s extensive and informative website connects you with hostels around the world. You can telephone or email individual hostels to get specific information about their facilities and programs. HI also publishes annual Youth Hostels Guides.

  • Location, Location, Location

  • You can find youth hostels in every imaginable location. Avid shoppers might prefer downtown hostels, while hikers can stay in the country. You can stay in unique historic castles, modern buildings and on top of mountains.

  • Be aware that some youth hostels, while beautifully situated, can be quite difficult to reach by public transportation. Others are centrally located, but don’t offer parking. Research your transportation options before you pay for your stay.

  • Cultural Opportunities

  • You’ll meet people from all over the world when you start hostelling. You can talk with parents taking their children to see museums and cathedrals. Perhaps you’ll get acquainted with someone from your host country as you relax in the TV lounge. Staying in a hostel in your own country gives you the opportunity to be an informal ambassador, offering a welcoming smile and helpful tips to travelers from far away.

  • Quality Standards

  • Hostelling International has developed worldwide standards for HI hostels. Because each hostel is run by a national hostelling organization, there are two levels of inspection, national and international. Each hostel is inspected for safety, cleanliness and comfort. Most youth hostels are cleaned by the staff; the days when students pitched in to help pay for their hostel stays are gone, ensuring that uniform standards are met.

  • Some hostels are privately owned and are not bound by HI’s quality requirements. If you plan to stay at a private hostel, try to read customer reviews before you book your room.

  • Leisure Activities

  • Many youth hostels have TV lounges, playgrounds for children, bars and cafés to help you enjoy your free time. In some countries, such as Germany, youth hostels offer themed activities ranging from environmental study to cultural opportunities. Still others can connect you to local tours, special events and even performances. If you’re not sure what to do to pass the time, you can always ask the helpful front desk staff; they’ll provide maps, information and brochures about the local area.

  • Breakfast and Kitchen Privileges

  • Your youth hostel stay usually includes breakfast. Most hostels serve breakfast during a set period each morning, but you may be able to make arrangements for a portable breakfast if you must leave the hostel before breakfast begins. Many hostels allow you to use a common kitchen area to prepare food. Be sure to ask about kitchen privileges (“self-catering”) when you book your room. Don’t forget to find out what cooking utensils you’ll need to bring.


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