Travis at the frequent-flyer blog Extra Pack of Peanuts had a post titled, Why Hostels Are Better Than Hotels. Among other reasons, he waxed poetic on the benefits of the local touch and community atmosphere. Many hostels are owned and operated by locals, so you get a more intimate feel than you would at a chain hotel. As for community, most hostels are set up to encourage interaction between guests. You might strike up a conversation while watching TV or sipping tea on the rooftop.
He helpfully includes photos and names of his favorite hostels around the world. Note: the hostel he recommends for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia–Rainforest B&B–is out of business. I stayed there the first time I visited KL in 2008 and thought it was fantastic. Huge and had the fun feel of a jungle lodge. Last I heard, the owner was planning to open a new hostel.
The No. 1 reason I continue to stay in hostels it to meet people. I can’t adequately describe how much richer my travels were because of the people I met along the way.
Why do you stay in hostels? Please share your thoughts in the comments.