Return to Home Page

May 24, 2012

Evolution of hostels

Can you imagine being woken up at a hostel at 7:30am to chop fire wood or complete your chores before breakfast?

Chore detail had fizzled-out before 2009 when I hostel hopped for several months; spending anywhere from three nights to two weeks at various places. Personally, I enjoyed seeking out the odd ones, like old prisons or sailing ships. But what I discovered recently was, that same year the concept of youth hostels had officially been around for a century!

First youth hostel, Rhine Valley Germany photo/castles.org

Apparently the idea came from Richard Schirrmann who led extended hikes across the German countryside and sought shelter for his group at farms along the way. But on one rainy night in the summer of 1909 Schirrmann and his companions were turned away by a farmer. Though they weren’t forced to resort to sleeping in the rain; it was a close enough call that he dreamed up the vision of widespread dorm-type accommodations. A year later the first youth hostel opened at Altena Castle in Rhine Valley which is still in operation to this day.

In the beginning beds were stuffed with straw, chores part of the payment and everyone was required to be out exploring during daylight hours. But now each one has its own social vibe and offers creature comforts. Hostels actually do more business than large hotel chains and are progressing with demands by offering smaller more private rooms.

How different would backpacking be without hostels? Have you ever done chores while staying at one?

Posted by | Comments (1) 
Category: Backpacking, Europe, General, Hostels/Hotels, Notes from the collective travel mind


One Response to “Evolution of hostels”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Chores as a required part of being at a hostel is practically dead, but I’ve done chores while hanging out like helping hang sheets, fixing leaky faucets, moving furniture or cooking meals with the staff. Sometimes, I miss doing things like that while traveling, so it’s fun and relaxing.

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Peter: I left on a Bedford Indigo bus with about 30 others, driver John, bound for...

karma geddon: In 1974 I deviated a little from The Trail in that I branched right at...

Laura Lopuch: Renegadepilgrim, you are right — I totally missed the Sawyer...

Jennifer Miller: Mmmm. Indeed. This applies to so much more than travel.

Katie: Beautiful quote! Very profound. I think I’ll have to mull this one over...

Steve: what road actually existed when RJ sold his soul ? Old Hwy. 8. Between Cleveland...

john rabbitt: That is indeed DESSIE O CONNOR HE IS FROM Tipperary in Ireland He was a...

shelly: hi chris, thanks for using that pic. That’s my dad starting off his day....

Val: I’m troubled by the same issue: how to keep habits while travelling? I...

Roger: I hardly ever have the opportunity to go anywhere on a whim, but thanks for...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Should you volunteer abroad?
Vagabonding Case Study: Karin-Marijke Vis
On returning: Things change
What makes us blind is that we think we see
Two Places to Rock to in Malaysia
On Baksheesh
Morning Rituals
Why you should be reminded about “mistake-fares”
Vagabonding Field Report: Magnetic Island and Barbie Cars
Australia’s Red Center: The beautiful nothing


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts