The Advantages of a Hostel
My wife and I recently stayed in a hostel in Salida, Colorado.
It is only an hour or so from our house, but we had been to some
hot springs in the area and didn't feel like going home that
night. I'll have more to say about this particular hostel in
The first and perhaps most obvious advantage of a hostel versus
a hotel, is the price. Renting a bed is cheaper than renting
a room. In some places you'll pay four times as much for a hotel
room. Interestingly, even the private rooms that some hostels
offer are usually less than in a hotel, although some of them
do not have a private bathroom.
The lower price is not the only way you save money, nor are
the savings the only advantage. Having a kitchen available for
your use means you can choose to prepare your own meal instead
of going to a restaurant. That can save you quite a bit.
You get to meet people in a hostel, because there are common
areas that are shared, including a kitchen and usually a living
room. I have met people from a dozen countries in one hostel,
over a period of just three days. Travelers from other countries
are more likely to use hostels.
Hostels are also typically fonts of information for travelers.
There are usually maps and brochures available, and the managers/owners
keep up on everything going on in the area. Of course, you can
learn a lot about your options from other travelers as well.
The Simple Lodge & Hostel, where we spent the night
after going to Princeton Hot Springs, is a good example of why
you might want to try a hostel. To begin with, it was closer
to the center of downtown Salida than any of the hotels, which
meant we were able to walk to the river, the bars, shops and
restaurants. It is common for hostels to be near the center of
This was also the cleanest hostel we had ever been in. Cleanliness
is not usually one of the strong points of hostels - it is tough
to keep a place clean and orderly when at times twenty people
are sharing common space. The Simple was spotless.
We rented a private room. The savings from renting a bed are
greatest when there is one person, so hostels work best for single
travelers. In fact, the price for two beds would have saved us
only about $8 over getting the room to ourselves.
A three minute walk to a local health food store, and I had
rice noodles and natural soda for dinner. That saved us the price
of eating out (which meant we could order some more expensive
drinks when we did go out later). You have to wash your own dishes,
of course, which is why we kept it simple (one pan, two bowls,
If you are ever in Salida (there are mountains and trails,
kayaking the Arkansas, and the Monarch Mountain for skiing),
this is a great hostel to stay at.