Anytime I tell anyone I’m staying in a hostel I’m met with the same reaction. Usually disgust or comments that “I’m really brave”. But the truth is hostels are nothing like they are portrayed in those horror films.
They are an absolutely fantastic way of meeting other solo travelers and it’s so easy to build friendships when staying in dorms. I always worried that I’d get fed up of people being noisy, throwing parties or whatever but in reality 95% of people are extremely respectful of their room mates.
I’ve stayed in some absolutely beautiful hostels that are just as good if not better than a hotel. One of my favourites is the Freehand hostel in Miami. I’ve stayed there twice this year and am always telling anyone going to Miami to stay there. The beds are set up in such a way that allows for a lot of privacy and space, and they aren’t at all creaky like the beds in some other hostels. Both times I’ve stayed I have made friends for life in my dorm room. They also have a pool which is very rare for a hostel and excellent nightlife- the ambiance at night on the patio is unreal. Some other great hostels I’ve stayed at are the M hostel in Montreal and the Lobo de Mar hostel in Playa Del Carmen. Extremely clean and CHEAP, excellent nightlife and super friendly staff.
If you’re thinking about travelling solo or even with friends I’d definitely recommend staying in a hostel. Do your research and read some reviews before and you’ll be fine. They are a great way to save money too.
Don’t worry about what you’ve heard about those dirty hostels, don’t worry about being too shy to meet anyone (I’m the world’s shyest person) and don’t worry about getting your stuff stolen- most people are trust worthy and a lot of hostels have lockers or will rent out padlocks. Just take the leap and go for it!