Ever since I started traveling as a young adult, I’ve made it a habit to always stay in hostels whenever I can because I am a budget traveler. Not only are hostels cheaper, but they are a good environment to meet new people from all over the world. The hostels that I’ve stayed at have allowed me to come into contact with different people from all different walks of life and it really is an eye opener. I’ve stayed at a hostel in Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago and each of the hostels have their own charms…..and flaws lol, but they all have two things in common: I always met new and awesome travelers in those hostels and I always get free breakfast every morning. I will be constantly updating this post because the more and more I travel leisurely, I will try and stay at hostels and I will post them on here and kind of give a little review and my experiences at them.
SoBe Hostel & Bar: In Miami, I stayed at the SoBe hostel and that was my first time staying in a hostel. The room that I stayed in had 12 people in it… Yes 12 people! I was surprised that they could fit that many bunk-beds in that room because one thing about hostel rooms is that they aren’t always the most spacious or glamorous lol. But the point of hostels is that it is a cheap place to sleep. Being at this Miami hostel was exciting but also annoying sometimes. Since there were a lot of people in my room, sleeping peacefully was a little hard to achieve since your roommates come in at all types of times in the night and they can be very loud but you just have to get used to it if you are in a party central location like South Beach lol. The hostel had a nice kitchen, lounge, and patio area where the guests could sit around and mingle with one another. I met so many people at the hostel from different countries and it was a really fun time. The hostel also had various night outings which was nice for newcomers like myself. SoBe hostel was in a central location in South Beach and it was very easy to walk to the beach and walk around South Beach as a whole.
Walk of Fame Hostel: In Los Angeles, different circumstances had me book this hostel at the very last minute, but nevertheless, it was still a good choice! I always get excited when I get to stay at hostels because I always get to meet new travelers. At this hostel, I stayed in a room that only had 4 people, which was a lot quieter than 12 people hahaha! Walk of Fame hostel was located right in the heart of the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, so walking to the Hollywood sign was not too far away. Speaking of the Hollywood sign, that was one of the activities that the hostel set up for their guests and it was a really fun way to mingle with the other guests. It was a long and tiring walk to the Hollywood sign, but having a big group from the hostel made the walk tolerable and enjoyable! There were also bar outings with the other guests that the hostel set up which was another fun activity to participate in. One thing that I loved about this hostel was the bathroom. The bathroom was so spacious for a hostel, it was crazy!
Holiday Jones Hostel: In Chicago, I stayed at Holiday Jones, which was in Wicker Park (a Chicago neighborhood which was 20 minutes away from downtown). Wicker Park is the more hipster, vintage, and liberal neighborhood of Chicago and the hostel’s art and decoration really stayed true to its qualities. I was very selective when I was picking out hostels to stay at while in Chicago because it was my first time that I was traveling solo without any friends. At the other hostels that I’ve stayed at, there were a lot of travelers that I met that were traveling by themselves and I always wanted to try out solo travel. And so I did. One thing that I realized about this hostel was that the guests weren’t really in the lounges talking to one another and trying to mingle with other travelers. It just seemed as though people stayed in their rooms or just stayed with who they were traveling with. Which is not a problem, but for a solo introverted traveler like myself, it was a little intimidating coming into an environment like that. But I was fortunate enough to have the kindest and warming roommates ever. I was in a room with 3 other girls and 2 of them were from the US and the other girl was from South Korea, and they were just the best roommates. Without them, I don’t think my stay at Holiday Jones would’ve been memorable. This hostel didn’t really have activities for the guests but thankfully with the roommates that I had, we planned our own activities and outings around the city and I had a wonderful time.
Mango Mansion: In San Juan, Puerto Rico, I stayed at the Mango Mansion which was located in the Condado neighborhood. It was a short walk to the Condado beach and a short walk to the local bus stop and to many restaurants and a very short walk to the infamous la Placita de Santurce. The hostel was more like a guesthouse. There was breakfast every morning which is always a plus and can be very fulfilling if you take full advantage of it! The hostel had a lot more hosts than actual guests while I was there so it was really nice getting to know the hosts. It felt a lot more welcoming because most of the hosts were actually volunteers who also lived at the hostel. The hostel room itself was fairly spacious and it never felt too cluttered, except when it came to the bathroom lol. Not a lot of bathrooms for the amount of rooms that it had but we made it work. I met so many other people at the hostel and that is always the best part about staying in hostels in my opinion. The people that I met at the hostel were so much fun and I will always cherish those memories of going out to the Placita de Santurce, to Old San Juan, to the Isla Verde beach, to El Yunque rainforest, and just hanging out at the hostel chit chatting about who knows what lol! Aahhh I absolutely loved my time at Mango Mansion!
Rumariya Rooms Hostel: In Rome, I stayed at Rumariya Rooms Hostel which was a small and quaint hostel. It only had 3 rooms I think so there weren’t that many people. I didn’t spend a lot of time in Rome so I was pretty much at the hostel only in the morning and at night when I returned from my explorations. However when I did have time to spend at the hostel, it was nice talking with some of the other guests. I met quite a few female solo travelers from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile and it was a good time hanging out with some of those girls. It’s always nice talking to other people from different countries and hearing about their experiences. The hostel didn’t have a lot of social activities or breakfast included. This hostel was pretty much a place to lay my head. The great thing about this hostel was that it was literally right next to the main train station. That came in handy so many times and it was really convenient!
USA Hostels San Francisco: I stayed at USA Hostels in San Francisco, which is located in the Tenderloin district of the city. I was only there for 2 nights, but my stay at the hostel was great. The number one thing that I absolutely loved about this hostel, and that I think all hostels should mimic, is the fact that each bed had an outlet as well as a privacy pod with a shelf and a light by the pillow side so that you got more privacy and comfort. Brownie points for that. The hostel also had free events for the guests like biking tours to the Golden Gate Bridge, free dinner nights and even a hostel party at their own lounge bar. I could tell that this hostel really wanted to make their guests feel comfortable and that’s something that I can always appreciate.
To be continued as I travel more and stay at more hostels…….