In the last two years I've stayed in my fair share of hostels, and in the next few months I'm going to be staying in even more. Seen as though hostels are a big part of backpacking, why not write a post about them? So here are 5 good things and 5 bad things about hostel life.


  1. They're cheap. Well this depends where you decide to stay, like the second hostel I stayed in when I was in Sydney cost $260 a week! But then again, you act like a baller the first few weeks you're away. Either way, hostels are cheaper than hotels. I've spent $15 a night in some places!
  2. They're sociable. This is particularly great when you're travelling solo. I have met so many amazing people in the hostels I've stayed in (especially my landing pads crew!) plus you've got bar crawls, hostel activities and other stuff to get you acquainted with your fellow travellers.
  3. They get deals. Whether it's 2for1 drinks down the road or discounts on local tours, hostels can get you really great stuff sometimes. Other times they just about save your life. I stayed in Base hostel in Brisbane and they offer free pasta and rice every day; when I was really skint I pretty much lived off pasta/rice with 80c cans of flavoured tuna. Every little helps!
  4. They have wifi. Another saviour because phone bills feel like a drain on your funds when you're travelling about. Free wifi has been drained for streaming the vampire diaries and FaceTiming in the past.
  5. They have cleaners. No cleaning toilets or hoovering floors when you're having the time of your life!


  1. Even if they have cleaners, sometimes they don't clean. One hostel's kitchen smelled like maggots, and the day I moved into my third and final hostel in Sydney I walked straight passed a used sanitary pad ... Just lying in the hall.
  2. Washing is expensive. I'm pretty sure THIS is where they make their money. They reel you in with the cheap accommodation, and then sting you with the cost of washing. $8 to wash and dry my clothes?! Scandalous.
  3. You can't pick who you're roomed with. Not if you're solo and haven't met anyone yet anyway. I've stayed in rooms with crazy party goers - which is fine when you're not working, but not when you're up at 6 and they're getting in at 4. I've stayed in a room with the "it's ok, we can have sex, she's asleep" no no, no I'm not. I'm on the bunk underneath you and I am DEFINITELY no longer asleep. Aaaaand the absolute creeps: one guy literally asked me in the middle of the night if he could get into bed with me. I couldn't have sounded more disgusted than if he'd pooed on the floor.
  4. Say goodbye to privacy; and hello to awkwardly trying to change in the communal toilets/shower/under the bed covers.
  5. Bunk beds. The most fun thing you can think of having in your room as a kid. Now, not so much. Top bunk = absolute effort when you want to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, and I basically have to leap to get down. Bottom bunk = the more favourable one, but somewhere you'll definitely spend a good portion of your time laying thinking there's a chance the top bunk could actually collapse on you.

So there are my pros and cons to hostel living. Personally, I love it. Don't get me wrong, I've loved living in apartments but I've also had so much fun living in hostels. I can't wait for it to continue soon!

If you're just about to start travelling, and no one has recommended this app to you yet: download hostel world.

Published by Rachael Porter