Home. Transitions Abroad founded 1977.  
Travel Work Living Teach Intern Volunteer Study Language High School

Hostels for the Senior Who is Young at Heart

8 Tips for Enjoying Convenient Budget Travel Accommodations

A hostel in the countryside
A hostel in the European countryside can be accessible on a budget and relaxing.

The constant variations in the value of the U.S. and Canadian dollars against the euro have made those older, independent travelers like me more budget-conscious. As a result, it can mean moving from cheaper hotels and B&Bs to hostels.

Some older travelers no doubt see hostels as the wrong place to find the privacy and comfort they've worked all their lives to achieve. Yet with a little preparation a hostel stay can be convenient, affordable, and a great place to meet new people.

I recently spent a month traveling solo through Ireland staying, 26 nights at 13 different hostels in nine cities and towns. Along the way, I learned a thing or two about how to enjoy a youthful environment.

1) Book ahead

A great hostel advantage is it's only sometimes necessary to book in advance, especially as the online tools now are better than ever. If you want more comfort and greater security, call or visit online to the many hostel booking websites and reserve a single room. More expensive, yes, but worth it.

2) Bring earplugs

I cannot stress this enough. You may learn, at 6:30 in the morning, that the handy hostel you booked next to the bus station — like Isaacs in Dublin — also happens to be beside the elevated train tracks.

3) Request a bottom bunk

If you're sleeping dorm-style, those 3 a.m. bathroom trips can be a real experience from the second tier. Besides, you're older, and seniority still counts.

4) Locate an alternate bathroom

After you've checked in and stored your luggage, take a few minutes and find the public bathroom on another floor in case yours is always in use.

5) Rent a towel

You'll always get clean sheets and a pillow, but you may have to ask for a towel. Some hostels offer them for free; others charge a euro or two.

6) Use the kitchen

Many hostels have surprisingly spacious and well-equipped cooking facilities. Even if you don't cook often at home, buy food at a local grocery and have at least one of your three meals at the hostel. A hostel meal leaves more money for the reasons you're really traveling.

7) Enjoy an extra breakfast

Not every hostel includes a free breakfast, and some have very spare offerings. But if you find a place, like Kilronan House in Inishmor, that provides juice, cereal, toast and jam, go back a second time and fuel up.

8)Take care of yourself

A hostel offers a secure sleeping environment, but it is not always the place for proper bed rest. So be realistic: eat well and moderate your evening activities.

Most of all, don't be a stranger. New friends and fresh knowledge: that's what the hostel experience for an older independent traveler is really all about.

For information about youth hostels that you can book online, such as Hostelling International, see Transitions Abroad's section on Hostels Abroad.

Related Topics
Senior Travel Abroad
Hostels Abroad

About Us  
Contact Us  
© 1997-2024 Transitions Abroad Publishing, Inc.
Privacy Policy Cookie Policy Terms and Conditions California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Opt-Out IconYour Privacy Choices Notice at Collection