How Sleeping In Hostels Helped Me Travel The Globe On A Budget

I've been traveling the world nonstop for the past one and a half years. Many people have no idea how this is possible. They assume that my parents are footing the bill or that I must have hit it big — but this couldn't be further from the truth. However, I discovered that hostels were the secret to traveling on a budget pretty early on. In fact, you might be surprised to learn than many travel bloggers like myself spent their earliest travel days sleeping in hostels. Why? They're affordable AF. Here's how staying in hostels helped me travel the world on budget.

Hostels aren't very popular in the U.S. quite yet, but many other countries have plenty of hostels available to anyone who wants to travel on a budget. These shared spaces are extremely popular in backpacker-heavy regions like Central Europe and Southeast Asia. You typically share a room, shower, and kitchen with several other travelers. They usually attract a younger crowd, so there are plenty of opportunities to join group tours or pub crawls. This makes hostels a great option for anyone who might be traveling alone with a desire to meet other people. They're also the best option for anyone who wants to make their travels last as long as possible.

Hostels Made My Far-Fetched Travel Dreams Come True
Jelena Jojic Tomic/Stocksy

I always dreamed of traveling the world, but this dream seemed so far-fetched. I had a long bucket list filled with luxe destinations, but I didn't believe that I would be able to cross any of these places off in the near future.

When I was in college, I stumbled across people on social media who were talking about budget travel. After proper research, it seemed that travel wasn't quite as expensive as I initially thought. All of a sudden, traveling the world seemed like more of a possibility.

After paying for a flight, accommodation can be the priciest aspect of travel. The thought of dishing out $200 a night for a hotel could scare anyone on a budget away from even attempting to plan a trip. However, travel becomes a lot more practical when you know you'll only spend $15 a night on accommodation. It doesn't feel so out of reach. You begin to believe that you can actually save up for a trip and actually make it happen.

Hostels Allowed Me To Visit More Places
Jelena Jojic Tomic/Stocksy

After discovering that hostels were the ultimate answer to traveling on a budget, I realized that I could travel more than I ever thought possible. Instead of taking one trip per year, I could take multiple trips at the same exact price as if I were to stay in a hotel.

I stayed in hostels around Costa Rica, Paris, London, Germany, and even San Francisco. In the end, I always spent less than I planned. I couldn't believe that travel was so accessible to someone like me. My co-workers began to ask how I could afford to take all of these trips. I explained that opting to stay in hostels made all of this possible. The reality is that I spent way less than people thought, because I was open to sharing a room and bathroom on vacation.

Hostels Helped Me Travel For A Year, Nonstop
Melanie Kintz/Stocksy

I spent two years working in a corporate setting before quitting my job to travel the world. Thanks to hostel prices, I budgeted that I could travel for a year straight and still spend less than I would on rent. I decided to sell my furniture and give up my apartment. Instead paying for expensive rent, I would be paying for hostels around the world.

I traveled through Central America, Mexico, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. Thanks to Hostel World, I never paid more than $25 per night for a hostel bed. On top of that, the communal setting helped me build lifelong friendships with likeminded travelers. I also saved money by buying groceries and cooking inside of hostel kitchens.

Thanks to the availability of hostels, I've been able to have the most adventures without breaking the bank.