We stayed in 2 hostels with the girls on our recent 10-week trip. I must say I was not looking forward to hosteling with kids at all. My idea of a hostel was of loud, drunk and silly young people doing stupid things I would need to keep my kids from seeing.
Staying in Hostels with kids
Well, I was wrong. It turns out I was very wrong. We may have been just lucky with the hostels we stayed in and we did have a private bathroom in our room but here are 6 reasons why I enjoyed the experience of staying in a hostel with kids and why I think it was great for the girls.
Hostels for families are a great option
1. Kid Friendly Hostels allow them to talk to other people.
After 8 weeks your parents and sister can become extremely boring. You already know everything about them and now they are just becoming really annoying. I watched as Willow talked to other people about what she had been doing, where she had been and they were sharing their own tales of where they had been. It was great to see her interact with people older than herself but on a level, they probably did not expect from a girl her age.
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2. They traded stories with people much older than themselves.
Willow can strike up a conversation with most people but Marley struggles. It surprised me that they both were happy to talk to other people about where they had been and where they were going. This also allowed us to join in the conversation too.
Which led to us talking about something other than Minecraft and YouTube! It also helped the girls think about places they would like to go when they are older. There were so many stories of places they had not heard of. They both had a great time learning about those places and they were even able to give some tips to other travellers!
3. Other families were there.
I was surprised at the number of families that were staying in hostels with kids and the age of their kids, some older families, some younger. There was a family with a small child that the girls fell in love with and they chatted and pulled faces at her. This gave them the break from all the adult conversations they had been having with other travellers and us.
It’s great to see them just get down and play with another child for a while. It also made us have a conversation about when we started travelling as a family and the reason’s why we decided to travel with the girls. It is great to hear why they think we travel and how they feel about it. Staying at a friendly family hostel was not just something we were doing!
4. Travel is for all ages – A kids Hostel and adults Hostel
Not only were their families but there were older people staying there as well. Both the girls were very impressed that some had just started travelling later in life. They happily sat down and talked about what their life had been like before they started to travel and why they had started at such a later age.
Some had started after the death of a family member or they had decided to travel with their family as they had not been able to when they were younger It showed them how lucky they were to start at such a young age and your whole life can be filled with adventure not just in your younger years.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The Hostel experience we had with our kids was a positive one, great facilities, great locations, amazing staff and warm and friendly people to meet.” quote=”Don’t dismiss the Hostel with kids idea based on preconceived notions that Hostels are for single’s and just a non-stop party” theme
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5. Hostel kids meet more nationalities.
Both the girls have been to a few countries but for some reason, they were drawn to people where they had not been. They asked plenty of questions some extra cringe-worthy but most were happily answered…even the really cringe-worthy ones! This social interaction is only possible when hosteling with kids in a friendly environment.
6. There were things to do other than the iPads at friendly family hostels in Europe.
One of the best things about the hostels are the games that they had or the games rooms. The girls played bocce, giant Jenga and at one stage even let loose on the dance floor! It was great to see them up and doing something rather than having their heads stuck in the iPads all the time when we were having some downtime downstairs. Yes, this staying in Hostels with kids was working out. Hosteling with kids, who would have thought.
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What does a Hostel look like?
Hostels these days serve as a one-stop shop for all things tourist. Besides providing a room and place to say most will have their own tour booking service. You may be able to hire bikes and scooters from them. They will certainly have maps and all the information you need about local public transport, where to eat and what to see.
A hostel for kids no such thing but a hostel for families are great. What does a hostel look like? In a nutshell, a hostel these days can be very much like any hotel. There will be a variety of rooms and facilities to choose from. There will be private rooms there will be dorm rooms, some hostel rooms will have private showers, others will not.
For us, staying in hostels with kids was really positive. We found that everyone was respectful when there were kids around. Swearing was kept to a minimum and there were plenty of apologies if they didn’t realise. Maybe we were lucky with the groups staying there but for us and a sceptic like myself we would not hesitate in staying in hostels with kids again…just with my own bathroom! Kid friendly hostels do exist and are easy to find.
We hope this inspires your family to stay at a hostel soon
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More about the Author
Bec Wyld is a mother, wife and once reluctant traveller. Bec has been to over 30 countries across the globe. I have planned and stressed in all of these places. Becs writing can be found on Wyld Family Travel and as a guest poster and contributor on many other travel websites including Lonely Planet Kids