For anybody who doesn’t know, hostels are cheap, dorm-room style accommodations. It means you will most likely be sleeping on a bunk bed in a room full of strangers. I was a little wary in the beginning about staying in a hostel, but I actually found them comforting and beneficial to my well-being and my wallet. If you’re a budget solo traveler like me, hostels are a great way to save money and meet other travelers.
Here are my top five hostels that I’ve stayed at in the US:
5. Gram’s Place – Tampa, Florida
The thing I loved most about Gram’s Place is the eccentric and chill vibe. They offer both private and dorm rooms, and each room had a unique theme. There’s an outdoor bar, pool, and a tiny deck nestled on the roof. However, this place is last on my list because it’s not in a central location, the rooms are cramped and the bed was not comfortable. Also, the walls are thin and the bar is right outside, so you might find it difficult to sleep at night sometimes due to the noise. But if drinking and socializing is your thing, then you’ll probably have fun at this hostel.
4. Green Tortoise Hostel – Seattle, Washington
Green Tortoise was the very first hostel that I stayed in. The reason why I preferred to stay in hostels instead of hotels when traveling was because of the great experience I had here. The hostel was centrally located downtown, right across from the famous Pike Place Market! They offer free breakfast, bike rentals, city walking tours and pub crawls. Rooms were spacious and each bunk bed had privacy curtains and its own outlets to charge your devices. I definitely recommend staying here if you’re visiting Seattle on a budget!
3. Hostelling International Austin – Austin, Texas
HI (Hostelling International) is a non-profit organization that own a network of hostels all around the world. I’ve stayed in many of their locations, and HI Austin is one of my favorites. It’s a quiet retreat by Lady Bird Lake, but only a half hr walk away from downtown Austin. The entire hostel was clean and well-organized. My favorite part was the spacious communal area with large windows that let in tons of natural light. There’s also a backyard patio where you can have breakfast or watch the sunset across the lake.
2. HI Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel – Montara, California
Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel is my absolute top pick for best location. This hostel sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific ocean. The beautiful views can also be seen from the dining area through a large window. The rooms were decent, and there were only a couple of bathrooms so you might have to wait to use it if there’s a lot of people staying in the hostel. I stayed here during my cross country road trip, on my way up to San Francisco. There is no nearby public transportation so you definitely need a car to explore the surrounding areas. But this place was so gorgeous that I didn’t even want to go anywhere else. I just walked along the beach and sat on a bench to watch the sunset. I really wish I could’ve stayed more than one night at this hostel.
1. The Society Hotel – Portland, Oregon
Yes, this is technically not a hostel, but The Society Hotel also offer a bunk room where they provide privately-curtained beds for a cheap price. I picked this hostel as my top favorite for various reasons. The biggest reason is the fact that you’re basically staying at a nice boutique hotel but only paying the price of an average hostel bed. They have a friendly and helpful staff, a cafe with a fireplace, and a rooftop that is never crowded. This was also the first time I was introduced to a triple bunk bed! I loved how each bed had curtains, outlets, storage, and your own light! You never have to worry about disturbing other people if you want to keep the light on at night. Another big advantage is the hotel’s central location in Old Chinatown. It’s close to tourist attractions, restaurants, and public transportation. There’s also a couple of gay bars within walking distance. The only thing I didn’t like about staying at this hotel was the amount of questionable characters loitering around the area. But other than that, I had a great experience staying at this hotel/hostel hybrid. It’s definitely an amazing value for a fairly low cost.