Have you ever stayed in a hostel before? Oh you have? Then I guess its just me. A 29 year old hostel virgin is what I was up until last weekend. I wish I could say that my first hostel experience was somewhere exotic like Thailand but alas it was none other than New York City. A city that is 3hours from my home state of Rhode Island. Why would I choose to stay in a hostel only 3hrs from where I lived? Well I'll tell you...
It all started when NaEun Park my buddy from Boston asked me to attend the Nomading Film Festival in New York City on Saturday June 23rd. Now if your loyal fans (which I'm assuming you are) you've already read that post and know all about it. If your just tuning in-go check it out! Anyways so she's like "hey lets go to New York this weekend and did I mention we are gonna stay in a hostel?" Ok so maybe she didn't word it quite like that but I was like HOSTEL???? Have you seen me?!
One of my favorite quotes regarding hostels is "You ain't seen hostel till you put me up in one."
That's pretty much how I was feeling until we arrived.
It's one of those situations that unless you've stayed in one before you have no idea what to expect. Here I was a 29year old "travel blogger" and I had yet to stay in a hostel. Uh oh this smelled like trouble for me...
I was so WRONG!! Hosteling International is like a freakn' hotel! It's super chic (almost W Hotel vibe). You are greeted with crazy cold AC which is a nice, loud club music, super friendly staff, and plenty of HOT travelers to go around. The question now is, why on earth haven't I been staying in hostels before!?!
So let me break Hosteling International down for you:
- Cheap $44/night
- Onsite cafe
- Free WiFi
- At least 3 lounges
- Pool table
- Internet room w/ computers
- HUGE outside area for reading, sunning yourself, etc
- Bathroom's are new and VERY clean
- Huge lockers to store your belongings in
- You could be sleeping in a room with up to 12 people
- You don't get to pick which bunk you get (but I hear if you ask nicely they can switch you)
- You have to pay to use the internet but WiFi is free
- Check in is at 4pm and check out is a 11am (not the most convenient)
We stayed in a room with 12 people and HONESTLY it wasn't really that bad. Thankfully we could sleep in pretty late the next morning which made it manageable. The girls in our room were pretty respectful, you can't really help what time you need to get up in the morning. Other than that it was actually pretty quiet in the building--although I am kind of a sound sleeper.
Here are a few tips we picked up:
- Bring your own lock
- When arriving grab the towels that are on your bed and put them in your locker (someone took mine, thank god I had bought my own)
- Keep your pajama's out on your bed--makes it easier when your stumbling in at midnight
- Headphones or ear plugs are a must if your a light sleeper
So its safe to say that my hostel experience was an excellent one. You can't beat the price for New York City--in fact I just might be more inclined to visit the city more knowing I can stay there. I should also note that staying in a hostel seems like a really great way to meet people, so there's that.
So if your still a hostel virgin and a little nervous, look into staying at one that's sorta close to where you live that way if it sucks you are closer to home!