Hostels vs. Hotels

How do you choose between a hostel, hotel, guesthouse, or B&B?

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Hotel Russell in London.

Chances are, if you have traveled abroad, you have asked yourself this very question.  You may factor in price, location, and your age.  So, what are the big differences between you options for accommodations and how do you choose what’s right for you?

Hotels

A lot of us are familiar with hotels and motels.  They are everywhere.  You pay for a room with a bed and a private bathroom.  Some even have free breakfast.  This was the kind of accommodation I was used to.  But it can be pricy.

liverpoolhotel
My room at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel in Liverpool.

While I travel, I try to limit my hotel stays to a minimum.  Sometimes staying in one if I’m only in town for a day or two.  Especially if your traveling for long periods of time, it’s nice to be able to re-group for a bit.  Enjoy the quietness, awesome water pressure, and not having to wait for the bathroom to open up.

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Room service!

Also, many hotels offer free wifi, which helps if you are a blogger or away on business.  I know for me, having wifi was the only way I was able to keep in touch with my family without raking up an impressive phone bill.

dublinhotel
My upgraded corner king suite at the Ashling Hotel in Dublin.

Hotels can also be located further away from you desired destination.  It’s not a huge problem if you have a car, but without a car, you find yourself having to pay more for extra transportation to get to where you want to be.  Hostels tend to be located in city centers, which brings me to the next topic….

Hostels

Hostels seem to be the way to go while traveling abroad.  They are cheap, conveniently located, and some have restaurants/bars in them.  They also give you a chance to meet fellow travelers.

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My room at the Euro Hostel in Glasgow.  I was upgraded to a double with a private bathroom!

Most hostels offer a variety or rooming options.  You can do dorm style, which sometimes hods up to 20 beds in one room.  This is the cheapest option, some costing just $10/ night. But all you get is a small bed in a room full of strangers.Then you can get smaller rooms with five beds, three beds, and even private rooms.  Some rooms have private bathrooms, some have shared bathrooms.

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A lot of times, hostels are located in popular areas of interest.  You can usually walk out the front door and be exactly where you want to be.

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Outside of my hostel in Edinburgh.

Guesthouses and B&B’s

Guesthouses and B&B’s usually are smaller and have a few rooms to offer.  The ones I stayed in offered a small breakfast or fruit, pastries, and cereals.  They were still in a prime area, but not centrally located.  They were converted houses in residential neighborhoods.

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My room at MyOE Guesthouse in London.
St. Ives 3
Located across the street from my guesthouse on St. Ives.

Where I stayed:

Hotels:

Hard Day’s Night Hotel in Liverpool

Park House Hotel in Galway

Ashling Hotel in Dublin

Hostels:

Hoppo Backpackers in Edinburgh (they seems to have changed names as it used to be Edinburgh Backpacker hostel)

Euro Hostel in Glasgow

Guesthouses:

MyOE Guesthouse in London (I can no longer find the website for this location)

Carlyon Guesthouse in St. Ives

Melrose Villa in Inverness

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