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What is a hostel?

A hostel is a stripped-down accommodation type ideal for backpackers, shoestring travelers, and people who love to meet and mingle with likeminded globetrotters. Its major perk is that it is cheaper than a hotel, leaving plenty of money in your sightseeing fund. Hostels have inexpensive dorm rooms and communal areas where you can chat, relax, and share stories with other guests.

Why should I stay at a hostel?

The low price is often the prime reason you would opt for a hostel stay. But it's not the only one. The best hostels around the planet are also fun and engaging places to be, built for youthful travelers who love to share stories of their backpacking adventures.

You might just check out with a few more travel buddies than you checked in with.


Where do you find hostels?

Hostels are everywhere, from cities to the countryside, small towns to remote villages. Backpackers hostel options are entertaining to travelers, from street-food-sizzling Bangkok and buzzing London, to elegant Paris and musical New York.

Some hostels are located in national parks or nature reserves, putting beautiful wildernesses, ski slopes, and hiking trails right on the doorstep for those who prefer to explore the outdoors with friends.


How much does it cost to stay in an hostel?

Dorm bed arrangements and shared bathroom facilities are just 2 of the reasons why hostels are cheap. They can mean paying just a fraction of the price of a hotel, often without sacrificing that central location or immersive atmosphere. Some hostels will cost more. Termed 'poshtels', they pack in suave features like pools and saunas to boot.


How to book a hostel

Whether you're seeking out hedonistic hostels in Amsterdam or an international hostel for that trek along the Appalachian trail, you should be able to find plenty just by searching on Expedia. Filter your results by the accommodation type and scroll through all the options in a particular destination.

And remember – it's often possible to save a bundle by booking flights, accommodation, and car rental together.


What do hostels offer?

Hostels offer some of the cheapest beds on the accommodation market. They are typically in shared dorms, though some private rooms are available. They come in all shapes and sizes, with nature hostels situated close to big national parks or reserves and youth hostel options in the heart of bustling cities.

Other features like shared kitchens, lounges, on-site bars, and even game rooms are not uncommon (some hostels even have bars and trivia, bar hopping tours and excrusions).


What's the difference between a hostel and a hotel?

Generally speaking, hostels are built for the rough-and-ready traveler. No matter if you're looking at hostels in downtown LA or a dorm near a nature reserve, you should expect a stripped-down, no-frills establishment that prizes price and experience above all else.

Meanwhile, hotel perks like room service, on-site spas, pools, and private rooms are the norm.


How to find hostels close to me

Use Expedia to search for a hostel nearby.

Just enter where you want to go and when, sort your results by hostels, and you can filter through all the top places in the area.

To find a hostel nearby, use the map feature to reveal hidden hostel stays close to you, whether in off-the-beaten-track neighborhoods or somewhere further afield.