Over hyped, painful, sweaty, and leaving you wondering why everyone raves about it. Losing my hostel virginity really wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.
In case you’re new here, let me give you some background info. I am a savvy researcher, and quite skilled at finding ways to live a luxurious life on a tight budget. If anything, I’ve become so good at it, and used to it, that I’ve come to expect quite a lot from my money. It also helps that I’m currently travelling around Australia with my boyfriend, which means that we can split the costs and individually get more for our money.
Before leaving the UK we did some research and found the cheapest hostel beds for $34. However, on AirBnB sublets (a handy way to search for longer stays on AirBnB, just Google it) I found a beautiful garden apartment that worked out at $34 each per night – exactly what we would be spending on a hostel. A bit of a no brainier for us, we booked it, and spent an amazing month in pure privacy, a 10 minute tram ride from the city, and we were devastated to be leaving it when our month was up.
I used this month to find long term apartments to rent, and found my dream apartment for an even cheaper $30 per night each (also fully furnished). It’s a beautiful space, well decorated, air conditioned, and even better it has an amazing large balcony that gives you the most stunning views over the city – and only 8 minutes on the train from the city centre.
There was only one problem. There was one night in between our apartment agreements, so half-arsed I booked us into a central hostel, Flinders Backpackers in Melbourne CBD to be exact. I begrudged paying more than $34 each for the night, why should our most expensive night be in a hostel?
This is what $34 got us.
A tiny room for 4 humans with no air-conditioning. When I say tiny, I mean tiny. Two bunk beds were literally shoved in this room, but one after the other so that if I straightened my legs in bed I risked brushing the feet of the guy opposite. If I hadn’t made a make-shift divide, I would literally be able to reach over from sitting up and touch this sweaty unknown male.
Not the fault of the hostel – but I was the only female in my room, and my fellow backpackers left old lunch boxes and dirty clothes all over the already small area of floor, which just added to the stench of the room.
My poor Osprey didn’t fit in the lockers, which were being used by the other guys as shelves, so had to go under the bed. When I pulled it out the next day it looked like I had just pulled it out of a sand pit made of dust.
There were 4 toilets and 4 showers for my floor of 30 something rooms – need I say more.
Yes I know, it’s budget accommodation, and if you’re travelling solo it would be the only affordable option, but I can’t help but feel as if backpackers are being robbed for cash. The room that I was in wouldn’t have even been comfortable for two people, and with 4 people paying $34 a night – do the maths! Not even a three star hotel would market such little space per person for such a cost.
Hostels – unless you’re going to actually prove to be something more than milking backpackers for their money and giving them conditions so dirty that I went to McDonalds toilets to get clean, then I’d rather cut my travels short and stay elsewhere.