If you're looking for a quick answer - Yes, you should absolutely stay in a party hostel or at least try it once. You'll lose sleep, and your time will mostly be spent partying instead of traveling. However, you'll meet a lot of backpackers, make some amazing connections, and create some long lasting friendships and memories. But just be careful to not get stuck in this lifestyle - otherwise your actual travels will suffer.
We're going delve into what party hostels are, what they're like, pros, cons, and more in the next sections - if you want to know more, stick around.
Hostels come in all different shapes, sizes, and atmospheres. They're there to offer mostly young travelers a cheap alternative to a hotel. You get a bed in a dorm style room, and a roof over your head, and you pay a fraction of the cost of a hotel - this is how it was like for a long time.
But then, the experience economy took over. Backpackers and other travelers aren't just looking to see sites, eat food, and sleep. We collectively want every aspect of our trip to be an experience - party hostels fill this gap when it comes to accommodation.
What is a Party Hostel?
A party hostel is just like a regular hostel but the atmosphere, environment, and activities are set up around partying, drinking, dancing, and all around having a fun time - think a fraternity or sorority, but there's no study to do, and you're in another country.
A party hostel's value doesn't come from the quality of the beds, price of a stay, or facilities (not to say these are bad) but: the value of a party hostel is the atmosphere - this is mostly the social aspect.
What Should I Expect in a Party Hostel?
You should expect a lot of drinking, loud music, and socializing. There'll be a number of facilities, entertainment systems, people, games, and activities to foster a very social and fun atmosphere. On a daily basis you'll experience a wide array of antics:
- Drinking games
- Pool parties - a lot of party hostels will have pools
- Lots of loud music
- Pub crawls and night's out
- Lots of conversation
- People lazing around, sleeping, or relaxing
- People generally being silly, laughing, running around naked etc.
The staff of a party hostel are generally comprised of other backpackers that are working there for board, food, and an allowance. They're main job is to make sure the vibe is on point, they keep the atmosphere fun, they make an effort to learn everyone's name, and take charge in getting the group talking - and it really does work.
Pros & Cons of Staying in a Party Hostel
In a party hostel, you've got a built in social circle that you just waltz into and feel welcome straight off the bat. You meet people that you may keep traveling with once you conclude your stay, and you sure as hell have a lot of fun while being there.
- Very easy to meet other backpackers.
- Enough fun for memories to last a life time.
- Usually very cheap if we're talking just accommodation.
- If you're social, and you want to, there's probably an opportunity to work there for a bed, food, and other expenses.
You can get stuck in the anti-travel routine of being in a party hostel and just continually extending. You may get sleep deprived and feel ill because of the amount of alcohol you're consuming on a daily basis.
- It can get loud, and sleep can be a mission.
- There's less privacy, even more so than other hostels.
- Although it's cheap on paper, it can get pricey because the party hostels make all there money from activities/events - which you end up joining in on.
- When you stay in one, you usually don't spend enough time exploring the area/culture/sites around you.
Tips for Staying in a Party Hostel
I've stayed in enough to give you some great tips so you don't have to run into some common pitfalls and other mistakes - because people always do!
- Go on Hostelworld and when you search for a party hostel, make sure you sort by atmosphere - if that's high, it's likely going to be a great hostel.
- Check the reviews - sort by recent and check for the key phrases 'uncomfortable,' and 'bed bugs.' Better safe than sorry.
- Don't book more than a couple nights at a time, this will give you a chance to see what the atmosphere is like, if the beds are quality or not etc.
- Keep a budget for each day, the hostel will usually be cheap, but the pub crawls and other events will get you - so know how much you're spending.
- Get a pair of high quality earplugs and a good sleeping mask.
Earplugs Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2E0SeAz
Sleeping mask Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2thCbMt
- Don't overstay, make sure you go for other travel experiences.
- Be strategic about when you stay at one - Are you on a party island? Is there a festival on? It's probably a great time to book your stay in one.
- Keep hydrated and eat well - it'll make a difference!
I've mentioned this in the article but I can't mention it enough. It'll be tempting for some people to keep staying at party hostels throughout there travels, if that's you, please don't. Go for periods but then leave and go to a regular hostel with a nice atmosphere. It really does take away from the true travel experience when you replace it with partying all night, and being hungover all day.
Just like at the beginning of the article, I absolutely recommend that you stay at one to experience what it's like. You'll have an amazing time and make some great memories. Just make sure you're in the mood for partying, and you don't let it take over your whole travel itinerary.
- If you struggle to sleep - get earplugs and an eye mask
- Watch out for how much you spend
- Stay safe, in more than one way...
Besides that, enjoy your stay and party it up!