Backpacking often means travelling on the cheap and trying to save money on accommodation is often the first choice. I usually tend to go to hostels as I get to meet likewise travelers. The choice of rooms can go from a private one to multiple beds dorms with bathroom or shared ones. Depending on the country you are in, can be really cheap or very expensive like in Norway.
So if you choose a dorm with multiple beds, it can be from a range of 4 to 20 beds even 80 beds like in Beachcomber Island in Fiji. Can be an all female, male or mix dorm. I tend to prefer the mix ones as its good to be surrounded by diversity.
Its used to be called youth hostels, but nowadays, you’ll find a whole range of ages there. It always depends on your destination. In Europe, you’ll have a younger crowd as in Central Asia, you’ll have the more experienced travellers.
Yes, guys may snore, but girls do to, maybe to a lesser extend? I have stayed in so many hostels in my lifetime that i have felt comfortable sharing my room. Don’t even sweat it to sleep with perfect strangers. I wonder who thought of this idea, a genius really. Why not put random people to share the cost of the room? I googled it and it came from a German guy back in 1909!!!
Richard Schirrmann invented youth hostels. Today they cover the world. This is the story of the man and his invention. Taken up in Germany, then in Europe and then around the world, they survived the rise of the Nazis, two world wars and an economic depression. Schirrmann never gave up. He never copyrighted his idea, never built it into a brand, never sold it to anyone. He was a volunteer and an amateur in the best sense of the word. He wanted the best for young people everywhere.
Sometimes, people are noisy, come in at the wee hours of the night piss drunk, bring people to have sex with (it hasn’t happen in a long time). Some places have beds so hard, others have good ones. You try to look at the reviews.
Why then go to hostels? Because disregarding all the inconvenience, you met some amazing people there. Im always so happy to bump into a traveller, I previously met in another city. The ambiance is generally very good. You’ll never get that in a hotel or airbnb.
There is also Couchsurfing where you stay at someone’s house for free. Same concept as you are staying with strangers who open their doors to you freely. Its all base on the intercultural experience you’ll get. That is the main motivation behind it.