Thriving throughout many countries in the world, it is safe to say that youth hostels are a success. An attractive solution for those on small budgets, they come in all shapes and sizes.
Youth hostels are temporary establishments available to travellers looking to meet new people. The bedrooms are often shared, with generally four to eight beds, and there are often dorm rooms which can sometimes sleep as many as 15 guests. Bathrooms may be private but are usually shared. In addition to these, areas are set up in a way as to make meeting fellow travellers as easy as possible. You usually find large sitting rooms, terraces, and libraries full of guide books to help you plan your trip. The main goal for a young traveller staying in this type of establishment is to meet fellow travellers on their own adventure. The first hostels of this kind appeared in Europe a century ago. Today there are hundreds of them around the world and are important meeting places for young travellers. As well as their open and relaxed atmosphere conducive to meeting new people, they are successful thanks to their affordable prices. In Europe, it only costs around twenty pounds to spend a night in a youth hostel, while a night in a traditional hotel is often much more expensive. In developing countries, the rates are even lower. Most young backpackers, who often have to stick to a tight budget when travelling, don't have to think twice.
Youth hostels are often mentioned in the "budget" section of guide books. Otherwise, the Internet abounds with websites where you can reserve a bed. Hostel networks have been around for several years and this can be seen in their numbers: Hostelling International has more than 4,000 hostels around the world while the www.hostelworld.com website puts 25,000 hostels in more than 180 countries at your fingertips. The catalogue is just as big at www.hostelbookers.com.. Young travellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the perfect hostel.