A backpackers' hostel offers low cost accommodations to travelers, often in a dormitory style setting. They are much less expensive than hotels, motels, or other types of travel accommodations, and are available in many different places around the world. For backpackers traveling on a budget, they are often the best option for saving money and staying in a safe place. A backpackers' hostel will frequently offer a few different types of accommodations to travelers; the most common type is a dorm style room, in which six or eight bunk beds will be placed. An individual will simply rent a bunk. Young people, particularly students, are some of the most common guests likely to be encountered at a hostel, though older travelers may use them too.
Some more upscale hostels will also offer private rooms, such as for couples who are traveling together. Plenty of couples will be fine just sleeping in bunk beds for the night, however; it also allows hostels to maximize space and to fit as many people in the room as possible, so bunk bed style rooms are the most common. A backpackers' hostel will almost always require guests to use a shared bathroom, as private bathrooms are quite uncommon, even if it is possible to rent private rooms.
There are different types of hostels that may be better suited to different travelers. Some are more appealing to people who enjoy drinking and partying, for example, and will actually feature a bar right in the hostel. For people who prefer a quieter experience, it may be a good idea to look for a backpackers' hostel without one. Most hostels will take reservations as well as walk-in guests. Making reservations online is now one of the easiest ways to plan ahead when traveling, and many hostels now offer guests this option.
A backpackers' hostel may offer additional services to guests, either included in the price or for an extra fee. These can include safe, lockable luggage storage, if individuals want to explore without carrying everything with them, for example. Most hostels will also offer Wi-Fi or at least a computer with Internet access. Many offer a community kitchen area where guests can cook themselves simple meals, which can be another good way to save money, as well as washers and dryers for doing laundry. The staff of a hostel will also often be happy to offer recommendations for sightseeing or other fun things to do in the area.