Hostels Vs Hotels In Australia

Hostels Vs Hotels In Australia Image | East Coast Tours Australia

The debate of hostels vs. hotels is a popular one in the travel community! Everyone has different opinions, though there are some generalisations that most travellers can agree upon. Hostels are cheap, social hubs that are ideal for backpackers and solo travellers on a budget. Hotels offer a more private, upscale experience that better suits families, honeymooners, and those with more financial freedom. 

But this isn't always the case because every traveller is unique! If you're planning a trip along East Coast Australia and you're not sure whether to stay in a hostel or a hotel, we're here to give you a full breakdown of the two most popular accommodation options. What is the difference between hostels and hotels? What are hostels like in Australia? We're going to cover it all!

Sydney Hostel

Hostels Vs. Hotels In Australia

Your choice to stay in a hostel or a hotel while travelling in Australia will largely depend on the type of traveller you are. Before making your choice, it's important to reflect on yourself and what your goals are for your trip.

Do you want to party? Or do you want to relax and unwind after a big day of exploring? Do you want a private place to stay with your kids or partner? Or do you want to meet people? Think about the type of travel experience you want to have in Australia and see which accommodation option aligns best with your goals. 

Daydream Island Resort

What Is A Hostel?

Before we debate hostels vs. hotels, let's briefly describe what a hostel actually is. If you're new to travelling, you might be unsure. Plus, negative rumors often circulate about hostels which turns people off the idea of shared accommodation. In reality, the negative reputation of hostels is hugely outdated!

A hostel is an affordable form of accommodation that revolves around shared dorm rooms. You can rent a bed for a super cheap price and make use of the shared facilities, including toilets, showers, kitchen areas, laundry facilities, common areas, and more. Every hostel is different, but many these days have all of those facilities plus pools, bars, restaurants, water sport rentals, social events, pool tables, free Wifi, local maps, tour desks, and more. Some hostels also have private rooms or single-gender dorm rooms in addition to general dorms. 

Brisbane Hostel

What Are Hostels Like In Australia?

Hostels can vary all over the world, but Australia is home to some super modern, clean, and fun hostels that always rank highly among travellers. Filled with colourful art and decorations and high-quality facilities, Australia's most popular hostels are honestly incredible. Most of them are conveniently located near tourist hotspots, making them an affordable alternative to a hotel. 

As one of the more expensive countries to travel, the average price for a hostel dorm room in Australia can be around $30 - $60 AUD per night. Prices may get down to $20 AUD in smaller towns, but in big cities like Sydney or Melbourne, you'll pay at least $30 per night. Generally speaking, the more you pay, the nicer the hostel will be!

Hostel Cairns

Are Hostels In Australia Safe?

The concept of shared accommodation is what makes most travellers nervous. However, hostels are very safe! Most hostels have lockers where you can securely store your valuables while you're out for the day. The hostel staff are always helpful and accommodating and can safely store your luggage at reception if you'd like as well.

Plus, you'll find that the majority of people in hostels are travellers just like you! Everyone just wants to have fun, explore the world, and save money, so hostels are often much more laid-back and safe than people think they are.

Hostel Locker

What Is The Difference Between Hostels And Hotels?

Now that you have an idea of what hostels are like in Australia, let's compare them to hotels. Most travellers already know what hotels are, and now you have an understanding of the social atmosphere that hostels create. To help you decide which option is best for you, let's break down the most prominent differences when debating hostels vs. hotels. 

Kgari Beach Resort

Cost - Hostels Are Cheaper

The main reason why a traveller might choose a hostel over a hotel is the cost. Hostels are significantly cheaper than hotels! Even though a hostel dorm room in a touristy city may cost $60 AUD per night, a hotel room is often $200 a night or more. A private room in a hostel can still be cheaper than a hotel room. If you are really on a budget, hostels also offer kitchen facilities so you can cook some of your own meals instead of eating out. 

Not everyone has lots of money to travel, so hostels provide a more affordable alternative to hotels. This has helped make travel accessible to a wider range of people around the world! But if budget is not an issue for you, and you'd prefer to have more luxury amenities, there is nothing stopping you from booking nice hotels when you travel around Australia. 

Sydney Hostel

Privacy - Hotels Are More Private

Another major difference between hostels and hotels is the privacy component. Obviously, a shared dorm room strips away most of the privacy you could get if you stayed in a hotel room. You would have your own bed and locker, but you have to share your room, bathroom, and common areas with other travellers. Sometimes you get lucky and everyone in your room is clean, quiet, and respectful. Other times, not so much. 

In a hotel, you have your own private room and bathroom. You can often book a private room in a hostel, but you'll still share common areas. So consider the level of privacy you want! Some people don't care about sharing their space with others and are willing to put up with whatever comes their way if it means they save money. Others can't stand being so close to other people no matter how much the room costs. If you're the latter, a hotel might be better for you. 

Hamilton Island Hotel

Atmosphere - Hostels Are More Social

Branching off the topic of privacy, the shared spaces of a hostel create a social environment that you can't get in a hotel. If your goal is to make new friends while travelling, hostels are the perfect place to do so. You can chat with people in your room, in the kitchen while cooking dinner, or at the hostel bar. Hostels often have pub crawls, group dinners, and other social events that make it easy to meet people as well. 

There is also a varying degree of socialisation in hostels. Some places are designated "party hostels", where there is a huge party atmosphere that involves music, dancing, drinking, games, and nonstop fun. Some hostels are more laid-back and sophisticated. Just do your research to find the right hostel for you.

For example, Nomads is a massive party hostel in Noosa, whereas Bounce is a more chill hostel. Both are incredible, it just depends on the vibe you want. At a hotel, the most partying you'll find is at the hotel bar downstairs, but you can always escape to your private room if you'd prefer a quiet night in. 

Hostel Cairns

Location - Both Are Often Centrally Located

A perk of both hostels and hotels is that both are often centrally located. Because they both cater to tourists, both hostels and hotels try to set up near the main tourist hotspots. Both are staffed by knowledgeable people that will help you plan your stay. So no matter which option you choose, know that you are in good hands. But it's always up to you to make the right decision. Read reviews online and ask questions. Only you know what you want in an accommodation option, so you have to be willing to ask your travel agent or do your own research to find your perfect option. 

Sydney CBD

Is It Better To Stay In A Hostel Or A Hotel?

Given everything we just covered, it's safe to say that hostels are perfect for travellers on a budget who want to socialise. Hotels are a reliable option for travellers who prefer privacy and comfort over saving money. Whether you're travelling alone, with friends, with a partner, or with a family, you can decide which factors are the most important to you. Here is a quick wrap-up that summarizes the hostel vs. hotel debate:

Stay in a hostel if...

  • You are on a budget and want to save money
  • You don't mind sharing your space with others
  • You want to meet interesting people from around the world

Stay in a hotel if...

  • You have more money to spend
  • You want your own private space
  • You prefer comfort and peace and quiet over socialising

K'gari Hostel

If you need more guidance on which accommodation to choose while traveling around Australia, live chat with our travel experts and we'll help you plan the perfect trip!

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