In India concept of hostels is very new and most of us are not very comfortable with it. I had read a lot about people’s experiences when they stayed in hostels in foreign countries but it is not much available in terms of India. I decided to experience my first hostel stay in India. Over the years I realized that it is a cheapest though the basic way of staying for people who are more interested in exploring the city & spending time with local people instead of relaxing in a hotel or sitting by the pool.
I traveled few times solo and when you travel alone, you have to be a bit cautious about safety in hotels. Over the years I realized in some of my trips I had spent maximum amount on the hotel, while I only slept & washed in the room. I am not someone, who likes to relax in a hotel while traveling. If I don’t want to do anything then I like to sit on the beach or on a bench of a monument or in some coffee shop….. but not in a hotel.
Also read about Train travel in India and safety tips
When I decided to travel to Varanasi for Dev Diwali last year, I opted to stay in a hostel instead of a hotel. I booked in advance online though I searched & kept a handy couple of hotels details if in case I don’t like or felt comfortable in the hostel.
My hostel stay experience in Varanasi
I didn’t want to waste the day so, I reached the hostel by 8.00 AM following the instructions are given on the website of the hostel. The moment I got down in front of the hostel, I noticed colorful design painted on the outer wall. I noticed that they have used same vibrant colors on reception. The guy on the front desk was helpful and he informed me that I reached early so I can use common washroom & bathrooms on the top floor and keep my luggage in the store room.They have CCTV installed in all common areas.
The idea of staying in a hostel was to explore, understand and understand the hostel culture, so I went on the top floor to explore and to be honest it didn’t disappoint me at all. Rooms, kitchen, dining area and common area were clean and decorated in vibrant Indian color.
I will not go into more details about materialistic things.There were travelers from all over the world and in common area, everyone sat together while having breakfast or tea or just like that and exchanged their travel experiences. It was a wonderful experience. This thing I never came across while staying in hotels, normally people don’t interact freely when staying in the hotel except for occasional brief hello… hi…. or to ask something.
You can use the kitchen, if you don’t like eating out and want to cook your meals. This is not possible if staying in a hotel.
I like the concept of hostel stay because it is light on pocket especially when traveling solo, you can interact with travelers.
Keep in mind that you are sharing space with other people, so respect everyone’s privacy and don’t get noisy or intrusive.