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I’ve always wanted to visit Banff. With its towering Rocky Mountains, snow covered forests and small town vibe, Banff has been on my bucket list of places to explore for quite some time. To my excitement, I recently had the opportunity to travel there and spend a week exploring with Hostelling International (HI). My partner Dallas and I stayed at their HI Banff location, and it was here that I was reminded of why I love staying in hostels so much.
I know some travellers are horrified at the idea of staying in a hostel, which have a bad rep for being dirty, loud or unsafe. I’m here to tell you that these misgivings could not be further from the truth, especially when a hostel is a part of a larger, regulated network such as HI. Below are five reasons that I absolutely adore staying in hostels.
When you stay in a hostel, you have multiple options when it comes to what type of room you’d like to rent. You can generally choose whether you’d like private or shared accommodations. The more people per room, the more money you save! But to be fair, even a hostel’s most expensive accommodations won’t run you as large a bill as your average hotel.
Hostels also save you money by providing guest kitchens for their patrons to use. This means less cash spent on meals out. Hostel goers get fridge and pantry space to store groceries, and a fully functional kitchen for cooking.
Not only that, but our hostel provided patrons with unlimited bus passes to travel around with. Accommodations, food and transportation tend to be the costliest parts of travel. All three expenses can be greatly reduced by choosing to stay in a hostel.
Guest services in hostels include tours and group outings, either for free or at a discounted rate. During our stay, Dallas and I went snowshoeing, toured Lake Louise and Bowe Lake, explored the city of Banff, visited the local hot springs, and went skating on Vermillion Lake. These were all activities organized, provided or recommended by the hostel and their staff.
On top of these daytime activities, hostels often have entertainment in the evenings. At ours, the attached pub had trivia, pool and karaoke nights, to name a few (not to mention the cheapest liquor prices around).
Whether you’re travelling in a group, with a partner, or completely Han Solo, hostels provide many opportunities to make new friends. When taking part in group outings, going down to the pub for an evening brew, or simply spending time in the common areas, you’re bound to meet someone interesting. Hostel patrons are some of the most fun-loving, inclusive and interesting people I’ve ever met.
Staying in a hostel is an experience, not just a place for you to sleep. In our area alone we saw HI hostels that were built as cozy log cottages, ski-village lodgings, and even as electricity-free cabins in the woods. Whatever your taste, there’s a hostelling experience for you.
Last but not least, staying in hostels puts you right in the middle of the action. Hostels tend to be located in the most hip-hop-happinin’ parts of town, and like I mentioned earlier, they’re ready and willing to help you find your way around.
Whether it’s a small town like Banff, or a booming metropolis like Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal, HI has you covered. Our hostel in Banff was a part of a network of 57 hostels across the country, situated everywhere from St. John’s Newfoundland to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
Travelling can be one of the greatest experiences a person can have. It can also be expensive, overwhelming, and downright scary! Choosing to stay in a hostel greatly alleviates these stresses by being an affordable, social and fun way to travel. I don’t know if you can tell, but I would highly recommend it.
Need more tips for a romantic hostel getaway that’s also budget-friendly? We’ve got you covered in the video below!
MissFenderr is an LGBT+ vlogger and Internet personality from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since launching her YouTube channel in 2011, she’s garnered nearly 170,000 subscribers and over 12 million combined views. Whether it’s discussing sexuality, mental health issues or simply vlogging and doing challenges, no topic is off limits, especially if cats are involved! Some of her most popular videos include: WHY DATING A BISEXUAL IS HARD, BEST ACCENT CHALLENGE!! (With Canadians!), HOW TO MAKEUP, and Mindfulness 101 | Positive Psychology Ep. 3.
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