The more I travel, the more I’ve started to look for deals and ask around for tips to save money. So naturally, when a buddy of mine recommended that I try out a hostel while in California, I was all in! In the past I had heard of hostels, but usually from either my European peers or friends who had done some traveling overseas. Nevertheless, I was game.
So…fast-forward, I hop off the plane at LAX (“with a dream and my cardigan”🤣), pick-up my rental car and head over to check into my first hostel-Banana Bungalow of Hollywood.
I arrive and the staff is very helpful and gracious. It’s not until I get to the room where things start to go downhill.
For starters, people were in and out of the space all night. Granted, it’s a shared living arrangement and the week I was there happened to fall on a holiday. Yet and still the constant foot-traffic made it difficult to get any sleep, which ultimately what you’re paying for. Secondly, the bathrooms were very unkempt. They looked like the cleaning staff had been on strike…or maybe never even hired! Yeah…nothing says comfort more than noisy neighbors and a dirty bath area…And to top it off, this French couple ( with who I shared my bunk) had something going on I still haven’t made sense of.
Needless to say, I was up and out of there hours before check out!
Nevertheless, not to be swayed or defeated, I decided to give the hostel thing a-go again. This time, in a different city and hostel organization…the place-Hostel International of San Diego.
Upon check-in, I went to my room, where to my surprise/relief I found private pod-style bunks with chargers and USB ports (I couldn’t even find an outlet🔌 @ the previous hostel). In addition to that, the rooms and bathrooms were both comfortable and clean🙏🙌. And best of all, they had enforced quiet hours! So that night I was actually able to get some sleep😴!
Aside from the accommodations, I was also able to meet a host of really cool travelers as well.
There was, Rachel-a native New Yorker who had relocated to the west coast and recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which prompted her to hike the Pacific Crest Trail; then Kyng- a Filipino-American guitarist from Oakland with THE most positive vibes; & Coenraad- the coolest South African I’ve ever met, thus far (and whose name I kept butchering).
So yeah, all in all, I recommend hostels. The prices are reasonable and most offer an internet cafe and complimentary breakfast. Just make sure you read up on them before booking!