If you’re looking to travel without breaking the bank, it doesn’t get more affordable than crashing at a hostel. This shared lodging solution is a go-to for budget travelers in Europe and Asia where it's long been a staple for students and backpackers, but hostels are less common in the United States. They certainly do exist, though, and specialized web sites like HostelWorld, and even big online travel agencies like Booking.com allow you to book them easily online.
By offering ultra-low-cost beds, meals, destination guidance, and even excursions, hostels are perfect for anyone traveling on a budget or simply hoping to meet new people on the road.
While the shared living space concept hasn’t fully caught on in America, there are some very fine hostels popping up all around the nation and we expect this trend to grow. After all, we live in a world where co-working spaces are now the norm. It makes sense that the same concept should apply to travel. Here’s a rundown of some of the best hostels to book in every corner of the United States.
The Local: New York City, New York
New York City may suffer from skyrocketing hotels prices, but The Local offers an affordable lodging alternative so that you can actually explore NYC on the cheap. This hostel says when you stay with them, they treat you like a local--and they do. They offers a wide range of amenities, including a common area for guests to mingle, free WiFi, a full bar, and rooftop access. And because of the convenient location in Long Island City, guest can take advantage of the famous New York skyline, as well as attend one of the many events the hostel organizes throughout the year.
Price: Dorm beds from: $50; private rooms from: $99
Auberge NOLA: New Orleans, Louisiana
There’s about a million reasons why New Orleans should be on your travel bucket list, and choosing in a hostel is a great way to save cash while staying near the action of this vibrant city. Auberge NOLA is one of the best hostel options in New Orleans, offering down-home lodging that’s away from the madness of Bourbon, but not far from the French Quarter. The pretty rooms, friendly staff, and spacious outdoor space make this a favorite among visitors to the Crescent City.
Price: Dorm beds from: $44; private rooms from: $57
HighRoad Hostel: Washington, D.C.
Despite the high prices, America's capital remains a vibrant tourist destination with more than enough to fill out an itinerary. Thankfully, hostels like HighRoad are an affordable alternative. Visitors to the HighRoad hostel will be delighted to find comfortable rooms, a newly renovated common space, a friendly staff, and a free breakfast. The facility is constructed to encourage social interaction between guests, however, those who'd like a quiet night in can help themselves to a mini library, as well as free Netflix and Hulu. Situated in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, HighRoad drops guests right in action of the D.C.
Price: Dorm beds from: $50; private rooms from: $229
HI Boston: Boston, Massachusetts
Located in the center of Boston, on the border of the Theater District and Chinatown, the HI Boston hostel offers some of the most affordable lodging in the city. History buffs will love the nearby Freedom Trail, leading past the home of Paul Revere and the grave of John Hancock. In addition, the HI Boston is in close proximity to both the New England Aquarium and the Boston Science Museum. HI hostels require a purchasing a membership to stay. For frequent travelers, HI offers an annual membership of $18 per person, or $250 for a lifetime membership that never expires. If you’re not ready to purchase a lengthy membership, you can purchase a daily pass for $3 at each hostel.
Price:Dorm beds from: $44; private rooms from: $229
Firehouse Lounge: Austin, Texas
Amazingly, the Firehouse Lounge is actually a converted Firehouse from the late 1800s. It’s also located right in the middle of Austin, a city famous for its music, art, and culture. The lounge features a renowned cocktail bar with inventive drinks and DJs. And the hostel boasts a kitchen and common area, free breakfast each morning, WiFI, and a variety of room options.
Price: Dorm beds from: $33; private rooms from: $109
Freehand: Los Angeles, California
Freehand is less of a hostel and more of a hotel that offers shared accommodations. Still, the savings compared to typical Los Angeles hotels is abundantly clear. Freehand offers an added flair of luxury to the hostel experience, complete with a rooftop pool for lounging with your new friends. You'll also enjoy a complimentary breakfast and daily access to the guest kitchen.
Price: Dorm beds from: $54; private rooms from: $206
NY Moore Hostel: Brooklyn, New York
As Brooklyn becomes a hotter attraction by the day, prices for lodging continue to climb, making the NY Moore hostel an incredible value for those looking to soak up this vibrant borough. Billed as a luxury hostel, the property is chock-full of fun activities like a rooftop cinema and a bouncy castle. The rooms are clean and modern with female and mixed dorms with private bathrooms in every room. There's free WiFi, a cozy common area, complimentary coffee and tea, and a lovely courtyard.
Price: Dorm beds from: $47
Hostel Fish: Denver, Colorado
Despite being extremely affordable, Hostel Fish is epitome of clean and luxurious hostel lodging. Owned by former backpackers who are dedicated to the level of quality they always searched for in hostel, Hostel Fish nails it with the details from the locally-made duvet covers to charging stations at each bed. There's a guest lounge, bar, and kitchen; free WiFi and use of iPad; and daily housekeeping. The hostel also features a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains and Coors Field,and is conveniently located in one of the hippest neighborhoods in Denver.