I highly recommend hostels. They are great ways to meet others who are traveling the world. Listen to their stories, their Do’s and Don’ts, their nightmare situations, and places to avoid.
In Barcelona I shared a room with 15 others, all strangers, and had an amazing time, and received amazing advice that led me to an awesome tour in London, that led me to Chavon, a roommate who let me take an amazing photo of her. “If you’re ever in (name country), come visit me,” you hear, and you do it.
These are typically people who know how to live. They know how to navigate through the world, and although they’re living a very fun, carefree life, they will one day dominate whatever it is they’re doing in the world.
As an African-American, staying in hostels is a foreign concept because most of us grew up with parents who warned us heavily about strangers, strange places, and such. I have female friends, also African-American, who are scared shitless to travel alone, and will give a million excuses as to why they can’t. Then I meet 30 white girls in a hostel, all traveling alone throughout Europe, Asia and Africa.
The best hostel so far: Urbany Hostel in Barcelona. I give it a 10 out of 10. Amazing service, great price, amazing people.
If you stay in a hostel:
1. Be engaging! Talk with the others staying there, learn about their travels, ask questions, answer questions, be open and free. You will probably never see them again.
2. If you’re traveling with valuables, make sure the hostel has lockers or personal safes. You don’t wanna carry all your things with you when you’re out exploring.
3. Make sure to take a towel and washcloth and all necessities. Most don’t provide these things free.
4. Make sure it doesn’t have a curfew, and read the description thoroughly to make sure the demographic suits you. Some allow families, some allow folks older than 35, some allow minors.