5 Things You Didn't Know About Staying in Hostels

Spoiler: You don't actually have to fear for your life.

If you've never stayed in a hostel, you may think of it as one step above a correctional facility, a potentially shady place where you need to watch your belongings and take your chances in general. Luckily, that rep is mainly just based in mythology, and you might as well know about the positives that are really out there if you're in the life stage and position to consider this type of lodging for travel. Here are some things you may not have known about hostels that might just change your outlook:

1.  Don't let their colorful histories discourage you.

With its cafe, restaurant, and artist-designed rooms, The Guardian considers Celica Hostel, located inside a former prison in Slovenia, one of the best luxury hostels in all of Europe. The world's first eco-certified hostel boasts that it's "the only place where you will willingly spend the night behind bars and even pay for that experience."

2.  A sense of security is possible.

Smarter Travel notes that fears of theft can be alleviated by staying at a hostel with amenities such as private rooms, safety deposit boxes, and round-the-clock security like Generator Hostels, which has locations in major European cities.

3.  Hostels are thriving in chic cities.

. Have a book night. #Tokyo . #BNBT #bookandbedtokyo #bookandbed #haveabooknight #haveabookday #泊まれる本屋

A photo posted by BOOK AND BED TOKYO (@bookandbedtokyo) on

A bunch of cool hostels have opened in Tokyo in the past year, according to CNN. One of the most popular is Book and Bed, where you can spend the night or just nap in a bookshelf inside a bookstore.

4.  They can feel as social as nightclubs.

About last night...

A photo posted by Gilligan's Cairns (@gilliganscairns) on

With shared rooms and DJ-powered poolside dance parties, Condé Nast Traveler notes that Gilligan's Backpacker's Hotel & Resort in Cairns, Australia fulfills a traveler's desire to go clubbing while on the road.

5.  New categories are upping the game.

Curbed reports that Freehand, a hotel with both private and shared rooms, plans to open in downtown Los Angeles by late February or early March, followed by a location in New York's Gramercy Park in the spring; both join popular locations in Chicago and Miami. In the sense of shared spaces, think of these as hostel-hotel hybrids. Operated by Sydell Group, which is behind hip properties like The Line in nearby Koreatown and NoMad in NYC, Freehand L.A. will boast of two restaurants as well as a rooftop pool and lounge. Doesn't sound scary at all, does it?

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