For an affordable family vacation, consider staying in a hostel.

For those who don’t know, hostels are properties found in most cities, that offer shared accommodations, sort of like college dorms. They tend to be cheaper than hotels. And until recently, hostels were mostly associated with younger travelers, like backpackers and students, who didn’t mind staying in a room with strangers, and sharing a bathroom. But today, travel experts say a growing number of hostels are offering more services that appeal to families. For example:

  • The biggest new trend in hostels is to offer smaller, more private sleeping areas. That way, an entire family can sleep in one room, instead of sharing bunks with strangers.

  • Also, most hostels have game rooms where families can watch TV, and unwind after a busy day. They also offer large kitchens, where you can bring your own food, and cook your own meals.

  • Some hostels even provide babysitting services. And they’ll organize free activities for families, like city tours, and movie nights. Experts say hostels may be perfect for families on a budget, because they offer a good value, and they’re usually located in central areas, close to zoos, parks, and museums. 

Just make sure you keep an open mind if you stay in a hostel. After all, some are built into historic landmarks, like former light-houses, and castles, which weren’t designed for comfort. Plus, hostels are intentionally set up to help guests connect with other people, from all over the world. Meaning, when you stay in a hostel, you never know what language you’re going to hear next.

Want to go further? You can read more about family-friendly hostels in over 3,500 cities at