Though hostelling is most commonly associated with a younger crowd, it can be a great thing to do with your children. You'll be able to save money compared to using a hotel, but you'll also be able to make use of a full kitchen and let your children meet interesting people from all over the world. That said, there are still a few things that you need to take into account, so make sure you follow these six steps to ensure that everything goes well.
1. Research the Hostel and Area
You don't want to find yourself at a party hostel; they'll be loud, messy, and not a great place for children. Instead, you need something a little more chill. Just look at each hostel's online description before you book. Regular pub crawls and a close proximity to the local nightclubs are definite red flags. Instead, look for film nights and walking tours in the area.
2. Take a Look at the Average Age of Reviewers
If you're going to be hostelling with your kids, it's likely that you'll be meeting people a lot younger than yourself. That said, it's normally best to go for a hostel with 25 year olds rather than 18 year olds; the latter are more likely to be loud and messy. Luckily, many hostel booking sites will show the age of reviewers, so use those ages to find a place with a slightly more mature crowd.
3. Check Out the Amenities
Amenities are extremely important when you're travelling with kids. Laundry facilities and a common area will make your visit much more pleasant, and some hostels will even offer an entertainment room with games and a TV. If your children are quite young, try finding somewhere with outside space in which they can play.
4. Look for Lockers
Lockers are another amenity too look out for that really deserve special consideration. Unfortunately, even the best of hostels won't be as secure as a hotel room. You should be fine, but it's worth considering that a thief is more likely to target you than the average hosteller since they will probably assume that you have more money. Make sure your room will have a large locker in which to secure your things.
5. Speak to the Hostel First
You need to make sure that you'll be in the same room as your children, so call the hostel to make sure this happens. Some will even have rooms that they prefer to use for families or give you priority for an ensuite room.
Hostelling with your children can turn a great trip into a fantastic adventure, and kids tend to enjoy meeting new people. Just make sure you follow the tips listed above.