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Hostels are no longer just a stomping ground for students and backpackers – clean and comfortable rooms now attract a diverse range of visitors looking for cheap accommodation.
Parents looking for a summer holiday can have a tight budget and hostels are becoming an increasingly popular way for travellers with children to take a cheap family holiday in the destination of their choice.
Family-orientated rooms and facilities mean that hostels now offer a practical, and affordable, place to stay.
Low rates don’t mean a compromise on location. Many hostels have unbeatable positions whether you fancy a budget family city break or prefer family beach holidays. With the sights handily accessible and amenities nearby or on the premises, it’s easy to enjoy a hassle-free vacation for the whole family.
Unlike hotels, which can be too posh, quiet or (particularly the budget chain type) characterless and generally unsuitable for children, hostels have a fun and friendly atmosphere. Communal amenities too allow all members of the family to make new friends from around the world.
Family Friendly Facilities
In addition to a unique atmosphere and great location, many hostels actually have facilities catering specifically for family travel. Private rooms with up to six beds (and increasingly with en suites) can be booked out for the group.
Hostels regularly have self-catering kitchens - helpful for families on a budget as eating out three times a day can be extremely expensive. It’s a great economical way to sample local ingredients and specialties, and avoid the inevitable turn to fast food for cheap meals.
Comfortable lounge areas, ideal for the whole family to relax in, can also be found in many properties, with new hostels and recent renovations even offering modern entertainment such as plasma screen TVs and Wiis.
Other facilities and potential activities can include games rooms with pool or ping-pong tables, complimentary bike and skate hire, large outdoor spaces and swimming pools in the sunnier destinations. Hostels with dedicated movie rooms are the perfect place to put your feet up after a busy day of sightseeing.
There’s also plenty to keep parents happy. If you choose a hostel with a bar, you won't have far to travel once you have put the kids to bed and settle down for an evening drink.
Read Hostel Reviews Before Booking
Reviews and ratings on every hostel mean parents can read advice when preparing for the holiday. With descriptions from previous guests available, there’s no longer a danger of arriving at inappropriate or poor quality accommodation.
Hostels are rated according to location, facilities, atmosphere, fun, safety, staff, cleanliness and value to offer a comprehensive picture of each place that stretches beyond the photographs provided.
Safety and cleanliness are obviously top priorities in family travel but individual comments left by previous guests supplement the facts and figures, meaning travellers with children can determine the atmosphere and standard of a hostel in advance.
For a family city break...
Equity Point London, England
Parents travelling with kids can stay in family rooms at this Georgian style hostel equipped with all the mod cons and bright and colourful decor. Hyde Park is a short walk and top tourist attractions including Madame Tussauds, the Science Museum and Natural History Museum are within easy reach.
For a family beach break...
Sydney Beachouse Backpackers YHA, Australia
Begovic Boarding House, Dubrovnik, Croatia
For family adventure holidays...
Saban Treehouse, Olympos, Turkey
Every kid's dream is to stay in a treehouse, so here in Olympos you can make there dream come true. The Saban Treehouses are picturesquely located among cooling pine trees just minutes from the beach. There are plenty of activities on offer, including sea kayaking and snorkelling. On an evening families can kick back with authentic Turkish food at the on site restaurant.
Palm Lakefront Resort and Hostel, Orlando, USA
Every child should visit Disneyland once in their life but parents can become daunted by the cost. At the Palm Lakefront Resort they throw in heaps of lovely little extras to make your travel money go further. There is a large self-catering kitchen - perfect for packed lunches. They offer free maps and guides to the Discney resort, a swimming pool, free foosball table and Playstation 2, free parking and there is an idyllic fishing pier at the bottom of the garden where you can watch the sunset.