When searching for a place to live in the city, budget constraints are always at the top of your mind. You want to stay in an area near your office or university, but you also want to pay rent that’s within your price range.
Affordable housing options include renting a bedsit, staying in a relative’s spare room, student halls, flat-sharing and cheap bed and breakfasts. Hostels are another option. Though more commonly known to cater for backpackers, hostels also accommodate families, students and young professionals. In London, hostels have become an attractive alternative to cope with the sky-high cost of accommodation.
Like every housing option, living in a hostel comes with benefits. Read on to know what to expect if you’re thinking of choosing this accommodation option.
The Benefits of Long-Term Hostel Living
The most obvious benefit of living in a hostel is that you save money on rent and utilities. Most hostels include basic amenities. There are also shared spaces like a common room, kitchen and sometimes a study area or gym. If you value your privacy, some hostels offer private rooms at a reasonable price.
Living in a hostel also allows you to expand your social circle. People often seek work and education in huge cities like London, so in a hostel, you will encounter people from various occupations, other parts of the country and different nationalities. Living in a hostel also teaches you to be mindful of other behaviours and customs, and teach you to be considerate of others.
Making the Most of Your Long-Term Stay
Despite the benefits offered by long-term hostel living, you may need to adjust to living in a shared space. If you’re considering living in a hostel for a few months, here are tips to make your stay more pleasant.
- Choosing a hostel
It pays to be selective with where you’ll stay. Research the hostels around the city and compare key features such as amenities, cleanliness, location, price, available discounts and safety. Check the reviews of previous tenants to know their experience in the hostel.
- Ensuring a comfortable stay
Patience and consideration are the keys to living in a hostel. Remember that you’re sharing common facilities with other guests. If you’re rooming with others, remember to adapt to their schedules and respect their privacy. You’re bound to encounter late-night workers, loud snorers and people who hog the bathroom. If you’re at your wit’s end for something another tenant did, it pays to talk to them or discuss your concerns at the front desk.
You don’t want to be labelled as the annoying hostel mate either. To avoid getting that reputation, clean up after yourself before leaving a communal area and be considerate of others’ time and space.
- Enjoying the area
Make the most out of your stay and use it as an opportunity to find new friends and explore the city. Chat with your hostel mates, invite them to explore the city, walk around a park or grab something to eat. Be friendly with the hostel staff, since they can share tips on what the locals usually enjoy in the city.
Living in a hostel is an option if you’re on a tight budget, but doing so means you have to share with people with different tastes and from diverse backgrounds. Knowing what to expect and adapting to the challenges ensures that you can stay in a hostel for months. If you are starting-out, this could be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
Brooke has been a connoisseur of back roads and obscure places since she was a girl. Growing up in a small working farm, she knew at a young age that there was so much to see and understand about the world. Since she left home at 17, she’s been gallivanting around the world. She’s a go-to resource for fearless Euro travel and extreme budget adventures. Her colorful experiences moving from one country to another with only time to spare will surely inspire you to leave the rat race and chase your backpacking dreams.