Welcome to the Hostel Australia*
Updated: Oct 4, 2018
Such a lovely place. Such a lovely face.
*This title is in reference to Hotel California, an extremely long song by the Eagles. If you haven't heard it, look it up at your own risk, because all six minutes will remain playing in your head as they do now in mine until you die.
Budget: AUD$18-22 per night + groceries (many hostels serve free breakfast)
Why did they spell hotel with an S? The internet could not tell me [comment below if you have an answer].
Having just recently begun my traveling life, I am new to hostels, so if youre just beginning your journey, we can experience them together.
The hostel I stayed in for my first couple of nights in Brisbane was called Brisbane Backpacker's Resort (BBR). Note that the word hostel isn't anywhere in the name. Here in the land of the koala, or at least in the city of Brisbane, they call hostels backpackers (a wonderful example of the universe of differences between two countries speaking the same language).
BBR has a downstairs lounge area, available computers, a pool, tennis court, and outdoor bar and dinner area. Unless you are part of a scheduled group, BBR only has cold breakfast included in your stay (cereal, toast, VEGEMITE), so I found it best to buy groceries at a local store and cook for myself using the kitchen area.
When traveling on a budget, meals are definitely an area where costs can be cut. Since, like BBR, most hostels won't provide substantial meals, getting groceries can save a ton of money instead of going out for every meal.
Australian hostels range from AUD$17 to 22 per night, depending on how many people you bunk up with.
(this is about USD$13 to 16 today, currency exchange rates vary daily.)
My room was a six-person dorm with bunk beds. Linens and towels are provided and each dorm has a connected bathroom (keep in mind this is one bathroom for six people.) From poking around on the internet, I have found that accommodations for hostels in Australia range from about four to eight person dorms and most if not all provide linens (some going as far as to yell at you through the internet not to bring your own.)
Although sharing a room with 3-7 other people might sound horrific (or wonderful if thats how you roll), I've found that now in your 20 somethings (or even beyond) is the best time in life to sacrifice things like minor personal space and to some degree, personal comfort in order to get those international experiences you're looking for. Not only that, but staying in those conditions makes for an amazing melting pot of cultures, languages and stories.
On my first day at BBR, two German girls introduced themselves to Anna (my travel buddy) and me. They'd just arrived in Brisbane and would be traveling for five months after, just like us. Meeting people this easily is common.
I've found most of the people who choose to be in an environment like a youth hostel want to share life stories and experiences along their traveling journey.
Not only do these people bring a really cool new perspective, but you've also likely just made some new connections in another country you want to visit!
*A good website that I've been using to search for and book hostels is hostelworld.com.*