In days past, choosing a place to stay during your travels was simple. Do you prefer to be pampered and don’t mind paying extra? Book a hotel. If you’re on a tight budget, choose a hostel - simple as that!

In the last couple of years however, “home share” services like Airbnb have come in and muddied the waters.

Which brings us to today’s topic: with so many more options for accommodation nowadays, how do you know which one is the best-suited for your trip?

 Cheap accommodation Melbourne

What to expect from private short-term lodging

It’s hard to create a definitive list of what to expect from a peer-to-peer homestay marketspace - with everything from single rooms, to apartments, to entire houses, the experience will depend heavily on the place you choose.

That said, there are a couple of potential disadvantages that come with this accommodation format:

Your host is not guaranteed to be a star!

Most hosts are great, but you’re not guaranteed a responsive and helpful host for your stay.

Additionally, many hosts are simply far too selective when it comes to guests. Dates check out? Yep. Price is right? Yep. Looks good? Yep. But ultimately, the host can deny your request to book - without a reason.

It’s frustrating, to say the least.

Your accommodation can be risky

There have been horror stories of people showing up to their accommodation having been totally deceived by online images, or worst of all, a place, address, or apartment number that doesn’t even exist!

I fought the law...

Airbnb is still not regulated in some of the world’s biggest cities.

Lodger beware - your host could get caught (especially if they are renting out their own rental property) and your reservation could be cancelled - even at the last minute, leaving you with no accommodation.


So when (and why) should you choose a hostel?

You want to meet other like-minded travellers...

Hostels have long been a meeting ground for travellers - not only a more affordable option, but also a haven for travellers and backpackers in the middle of a foreign city.

Even today, the social aspect of hostel living remains the biggest draw. Hostels are a great way of meeting new people.

Even if you book a private room, hostels have common areas like rec rooms, shared kitchens and some even have their own bars where you can socialise and meet fellow travellers.

If you don’t fancy being alone when you travel solo or just want to pick up some neat travel tips from local and fellow travellers, choose a hostel!

… and make local and international friends for life!

Arguably one of the best parts about travelling is not just the places you see or landmarks you visit… but the people you meet!

Now’s not the time to shy away and avoid talking to strangers. You never know who will become your friends for life - so when you stay in a hostel, make sure you do so with an open mind and open arms.

You’re on a budget

Backpackers aren’t exactly known for travelling loaded. Whether it’s a conscious choice to avoid tourist traps or simply due to not having much of a travel budget, most backpackers travel light.

And there’s nothing wrong with that!

Hostels are almost universally cheaper than hotels - that’s where the stereotype of hostels being the sole domain of backpackers comes from.

But you don’t have to be a backpacker to book a hostel. Thanks to the affordable rates available at most places, hostels are an affordable option for all travellers.

school groups

You’ll be spending a lot of time away

People travel differently.

Some people like cramming their days full of events and attractions; others take their time, adopting a slower, more deliberate approach.

If you fall into the first category, a hostel might be just the place for you.

Think about it: if your days are full of seeing the sights and eating and drinking your way through town, all you really need for your accommodation is a place to rest your head at night.

The tried and tested argument for hostel lodging: what’s the point in splurging on a 5-star hotel if you’re never going to be around?

You’re travelling in a group

If you thought travelling on your own was hard, try organising a group holiday!

Organising group accommodation can be a major headache. Firstly, booking that many hotel rooms can be prohibitively expensive, and finding a place with enough space for your group can be challenging.

Whether you’re a school group organising an excursion, a sports team celebrating the end of a season, or a bucks party looking for cheap accommodation in Melbourne, hostel accommodation is perfect.


Looking for a Melbourne hostel? Choose Urban Central

One of the most important decisions any frequent flyer can make is not swearing complete loyalty to one form of accommodation over the others. The decision should made based on your trip:

  • Why are you travelling?
  • What do you want to see / visit?
  • Who are you travelling with?
  • How much are you willing to spend?

If you’re staying in Melbourne and hostel living sounds like the perfect choice for you, get in touch with Urban Central.

We’re a Melbourne hostel located in the trendy Southbank district, offering affordable and comfortable living right in the heart of the city and within easy access to trams and buses.

Got a question? Call us anytime on 1800 631 288, or if you’re ready to book, secure your room here!