Hotels vs. hostels – Which one requires travel insurance?

Choosing the perfect insurance while vacationing, like temporary car insurance, travelers insurance, and airline travel insurance, is just as important as finding the right place to stay. 

With the rising popularity of Airbnb and other hosting sites for people renting out their homes, there are a multitude of options when it comes to finding somewhere to stay on vacation. 

Though rental homes and condominiums have become popular places for travelers to lay their heads during vacations, there are people who still choose between a hotel and hostel. Hostels are the less popular choices of the two, but they are still something to be considered when finding a location to temporarily stay. 

If you are among the people who are struggling to decide to stay at a hotel or hostel, then this article should help you choose the option that best fits your specific situation. 

How are hotels different from hostels?

The most noticeable difference between a hotel and hostel is that hostels offer dormitory-feel accommodations, while hotels offer private, individual rooms. 

Hostels have been exemplified as being stayed in the most by backpackers, criminals, or hippies most within films but many hostels are actually more appealing than how popular movies display them to be. You can actually see all of those types of individuals staying in hotels, too. 

Overall, hostels have more of a community feel than hotels do as the accommodations are more welcoming and better for groups. 

The Characteristics of a Hotel

Hotels vs. hostels – Which One Requires Travel Insurance?

If you are taking a solo trip, it may be ideal for you to stay in a hotel if you are someone who is worried about your solitude. Hotels offer private individual rooms so you will not have to worry about being bothered by the presence of other people. 

Within a hotel, you can usually find a variety of amenities such as:

  • A staff that checks you in and out, cleans your room and tends to other needs associated with staying comfy while there
  • A clean and tidy place that hones in on dramatic or modern decorations throughout the lobby
  • Free WiFi and access to a business center
  • A private room with food service
  • Breakfast service
  • Other accommodations that are similar to those found in apartment complexes such as a pool or gym

The Characteristics of a Hostel

Hostels are not only just dingy, bunk-bed filled rooms, but there are also some that have a bit of privacy. They can also be just as tidy and clean as hotels. 

There are some boutique hostels that offer almost all of the options that hotels have while also offering shared common spaces. Additionally, they may offer private rooms with shared bathrooms and lounging areas. 

Here are some common characteristics you can find throughout various hostels:

  • Designs with community-aesthetics in mind
  • Shared common spaces and/or bathrooms
  • More social environments 
  • Laundry rooms
  • Community telephone
  • Lockers to store personal belongings
  • Breakfast service

Choosing Travel Insurance for a Hostel and Hotel

What's the difference between a hostel and a hotel

The insurance that you choose for your travel plans depends solely on your specific needs and concerns while traveling. For instance, if you have a career that allows you to work remotely, you would want to get the insurance that hones in on property coverage in case your work equipment is damaged while traveling. 

You may also want the same type of coverage when staying in a hostel since it is a community-based environment, and your personal belongings have a higher chance of being stolen or damaged.

Regardless of your situation, there is no doubt that the benefits of travel insurance can extend to various circumstances. Here is a few commonly recommended insurance coverage to get when staying in either a hotel or a hostel:

  • Trip Cancellation Protection Of course, no one plans on canceling their vacation, but things do come up that can prevent someone from keeping traveling plans. You can be refunded for your airfare and hotel fair if you missed a flight, got caught in traffic, or have some form of emergency back home.
  • Trip Interruption Coverage Though an emergency may not happen before you leave, one can still happen when you are away from home. Your travel insurance can help you get home fast if there is an emergency. This coverage can also reimburse you for the unexpected costs from changing your travel plans and a partial refund for the remainder of your booked travel plans
  • Emergency Medical Care Medical care is expensive no matter where you are, but it can be extremely more expensive if you are somewhere where your health insurance does not cover, like in foreign territories. Travel medical coverage is affordable and covers medical care when injured while on vacation. 
  • Lost baggage Airlines are already pretty accommodating when they have lost your luggage, but there is also travel coverage for these instances as well. Coverage for lost, stolen, or delayed baggage can help you get fresh clothes and other basic necessities until your items arrive or it can reimburse you for having to replace those items.

Is a hotel or hostel better for me?

Is a Hostel Right for me

Like any other decision you make in life, this one too is based on who you are as a person and your personal preferences. Those who are wanting to meet other people while traveling can benefit from staying in a hostel just as much as someone looking to save money on their vacation can benefit from it.

Hostels are a great place to stay if you are really focused on saving money or getting to meet other people but are not ideal if you treasure privacy. Affordable hotels that cater to the desire for privacy are usually always available. 

Also, hotels are more service-based. So if on your vacation you are looking to experience more luxury where staff members serve you at your door, then you will feel more comfortable at a hotel. Hotels are also more ideal for those traveling in a larger, private group and are not interested in meeting other people.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before deciding on staying at a hotel or a hostel:

  • Is this trip for work or play?
  • Is this trip solo or with a group?
  • What parts of town are each of these options located in , and does that line up with where you want to explore?
  • What level of risk are you comfortable with taking in regard to your belongings and your safety?
  • Is saving money or optimizing comfort your top priority?
  • How important are amenities such as a fitness room, free breakfast, and having your bed made and towels cleaned every day?
  • Do you want to feel like a traveler or like a local? Do you want to meet other travelers?

The answers to these questions can help you better choose if you should stay in a hotel or a hostel. Whichever accommodation you choose, however, you should make sure you are adequately covered by insurance for a variety of situations.

 – About the Author – 

Imani Francies writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media and specializes in various forms of media marketing.



Imani Francies

Imani Francies