Besides buying a plane ticket, the most stressful part about planning any trip is deciding where to stay.

I have lived in many different places throughout my travels, including nice hotels, local apartments, Airbnb rentals and hostels. Booking a bed at a hostel is a cheap and easy way to save money, and you can spend the extra money elsewhere during your adventures abroad. There are plenty of great hostels around the world, so it’s an easy choice to make if you want to travel on the cheap.

Each place has its pros and cons, and if you want to see why hostels are a gamble, but worth the risk, click here. However, while hostels usually offer the best price for you penny-pinching travelers, there are some reasons why the low cost is not worth the time, stress and effort.

Here are five reasons why you should not make a reservation at a hostel:

  1. Bed bugs.
    • These little things can ruin a vacation and even your own house if you don’t take the necessary precautions before returning home. Having lived in a hostel with bed bugs, I can say that you do not want to be bitten night in, night out. And while not every hostel bed has these creatures, it’s best to stay safe and book a better place.
  2. Noise level.
    • Hostels are not hotels. And because they are not hotels, silence usually is not present. Many hostels are in good locations, but that means noise throughout the day and night, due to the traffic and general street life. Plus, hostel rooms are not made to be soundproof, so make sure to take earplugs.
  3. The smell.
    • Imagine: after a long, eight-hour flight, you walk through the beautiful town or city wherein you are staying and arrive at your destination tired and ready for an easy first night, but an invisible cloud of tobacco smoke hits you right in the face as you enter your hostel. If you don’t mind tobacco smoke, then the smell of hostels is not too bad. But the smell of smoke in combination with other scents doesn’t work for some of us, including me.
  4. Better accommodation and similar pricing at Airbnb
    • Airbnb is my favorite site to use when booking a place to stay. The transparency the site offers is wonderful and allows you to choose the best possible location to stay after you have sifted through all of the reviews. Plus, these apartments and rooms are owned and looked after by an individual who usually lives there. You can choose to rent out an entire place, but if you want to stay the night somewhere and don’t mind meeting someone new, then Airbnb is the perfect choice.
  5. Size.
    • With some hostels, you can book a private room to stay in, but even then, the size of most rooms, including the dormitory-style rooms are not that big, which means you may feel cramped. Sure, for social travelers, this won’t be an issue, but for those of us who like space to stretch our arms out, we might prefer somewhere else to stay.

Have you stayed in a hostel? What did you like or dislike about your experience? Agree or disagree with any of the reasons?

Share your thoughts below.