Are hostels the best option for backpackers travelling as a group?

As a solo traveller, staying in a hostel is good for me for two reasons, they are cheaper than a hotel room, and they are a better place to meet new people. If I pay for one bed in a 14 bed hostel dorm in Sevilla for instance, it costs me around €10 – €11 per night. If I pay for a private room however, it will be at least €30 per night, usually more. This means that as a solo traveller I save at least €20 per night just by staying in dorm style hostel rooms. As for the atmosphere, well, hostels are just made to make things more sociable. They have common rooms, many have their own bars, and usually hostels will organise nights out or things to do that will get people socialising… whereas a hotel would usually not. I was thinking today however, after seeing a big group check into my hostel, is it really that beneficial for a group to stay in a hostel? In particular, I’m talking about groups of at least 4 or more.

The reason I ask this question is that when you have say 4 people in a group, and you are booking out a 4 person dorm at around €20 per night (I’m using Sevilla prices as an example), then you are paying €80 per night for what is effectively a very budget, no frills type of accommodation. I was able to book a private room in a very budget hotel with a double bed and en-suite bathroom for one night in Sevilla for €30. Two of these rooms would cost €60 per night in total, and would house 4 people. You are already saving €20 per night total, and you still get the privacy you would get of booking out your own 4 bed dorm room. There is also the factor to consider that in general, for some reason, groups don’t seem to make as many friends in a hostel as solo travellers do. It’s not true of every group travelling together, but generally speaking I find that groups tend to stick to themselves more, whereas solo traveller mingle with everyone because quite simply the have to! If you are not saving money, and you lose the social aspect, is there really much point in staying in a hostel?

Then there is the luxury aspect to consider. If you are travelling as a family, are travelling with a particularly big group, or budget is not so much of a concern, then it’s very possible to rent villas with pools, and experience a destination in complete luxury so long as you are travelling with enough people to split the cost. A villa on it’s own for one person would just not be possible on a normal persons budget, but if you have a really big group of at least 10+ people then it could become an option if you aim for some of the cheaper ones. It will be more expensive than a hostel, there is no doubt about that, but if you can split the cost with enough people, then it can be affordable, allow you to consider luxury villas, and a type of holiday or trip that would just not be possible staying in a hostel.

Hostels, for me personally, will always be my favourite type of accommodation as a solo traveller because I meet so many people, it’s cheap, and I’m more of a low frills kinda girl anyway. For groups however, the value that I find in a hostel starts to disappear, both in terms of cost and meeting people. At least that is how it seems to me as a solo budget backpacker. If you have any thoughts on the matter however, I would be interested to know!

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