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Eastern Europe with my mom - advice

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I'm traveling to Romania this summer for a workshop and I started planning other places to go afterwards. My mom has never been out of the country and we've decided that she's going to meet up with me in Cluj. I'm 21 and this is my post-graduation trip. I've traveled on my own before so I'm not too shy about that. She's 45, pretty open to the idea of living out of a suitcase but still sort of nervous, rightly so.
Our tentative plans are Cluj to Belgrade to Sarajevo to Zagreb (possibly Zadar) to Ljubljana. I've been looking at hostels to stay in.
But I have some questions and need advice:
-do hostels generally have age limitations. I know the ones I've stayed at before didn't seem to have older individuals, but probably because they opt to stay in hotels.
-any advice on where to go or stay? I want to keep cost down, duh. I also don't like cities that are too touristy so I will likely venture out to smaller towns, but then the prices goes up.
-any spectacular cities in particular?
Thanks for your help!

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