Hostelling in your forties?

Old Dec 14th, 2002, 08:31 PM
  #1  
sue
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Hostelling in your forties?

Any 40 year old single women out there that stay in hostels? How was your experience? I'll be in Italy.

I stayed in hostels all over Europe in my 20's; am wondering if I'm too 'old' for the hostel scene. It sure is a great way to save money, especially when on an extended trip.

Thaniks for any feedback.
 
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 12:55 AM
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Not
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No problem. I am 42, and I have met many people older than me in youth hostels. Only Bavaria has a maxium age limit of 26.
 
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 04:27 AM
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Nutella
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If your objective is to save money, then there is nothing wrong with staying at a hostel, at any age. However, as someone who fits your demographic : ) I'd never stay at one again. I find hostels to be kind of depressing. When I travel, I am raring to go every morning, visiting new places, deciding where I'm going to eat. I certainly envy the young people who travel around the world and stay in hostels (I didn't do it at that age) - but for the most part their main objective is to get thru the day without spending money. In one hostel I was awaken by a bullhorn at 6 in the morning shouting "Anyone for work? Anyone for work?..." They were asking for boarders willing to clean the bathrooms in exchange for a night's stay. I was never able to round up companions to visit museums with me, because the admission ticket was too high for them. At night many of the young people dined on a loaf of bread and jar of jelly. Many sat around smoking all day long in the lobby, and I felt out of place and self conscious getting dressed up and running out the door and coming back with my shopping bags. And at night, when I was exhausted and wanted peace, that's when the drinking and music begins. Note: I am not an old fogey, I'm youthful and funloving, and I do travel on a budget most of the time. But honestly if you consider your holiday to be a treat for yourself, and in Italy I think most peoples' objective is to experience la dolce vita, I would scrimp elsewhere and pay the difference to stay in a hotel.
 
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 06:01 AM
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janis
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I'd have to agree w/ Nutella for the most part. There are some wonderful hostels but the majority are crowded, noisy and no big bargain. At one time hosteling made a lot of sense. But the availability of really good low-cost accomodations now means you can stay in a private room in nice pensions or B&B for little more than a hostel. So why put yourself through the rigors of hostels?

Exceptions I have used are those in really remote or rustic areas like NW Scotland where the hostels are geared to the outdoors and the other guests arrange hiking groups and evening parties.
 
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 06:25 AM
  #5  
Betsy
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Sue, consider staying in convents in Italy. They're quiet, safe and inexpensive. You don't have to be Catholic to stay there, but it's a good idea to book early. Two guides have been recommended on this forum--one is Bed and Blessings, and I'm sorry can't remember the name of the other. Do a search, putting <convents> in the search box and its title will be in one or two of the messages that pop up.

Here's info on the comfortable convent we stayed in in Florence. Great location near Santa Croce. The sisters speak French and Italian. You may have to fax them more than once to get a reply. I'd stay there again in a heartbeat. The cost was about $35/night, no breakfast.

Instituto Oblate dell'Assunzione
Borgo Pinti, 15
Firenze 50121
Fax: 39 0155 234 629

Here's info about a convent in Rome that I found on this board yesterday:

Fraterna Domus
[email protected]
Via Monte Brianzo, 62
00186 Roma
tel 06 68 80 2727
fax 06 68 32 691

Hope this is enough to get you started.

Buon viaggio

 
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 08:32 AM
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xxx
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Aren't Elderhostels hostels in Europe that have older people?
 
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 09:13 PM
  #7  
PoorStudent
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Traveled through Italy last summer. Did not find the hostels appealing, and I'm young. Wound up buying a small tent and camping in campgrounds that have showers, etc. Was cleaner and quieter than the hostels.
 
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 10:34 PM
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Carol
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Hostels served their purpose when young and poor. Unless you absolutely have to "for the savings", I think convents and homestays (the original, simple "bed and breakfasts")are the way to go. Most hostels basically kick you out for the day and too many had cold water only. Good luck!
 
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 10:36 PM
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xyz
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xxx - No, Elderhostel does not own/operate hostels. It is an organization that promotes tours and educational programs for middle aged and older people.
 
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 05:32 AM
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Sue
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Thanks for the feedback everyone, especially the information on convents, Betsy. I'd forgotten about that! I did do a search; the other book is 'Lodging in Italy's monasteries.'

Also, the places I was considering weren't the bigger hostels in Rome or Florence, (which I thought might be pretty depressing) but a little more remote such as the one on the Cinque Terre or Ischia. I guess they would still have the same environment and ambience though.

Yes, I am looking forward to la dolce vita!

 
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 06:42 AM
  #11  
Elaine
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Sue,

I still think some hostels are great at any age. Look at the reviews at www.bugeurope.com/reviews/ and at www.ricksteves.com and other websites and you will see that some hostels get generally great ratings. Some now have bathrooms in the rooms, rooms with only 4 beds, etc. They've come a long way since we stayed in them in our 20s.

You could save money by staying in some of the better rated hostels (Cinque Terre, Menaggio, Verona, etc.) and then stay at convents, B&Bs, pensions, etc. in other locations. Mix it up and have a great time without spending a lot. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!

 
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