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Hostels for Adults ?

Old Nov 18th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Hostels for Adults ?

My husband and I want to move around Europe without a lot of prebookings. I've noticed that some of the hostels (Athens) are nice looking hotels. Are they only used by young backpackers or could a couple of 50 ish adults have a good experience in a hostel. - Trying to travel inexpensively.... Can anyone suggest some good hostels for oldies ?? thanks
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 11:42 AM
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I think they now allow older folks to stay in hostels in most countries, there are some where it is not allowed as you must be a "youth", I believe (I think Germany is one). It seems that it has become fashionable to call yourself a hostel, also, when you are just a private rock-bottom cheap hotel, I guess it sounds better. I know I've seen some of these private "hostels" in Paris -- and it helps them get around hotel codes and requirements, of course.

I don't know any good ones in Greece, sorry, not familiar with them but Greek hotels aren't that expensive, are they?
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 11:55 AM
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What time of year are you hoping to move around Europe without a lot of prebooking but still find budget lodging? At a minimum, book the next accommodations before leaving where you are; otherwise, you could spend a lot of time in a town finding (or perhaps not) something in your budget.

Consider staying in convents and monasteries for their very reasonable rates.
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 11:57 AM
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Bavarian hostels, HI or Hostelling International Hostels, still i believe have a max 26 or 27 age limit but no other HI hostels ever had one to my knowledge and HI hostels have been selling a Senior Citizens hostel card for years.

some hostels have Family rooms for more privacy rather than mega dorms or rooms with others in them.

IME Bed and breakfasts can be as cheap or nearly as cheap as hostels - and there are zillions of hostels - both the original HI hostels, started long ago in Germany, and maybe public-funded non-HI hostels and now lots of private hostels (i e 'youth hotels')

I would eschew the youth hotels in cities like Amsterdam or Paris unless you are into partying at the bars in those places - they can be loud, etc. - great for the college aged crowd perhaps but not for old farts like me - though i have stayed literally in hudreds of hostels in my travel career.

HI hostels often tend to be dominated IME by young school groups as well so it's kind of like high school or can be.

But B&Bs - and i am not talking about fancy B&Bs but a real B&B in someone's house or flat (formerly called pensions it seems) - in Florence recently i had a nice B&B for about 35 euros with a hearty breakfast for example - but this was off-season and the key to keeping costs down IME is to travel in off season - the same room in Florence would have cost double in summer they said

I no longer go to hostels because i now cherish my privacy, etc. but still go the low low budget route and i use Let's Go Europe for insights into the low-budget hotels, B&Bs and they also cover zillions of hostels.

Even in London, one of the priciest cities in the world i pay just 23 pounds for a B&B - a 20-min train ride from the tourist center but a huge vreakfast, etc.

In Italy i just go into the hotel booking services in the train stations and ask for a cheap place - that's how i got the B&B in Florence and a similar one in Rome - these places, in practically every station also book hostels.

HI hostels have a booking system where one hostel will book the next one for you i believe.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 12:53 AM
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Hi Cath - I've stayed in a hostel in Italy where I met 2 'senior' hostellers. One was 78; her friend was 84.

I don't think you'll find age an issue in any hostel in Italy

You can find details on AIG hostels at:
http://www.aighostels.com/

There are also privately-run hostels in some places (e.g. Positano)

Hope this helps ...

Steve
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 01:53 AM
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Bavaria (not the total of Germany) used to be the only YHA region in the whole wide world that still had an age limit of under 27 until a few years ago. Even they have abandoned the limit in the meantime but under 27's still have priority there. Anywhere else, no one cares about your age.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 04:49 AM
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Even at that, you can find non-YHA hostels in Bavaria. The key to picking suitable hostels is to read the reviews carefully, on several sites. Then you'll get an idea whether it's party central, whether the hostel has a working kitchen, whether the hostel is in good shape, etc. Try these:
www.hostelbookers.com
www.hostelworld.com
www.gomio.com
and of course, www.tripadvisor.com

Keep in mind that a double room at a hostel is not always easily available, and you may find a budget hotel to be cheaper in many cities. If you are willing to accept dorm beds, of course you have more options.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 05:44 AM
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I always check http://www.bugeurope.com/ for my European destinations. I'm in my late 60's and have good experiences.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 05:52 AM
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The best hostels are usually booked up in advance.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 06:40 AM
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In Dresden I stayed at Jugendherberge Internationale Dresden, http://tinyurl.com/ygqm4ep. It was excellent. You don't need to be a youth to stay there. I'm a geezer.
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 08:51 PM
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Thanks so much for all your replies and suggestions.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forum apparently is more hostel-wise than Fodor's where accommodation expertise is more upscale hotels it seems. Here are some great web sites IMO with lots of great info for independent travelers - www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; and, if going by train - www.seat61.com
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