Taking the whole family on holidays can soon get expensive but this does not need to be the case. Young families are becoming increasingly more likely to book a family vacation in a hostel when they travel and it is not very hard to see why.

Hostels that are child-friendly can have a great atmosphere, offer an experience like no other, and they are often situated in great locations. Plus, they are significantly cheaper than nearby hotels, so with all the money you will be saving on hotel fees, you can book your next trip even sooner.

Whether you are looking to escape to the countryside, explore a new city, or head to the coast, there are hostels offering family-friendly accommodation for less in top holiday destinations around the world. If you are considering a family vacation in a hostel, check out our top tips for ensuring that your holiday is a success. 

And while staying in the hostel you should keep your luggage to a minimum: how to travel light (even with the whole family) – find all the information here.

Research and Plan

Do research for your family vacation in a hostel

Staying in a hostel allows for increased freedom and the chance to see the world for less, but proper planning is critical to making sure that any vacation is a success and researching is the key to holiday happiness!

Check past reviews, search for child-friendly options, and see whether you can find other families that have stayed there that have shared their experiences online. The reviews are particularly important, and not necessarily just the star rating. It is strongly advised that you check out the comments, to see whether that particular hostel would be the best fit for your family. 

Think about what facilities your family is likely to require, and what you consider as being essential. Also, involve your children in the planning stage to see what they would like to see and do whilst away. If you are still worried or have any specific questions or queries, you could always give the hostel a call for extra reassurance.

With proper research and planning, there will be no danger of arriving at your holiday destination and being greeted with substandard conditions.

Learn more about the most child-friendly cities in Europe.

Family vacation in a hostel: The accommodation

All of this planning and researching will help you pick the right hostel to suit your family. For example, hostels may have a communal kitchen area where you can cook. Stocked with everything that you will need to make dinner, this is particularly great if you are traveling with a fussy eater. Also, see whether your hostel offers free breakfast, again saving both time and money. On-site laundry rooms could also be useful when you are traveling with children. 

One of the biggest concerns regarding hostelling has to be sharing with others; however, these days many have separate family rooms. Plus, modern-day hostel rooms with ensuite bathrooms are becoming increasingly available. 

Entertainment in a hostel

Entertain the kids with a tablet and books

Dealing with boredom can be one of the most significant challenges when you are taking the kids on holiday. However, many hostels have a huge selection of traditional board games, and may even have a pool table, table tennis, or foosball. Embrace your competitive spirit and have fun together as a family or with your new-found friends.

Use the multipurpose spaces and encourage children to entertain themselves and fill up their own free time. However, it is important to remember that young children must be supervised and that the hostel staff are not babysitters.

It is more than likely that your hostel bedroom will not have a television, which is ideal if you are looking to reduce screen time. However, you may wish to give yourself a break sometimes and pack a tablet that has been loaded up with games and movies. These are likely to be particularly handy during long boring journeys. 

Days Out

One of the best things about staying in a hostel is pure convenience, as they are often situated in unbeatable locations or directly on transport routes. They provide a central spot to lay your head and leave your luggage, while you explore the area around you. Plan your day trips, and try to book in advance, where possible.

However, hostels are often a great place to discover discounts at local attractions, potentially making days out even cheaper.  You could also speak with the staff to see whether they have any recommendations regarding local highlights or have a chat with fellow travelers for even more days-out inspiration.

Safety and Security during a family vacation in a hostel

The hostel way of life is all about embracing your sense of adventure, but it is always important to be on your guard when it comes to safety and security. Depending on where you are going, hostels are likely to have a medical pack and first aider on site. However, taking your own first aid kit is always recommended, and it is always advised that you have fully comprehensive travel insurance for each member of the family.

You may also wish to consider security, particularly if you are sharing a room. A handy tip is to keep your cash and small valuables in a money bag that you are able to wear throughout the night.  It is also important that you store all of your important documents in one secure place. Alternatively, check to see whether your hostel has a safe onsite to lock important possessions away. 

Embrace Diversity and Adventure

Discover new things and meet new people

Hostels are always so much fun, and this is partially due to the way in which the communal sense of living promotes a friendly atmosphere. They are more social environments than hotels, and each hostel is ultimately a community of travelers with different lives, backgrounds, and experiences. 

Introducing your children to the wider world around them will not only help to broaden their horizons but talking to people can improve socialization skills and a wider understanding of the world around them. If you are traveling with older children, it could be also a chance to practice a language or learn about the history of a country from someone who lives there.

Family vacation in a hostel is an adventure

You want to have awesome holidays but traveling is expensive. This is the reason why we gave you this guide for living in a hostel with children. With these insights, it’s easier for you to decide for a family vacation in a hostel.

So you not only save money but also get to know interesting people from all over the world. Just consider some advice and tips, for example when it comes to entertainment (really… bring a tablet) and safety (a first aid kit is always a good travel buddy).

And for all those who don’t know where to travel next: NO PROBLEM! We have a list for you, a list with the 12 coolest places on earth! Fill your travel bucket list and enjoy traveling.


Hiya, I’m Maud. I’m an English girl who's moved to Berlin - because who wouldn’t fall in love with a country which has words like ‘Kummerspeck’ hidden around every corner... I love traveling and finding out the quirks of each country - and what better way to remember them than on a postcard?

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