Would you stay in a hostel with your family?

Have you ever stayed in a hostel?

I’ve definitely stayed in my fair share. When you are shoestring-ing it through Europe, hostels are inexpensive and easy. If you just need a bed for the night, there usually isn’t a better option. However…


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Just…ew. I really don’t want to sleep in the same room with total strangers, for SO many reasons.

And now that we’ve got two kids, we couldn’t stay in a hostel dorm-style room…even if we wanted to. Not that I do…or do I?

I’m in the process of booking a 31-night family trip in Europe and Asia this summer. The four of us are going to stay in a mix of luxury hotels and super cheap, more “local flavor” type spots. Yesterday, I wrote about how I used over 600,000 hotel points to book two weeks’ worth of nights at 5-star hotel properties.

Today, I did some research on the super cheap “local flavor.” I admit that I kind of braced myself for not-so-fabulous, so I was pleasantly shocked to find spots like this impeccable Uhostel in Madrid:

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A room here would set us back 88 Euros ($119), which definitely counts as super cheap…especially since we are a family of four and normally need 2 hotel rooms in Europe because of the maximum occupancy rules. Reviews of the UHostel are overwhelmingly positive; people rave about its atmosphere, cleanliness, and location.

So…yay! This is definitely an affordable possibility for families, as they’ve got rooms that can accommodate 4, 6, or even 8 people staying together.

Have you ever stayed in a hostel with your family? Would you?


  1. At some hostels in Scandinavia, there are “family rooms” and/or family cabins where the accommodation standard is comparable to that of what is acceptable for a 3-star hotel’s room, except that cleaning up after yourself is more expected/required. I’ve done this for biking trips in Scandinavia, and it’s been acceptable on the assumption that nothing fancy is to be expected and things may be quirky.

  2. We have gone on several long term backpacking trips as a family and thus have had to stay in hostels. Hostels today are nothing like they used to be. Many have nice private rooms and are clean. Of course there are still dingy old style hostels as well. I would never pay 88 euro to stay in a hostel though. We stayed in a hostel in Madrid for around 40 euro a couple of years ago.

    Have a great trip. It sounds it will be a wonderful family adventure.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Shawn – Thanks!

      I think my post was confusing – it is 88 Euro for 4 people (22 Euro each). Since there are 4 of us, we cannot stay in one typical European hotel room because of occupancy rules (normally only 2-3 people are allowed per room). So a total of 88 Euro is a really great value, especially if we just need a night here and there and can’t do a several-day rental on AirBnB.

  3. My husband, two boys and I have stayed in several hostels and have enjoyed every one. I research them (most can be found on on TA and various hostel websites) and typically, but not always, I am able to book a “family room”. In the past year, we have enjoyed stays in a lighthouse on CA’s Hwy 1 and a 300+ year old farmhouse on the coast of Ireland. We have found that hostels provide a great opportunity to meet both locals and friendly travelers. We typically do as you are and mix hostel stays with nice hotels. Often, we remember the hostels better!

    • Points Pixie says:

      Lynn – I think we will likely remember the hostels better, too. My husband Josh and I decided that we are going to rejuvenate at the 5-stars and experience at the hostels/homestays.

  4. had not considered hostels, but look forward to hearing about your adventures!

    how about camping? or if traveling anywhere on train, sleeping cabins?

    rent an RV or eurovan and travel around couple days (if you were going to rent a car anyways?) – use amex points for car rental coupons?

    I was going to mention airbnb, I see you mention it in your comments above – sometimes they have 2 night stay options

  5. I have to say my first thought was – Not a chance. Maybe when my kids are older, but right now I don’t see that happening. My youngest is not quite 2, and there are 6 of them, and so I think that would be a tough sell.

    But in looking at the UHostel link that you sent me, something like that would be doable. Still, 22 Euro / person seems like it’s fairly expensive for what you’re given – it seems like using hotel points would net you out cheaper, even if you did have to get multiple rooms.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Dan – Agree that a hotel might be cheaper/free with points, but I think you also have to factor in the experience of *not* staying a hotel.

      In terms of the 22 Euro cost – I think you kind of get what you pay for in the hostel world 🙂

  6. Hostels may not be any less expensive for a family of 4 than a budget hotel.

    BUT – I still tried to stay occasionally in hostels when traveling with my kids – so they would be exposed to ways of traveling cheaply.

  7. Definitely ‘Doable’

    I think with all the luxury nights you´ll spend, it´ll be totally fine. Especially since it gives good balance to the trip. I´ve stayed in some nice private rooms at hostels with family and were just fine…Plus when travelling, I try to be in the room as little as possible and enjoy the day. 🙂 There are some really nice hostels too. This past year I found one in Cordoba, Argentina that was just precious!

    • Points Pixie says:

      Diego – Yeah, I feel like some vacations are more “hotel-centered” than others. This is a trip that we really won’t be in the room much.

      I’ve been finding more and more interesting/inexpensive places as I’ve been spending time on this. Definitely worth the search!

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