Thursday, 16 April 2009

Youth hostels

In 1912, in Altena Castle in Germany, Richard Schirrmann created the first permanent Jugendherberge or 'Youth Hostel'. These first Youth Hostels were an exponent of the ideology of the German Youth Movement to let poor city youngsters breathe fresh air outdoors. The youths were supposed to manage the hostel themselves as much as possible, doing chores to keep the costs down and build character as well as being physically active outdoors. The idea rapidly spread overseas and now we can find youth hostels everywhere.

Hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, sometimes a bunk bed in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are generally cheaper for both the operator and the occupants; many hostels employ their long-term residents as desk clerks or housekeeping staff in exchange for free accommodation.

• Hostels tend to be budget-oriented; rates are considerably lower, and many hostels have programs to share books, DVDs and other items.
• For those who prefer an informal environment, hostels do not usually have the same level of formality as hotels.
• For those who prefer to socialize with their fellow guests, hostels usually have more common areas and opportunities to socialize. The dormitory aspect of hostels also increases the social factor.

Nowadays you can find a youth hostel everywhere; from Los Angeles to Cairo and Dublin to Tokyo. Most hostels are members of Hostelling International (HI), a non-profit organization encouraging outdoor activities and cultural exchange for the young and independently operated hostels. If you prefer more luxury, you can easily book a hotel on

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