It recently struck me that I hadn't taken a vacation in almost a year. In fact, I couldn't immediately recollect the last time I had taken an off and travelled. It had been at least a year - one full year of all work and no play! Before monotony got the better of me, I quickly applied for leave from work and packed my bags to go to Jaipur. Now, I have already been to the Pink City a couple of times, so this time would be no different, I thought. But I was totally wrong. What made the difference, you wonder? Choosing to stay at a backpackers hostel instead of a hotel did it for me. Old habits die hard, so here is a listicle covering my experience at a backpackers hostel in Jaipur, and why you should visit one too:
1. It is dirt cheap!
You don't have to spend a fortune to stay in a hostel. Even though prices may differ for Indians and foreigners, it does not cost more than what you already spend for a dinner outside. Yes, THAT cheap!
2. It is the best place to meet fellow travellers.Exploring a new place with new people... it cannot get better than this.
3. You make friends from different countries!
During my time in Jaipur, I made friends from Germany, France and London. It feels so good to see that no matter where you're from, you all have the same views about life and travelling.
4. Unlike popular notion, hostels are actually very quirky and well-kept.
The place I stayed in was one hell of a quirk box. From paintings of Rajasthani kings to Playstations and colourful wall arts, it was very well kept and the ambience couldn't have been better.
5. You get first-hand local expertise to the place.
Meeting like-minded travellers, you also tend to get a lot of local expertise from people around. This means no being robbed or charged exuberant prices just because you are an outsider.
6. Even if you choose to stay indoors, a party is always going on in there.
The best thing about staying at a hostel is that you never get bored. There is always one gang or two staying inside and you actually end up having more fun than you would have if you had gone out.
7. One should rather spend on travelling and exploring the town than waste money on lodging.
What is the point of spending money on a place to crash when you can use that much money to visit another new place?
8. You can cook whatever you want to in the kitchen which gives you a more homely feel.
Hostels come with community kitchens and you can always use them at your leisure. Maggi comes to your rescue for late night chit-chat sessions and the fridge is almost, always stuffed with goodies.
9. They are always up for some exciting events and also celebrate festivals enthusiastically.
These places are always up for some fun since the people staying there are all usually in the same age group. Festivals are celebrated enthusiastically.
10. It is one inspiring place to be at.
When you are paying your share while checking out, you realise that you are paying for much more than stay - a priceless experience.