Where Do Backpackers Usually Stay

Where Do Backpackers Usually Stay?

Travel Backpackers don’t usually plan too far in advance when it comes to accommodation. Unless you have a very time restricted trip, they’ll usually plan week by week. We all know in the travel industry that prices closer to the date of service are more expensive than in advance. There are tips and tricks on how to find reliable accommodation not so far in advance.

Where Do Backpackers Usually Stay?


Hostels are going to be your most flexible and most reliable accommodation to book last minute. They are no longer the dingy hells that our parents told us about. In fact, most hostels are cleaner and more reputable than your average budget hotel. Hostels are social places where you can meet other solo travellers and come equipped with shared kitchens. Nowadays, you can find hostels that even have luxury amenities like swimming pools, hot tubs, game rooms, gyms, and their own bar.

Hostels serve all different types of Travel Backpackers.

  • A Digital Nomad may look for a hostel that is dedicated to remote workers and have legitimate work space, high speed internet, and office supplies.
  • A Backpacker Volunteer may reach out to a hostel to volunteer working for them or teach a class. In fact, most people that you will come across working at a hostel, are volunteers.
  • A Flash Packer may be interested in hostels that are equipped with nice amenities and common areas. They may search for hostels with private rooms or social events.
  • A Budget Packer may look for hostels that are the most economical with just a safe space to rest at night.

Hostels could serve all these different demographics. There even could be hostels that are dedicated to younger folks and others that have a lot more older folks.

The best thing to do to find the right hostel for you is to go to on Hostel World and check the ratings and reviews. You should be able to easily note the vibe before arriving. Booking.com is also a great way to find and compare hostels. We have an awesome blog post about Everything You Need To Know About Hostels and an Entire Hostel Packing List.

(The views from my hostel dormitory in Porto)


Budget Hotels

Occasionally, you'll find that a private room in a budget hotel costs the same as a dormitory bed in a hostel. While I cherish the camaraderie of hostels, there's a distinct charm in cozying up in small, family-run budget hotel. These accommodations often offer private rooms where you can connect with the local hosts while enjoying your own space. Although most budget hotels lack kitchen facilities, some may provide basic amenities like a fridge, microwave, or toaster. When selecting a budget hotel, consider various room types; shared bathrooms often come at a lower rate than on-suite bathrooms. Non-refundable rates are typically more economical than flexible bookings.


For an immersive cultural experience, consider a home-stay, where you'll reside with a local family. Home-stays offer not just a bed, but also the opportunity to share meals and engage in cultural exchange. Whether you're looking to practice the local language or delve into native customs, home-stays provide a unique window into the community. Many language schools also offer home-stay arrangements, ensuring a fully immersive linguistic experience. Explore options on platforms like Homestays.com, boasting a diverse array of choices worldwide.

(A home-stay I stayed at in Vietnam. Yes, the hostess was serving snake soup)


In destinations that lack hostel options or when seeking extended privacy, Airbnb emerges as an awesome and convenient choice. From cozy bedrooms in local homes to entire apartments, Airbnb offers a spectrum of accommodation styles to suit various preferences. However, since each property differs, carefully review each listing to ensure quality and suitability.

Co-Living Spaces

With the rise of digital nomadism, co-living spaces have gained popularity as communal living hubs tailored to remote workers. Whether in dormitories or private rooms with shared amenities, co-living spaces foster a sense of community among like-minded individuals. While hostels embody a form of co-living, co-living companies now offer apartment-style accommodations catering specifically to the needs of Digital Nomads.

Short Term Leases

For Digital Nomads or slower Travel Backpackers seeking extended stays, short-term leases offer flexible solutions. Providers like Flatio specialize in furnished rentals for periods exceeding a month, catering to diverse needs. While these accommodations may not suit fast-paced Travel Backpackers, they provide comfort and convenience for those settling into a destination for an extended period. Another great option to find short term leases is on Facebook. Search for a Facebook Group at your destination that offers shorter term houses (it’s usually the least expensive).


Embrace a nomadic lifestyle by exploring the world in a campervan. Offering freedom and flexibility, these mobile accommodations allow you to traverse diverse landscapes at your pace. Whether equipped with full amenities or basic essentials, campervans offer self-contained living while fostering a deep connection with nature. However, logistical considerations such as parking and electricity access necessitate careful planning, especially when crossing international borders. These could be great options in more remote areas such as Patagonia in Argentina or the national parks of the USA.

Glamping & Camping

For budget-conscious adventurers seeking immersion in nature, camping presents an affordable lodging option. From traditional tent camping to luxurious glamping sites, Travel Backpackers can tailor their outdoor experience to suit their preferences. While camping demands packing essential gear, glamping sites often provide all-inclusive amenities for a comfortable stay. I’ve found awesome campsites where the tents are already made with fresh sheets and everything. So you get a unique outdoor experience, without having to bring or rent your own camping gear.

I remember when I was travel backpacking through Albania with a friend. We wanted to check out a camp site even though we didn't bring any camping gear. It was located along the sea, under the pines, near old war trenches. It was more "glamping" than camping since the tents had bedding and there were functioning showers and bathrooms. There are a handful of campsites just like this in Albania. The one I stayed at was called The Sea Cave Camping in Himare.

(Glamping in Himare, Albania)

Indulge In Luxury

Occasionally, indulging in luxury accommodations adds a touch of splendor to your travel backpacking experience. In destinations like Southeast Asia, luxury hotels offer exceptional value, allowing travelers to revel in lavish amenities at affordable rates. While budget constraints may steer you towards hostels, occasional splurges on unique accommodations can elevate your journey and create unforgettable memories.

When embarking on long-term backpacking travel, flexibility is key when booking accommodations. While some people prefer spontaneity, others opt for pre-booking to secure peace of mind upon arrival. Utilize reputable booking platforms like Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia, or Hostel World to compare options and read verified reviews. Additionally, seek insights from fellow travelers and travel blogs for firsthand experiences and insider tips for each destination. Whether immersing yourself in local culture or seeking solitude, selecting the right accommodation enhances every facet of your backpacking adventure.

TIP: If you are staying in an accommodation by yourself, we have some awesome safety gear to check out and a ton of safety tips in our Ultimate Guide to Travel Backpacking.




I’m Mark, the Founder of Generation Nomad, Avid Travel Backpacker & Digital Nomad. I am passionate about helping others discover the world through my experiences. I solo backpacked for months at a time, lived abroad, and even speak two foreign languages. Besides collaborating on the best lightweight travel accessories for Travel Backpackers, I also love sharing my travel photography.
Favorite Trips: Spain, Egypt & Vietnam 
Favorite Cuisines: Italian, Peruvian & Japanese
Quote: “Be a circle and just roll with it” 
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