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Where To Stay When Traveling Solo: Hostel, Hotel, or Airbnb?


We all know how exciting and liberating it is to travel alone, but let's be real - finding the perfect accommodation can be a daunting task. As a solo traveler, you want to feel safe, comfortable, and at home away from home. 

You need a place that's a good fit for your travel style. After all, the right accommodation can make or break your trip, so it's important to make the right choice.

We'll dive deep into the pros and cons of the three most popular types of accommodations for solo travelers: Airbnb, hotels, and hostels. By the end of this post, you'll have all you need to make an informed decision that will leave you feeling confident in selecting the perfect place for your solo trip.


So, let's get started and explore the top three solo travel accommodations!

Solo traveler sitting on Airbnb couch in Medellin ColombiaA peek at my shared Airbnb apartment in Medellin, Colombia. 



Airbnb has become increasingly popular among solo travelers because it offers a unique and authentic local experience that cannot be found in traditional hotels or hostels. One of the biggest advantages of Airbnb is that it allows travelers to stay in the heart of the local community and experience life as a local.

Staying in an Airbnb can be an enriching experience as it provides a chance to interact with locals, learn about their culture, and discover what it's like to live in the destination. Hosts often share their knowledge of the local area and offer recommendations on the best places to eat, shop, and explore. Airbnbs can also be more affordable than a hotel, especially for longer stays. Many offer amenities like a kitchen or a washer/dryer, which can help cut down on expenses by cooking meals and doing laundry "at home".

Additionally, Airbnb offers a wide variety of options to choose from, including private rooms, entire apartments, and even unique accommodations like treehouses, tiny homes, and boats. This allows solo travelers to find the perfect fit for their needs and preferences, whether they want a cozy and intimate space or a larger one to accommodate long-term stays.

However, there are some drawbacks to Airbnb. The biggest one is that it can be more expensive than other types of accommodation, especially if you're looking for a private apartment. Some solo travelers may feel uneasy staying in a stranger's home or the quality of the accommodation may not be consistent. While most hosts take great pride in their properties and provide high-quality amenities and services, others may be less scrupulous, leading to unpleasant surprises for guests. Additionally, fraudulent listings are another thing to be mindful of when selecting an Airbnb.

Despite these drawbacks, solo travelers can still enjoy a comfortable and unique travel experience in an Airbnb. Take precautions like reading reviews, communicating with the host, and being mindful of safety concerns when considering accommodations for your solo trip.


Solo travel girl in Cusco PeruOn this trip, booking a hotel in Cusco, Peru was a better and cheaper alternative to Airbnb.



One of the biggest advantages of staying in a hotel as a solo traveler is the level of comfort and privacy it provides. Hotels often offer a variety of room options, from single rooms to suites, giving solo travelers the flexibility to choose a space that suits their needs. In addition, hotels are often equipped with high-quality bedding, towels, and toiletries, providing a luxurious experience that can be particularly beneficial for solo travelers who want to treat themselves.

Hotels typically have 24-hour reception and security, and many hotels require key cards or codes to access rooms and floors to make it more difficult for just anyone to enter. Another benefit of staying in a hotel is the wide range of amenities they offer. Many hotels have on-site restaurants and bars, room service, gyms, and pools, providing a one-stop-shop for all your needs. This can be especially convenient for solo travelers who may not feel comfortable navigating unfamiliar areas alone.

Hotels can also be a great option for solo travelers who need to work while on the road. Many hotels offer high-speed internet and business centers, making it easy to stay connected and productive during your stay.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to staying in a hotel as a solo traveler. As mentioned earlier, hotels can be more expensive than other types of accommodation, which can be a concern if you're traveling on a tight budget. Additionally, hotels can be less social than hostels or Airbnb, which may not be ideal if you're looking to meet other travelers.

Overall, hotels can be a great option for solo travelers who prioritize comfort, privacy, and security. By doing your research and choosing the right hotel for your needs, you can enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable solo travel experience. 


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Solo woman traveling standing next to Lake Atitlan GuatemalaStanding on the dock at Selina hostel on Lake Atitlan.



Hostels are a popular choice among solo travelers because they offer a unique and social experience that can be hard to find elsewhere. One of the biggest advantages of staying in a hostel is the opportunity to meet and connect with other travelers from all over the world. Many hostels offer communal areas, such as lounges or kitchens, where guests can socialize and share travel stories. This can be particularly beneficial for solo travelers who are looking to make new friends or find travel companions.

Another advantage of staying in a hostel is the affordability. Hostels are typically cheaper than hotels and Airbnb, making them a great option for solo travelers on a budget. By choosing to stay in a hostel, you can save money on accommodation and use those savings to experience other activities and attractions during your trip.

Many hostels offer a variety of amenities that can make your stay more enjoyable. Some hostels have on-site bars or restaurants, while others offer organized activities such as walking tours or pub crawls. Some hostels even have their own swimming pools, game rooms, or movie theaters, providing plenty of options for solo travelers who want to stay entertained.

In addition, hostels often have a more relaxed and casual atmosphere than hotels or Airbnb. Guests are typically free to come and go as they please, and there's usually no pressure to dress up or conform to a certain standard. This can be a refreshing change of pace for solo travelers who want to feel comfortable and at ease during their trip.

Of course, there are some downsides to staying in a hostel as a solo traveler. Hostels can be noisy and crowded, which may not be ideal if you're looking for a peaceful and quiet place to stay. Additionally, you may need to share a room with strangers, which may not be comfortable for everyone. Though many hostels usually offer private rooms or female-only dorms, providing more options for solo travelers who prefer a bit more privacy.

Overall, hostels can be a great option for solo travelers who prioritize affordability, socialization, and a laid-back atmosphere. By choosing the right hostel for your needs, you can enjoy a fun and memorable solo travel experience while staying within your budget.


Patio deck in Cali Colombia for a solo travelerBackdoor patio views from my Airbnb in Cali, Colombia. 


Tips for Finding the Right Accommodation

Now that you know the pros and cons of each type of accommodation, how do you go about finding the right one for your solo trip? Here are five steps to help you book the perfect accommodations for your next solo trip.

  1. Determine your budget

    Before you start looking for accommodations, you need to determine how much you can afford to spend. This will help you narrow down your options and avoid overspending. Consider your overall travel budget and allocate a portion of it for accommodations. It's also important to factor in other expenses such as transportation, food, and activities.

  2. Consider your travel style

    Everyone has their own travel style, and the type of accommodation you choose should reflect that. Are you a budget traveler who prefers hostels and shared accommodations? Or do you prefer a more luxurious experience in a hotel or resort? Consider what's important to you in terms of location, amenities, and overall experience.

  3. Research the location

    The location of your accommodation can greatly impact your overall experience. Consider what you want to do and see in the area and choose a location that is convenient and safe. Research the neighborhood and read reviews from previous guests to get a better sense of what to expect.

  4. Read reviews

    Reading reviews from previous guests can give you a better sense of what to expect from a particular accommodation. Look for reviews that are recent and detailed, and pay attention to any recurring issues or concerns. You can also reach out to friends or family members who have stayed in the area for recommendations.

  5. Book in advance

    Booking your accommodations in advance can help you avoid last-minute stress and ensure that you get the best possible deal. Many accommodations offer early booking discounts or other incentives for booking in advance. Additionally, booking early can help ensure that you get the room type and location you want.



Finding the right accommodation for solo travel can be challenging, but with the right research and preparation, you can find a place that is safe, comfortable, and a good fit for your travel style.


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