Is it worth staying in a hostel when travelling as a digital nomad?

This is an important topic to address because when you travel as a digital nomad, you want to be confident that you will be in an environment that will allow you to enjoy the travel experience, as well as to conduct the activities that will allow you to earn an income online.

When I was younger, I enjoyed staying at hostels and sleeping in shared dormitories. At the time, it was an inexpensive way to travel around and it also gave me the opportunity to network with other like-minded travellers. If you want to travel for the backpacking experience, then staying in hostels are a fun way to travel.

I no longer stay in hostels. And I find them to be challenging for digital nomads for a number of reasons.

There are many distractions around you.

I personally believe that the perfect working environment is one where there are limited distractions. In a hostel, you will need to get access to the public wi-fi, which can be accessed by several people and may cause the network to perform slower. People may want to meet you and engage in a conversation.

There’s alot of unpredictability with the type of people that are staying at the hostel.

This is a cause for concern, since one person with bad energy or influence can negatively impact your productivity. Whether it is them interrupting you thoughout the day or they choose to create an environment of conflict.

Security.

This is the biggest issue for me when staying at hostels. Even though the hostel owners and managers are probably good at heart, there are people who will happily help themselves to your items. In some cases, it will be inexpensive items that are easily replaceable. But I find that when you carry items such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and cameras that are valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, you need to be able to secure your items in rooms or lockers for those times you plan to travel without those items.

Health and safety at the hostel.

I’m sorry to say, but not all hostels meet the health and safety standards that they should be performing to. The last thing you want to experience while travelling abroad is sickness. There are some places where you will sleep on the bed and be affected by bed bugs. There are other places where their kitchen environment may cause food poisoning, which will put you out of action for a few days.

You want to make sure that you are in an environment that will allow you to thrive. Heres’ a list of some of the things that I look out for.

Private room

This is really important for me so I can minimise the amount of distractions. Ideally, I will get a studio, which will allow me to create the perfect working environment for myself.

Good lighting

This is really important in order to maximise productivity. Ideally, the room will have exposure to sunlight or good LED lights will be installed.

Internet connection

This is critical. I prefer to get a place that has 4G or 5G Wi-Fi. Worst case scenario, I can get a chip or a mobile hotspot that will allow me to access the internet wherever I am.

Cleanliness.

This is critical. I find that either hotel providers with good reviews or people letting out their room or apartment on Airbnb tend to be cleaner as they are held accountable with the reviews that they receive from lodgers.

Good sleeping area.

So much depends on the quality of sleep that you get. You want a comfortable bed and you want the sleeping area to have no or few disturbances.

Hot water

Don’t take this for granted. Not all places provide hot water in their accommodation. So make sure you check this before you actually book.

Good transportation options

You may want to go to the local supermarket to pick up some options or you may want to visit landmarks. Or perhaps you want to commute to a certain location to conduct your activities. You want to ensure that the accommodation that you select provides you with the transportation options that you need.

Safety

You want to have confidence that your items will remain safe. Check the security options such as locks, safes and manned security at the place that you choose to stay.

Travelling in hostels can be fun, but it can be a challenge to travel in hostels when you are a digital nomad. It is a different culture where people are free to travel and enjoy themselves, whilst digital nomads tend to have their eye on a venture that they are working on.

For a few extra dollars, you can upgrade your dorm hostel stay to get a private room or in some cases an apaaartment for the evening. Check the options that are available in the places where you plan to travel to.

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