Hostel Philosophies and Articles
While traveling internationally, I almost always choose to stay in a hostel, budget hotel, or bed and breakfast. Those who frequently stay at hostels often refer to the practice as hosteling or backpacking. As noted on the European Hostels website, hosteling is “perhaps best described as traveling cheaply with an adventurous spirit.” See http://www.europeanhostels.com/help/Questions-about-hostels-and-hosteling.html.
That is my preference, primarily, because I love to travel for as long as I can, see as much as I can, and not eat ramen noodles upon my return home. I want meaningful cultural experiences, so I am often willing to trade in high end accommodations to have that experience. But someone new to hosteling should understand—this is often not just a preference, but a philosophy and way of life.
As Rick Steves so eloquently put it: “Hosteling is a philosophy. A hosteler trades service and privacy for a chance to live simply and communally with people from around the world.” (See http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/1198hostels.htm)
To give you some insight into what hostels are and different perspectives on the hostel philosophy, I’ve picked out some interesting blog posts that you may find insightful.
* I love this blog post because it defines hostels and gives several opinions about the hosteling philosophy. http://www.gomio.com/blog/index.php/hostel-definition-whats-a-hostel/
* Quotes and philosophy from El Viajero Hostels: “All good backpackers share a same philosophy: make friends, get to know other cultures and make our culture known. Our philosophy looks after giving you what we look for when we travel: let ourselves know, be treated as a friend and live a new experience in each place we visit.” http://www.elviajerobravabeach.com/
* Questions and answers about hosteling http://www.europeanhostels.com/help/Questions-about-hostels-and-hosteling.html
 I have also seen this spelled as hostelling. I think that may be the European spelling, but most US publications use one “l” so I will continue that trend here.