Hostel v. Hotel v. Friend’s Home

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Hostel v. Hotel v. Friend’s Home part of the Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report, where TPOL leaves the basement. It’s finally happening despite inconsistent policies, interruptions, and human stupidity as explained in these posts:


The question used to be do you stay in a hostel when traveling to a foreign land or do you settle for a hotel?

In the old days, I would sleep anywhere. After being fired from General Motors (see “You’re Fired!” Guess I’ll Go to Eastern Europe), I went on a European odyssey. From 40 person hostels in Vienna to a broom closet in Hvar, Croatia, I did not care where I passed out, so long as I could keep the party going. Grown-up and points rich, hostels have lost some of their appeal, especially since paying for a single at a grimy hostel costs more than a free points redemption.

On the other hand, the benefit of a hostel is the inevitably of meeting new people and having an instant social circle (see Bounty Hotel Bali: For the Young at Heart). Setting aside the debate of when is old too old for hostels, the opportunity to make new friends trumps the luxury of a lonely suite.

In Medellin, I had a third option: stay with a friend. On paper, this is the best option. The room is free, a friend is included, and I don’t have to figure out where to go and what to do (see Pub Crawl Warsaw: An Excuse to Promote Sex Tourism?). The issue in this scenario is trying to be a respectful guest, one who doesn’t make too big of a mess in the bathroom, and one who doesn’t have too many requests e.g., what’s the wifi password, do you have any clean towels? To that end, length of stay could also be an issue. Three nights may be fine, but beyond that I would feel like a squatter.

On this trip, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The penthouse was ridiculous. Check out these views:

So now for the revised question: Hostel, hotel, friend’s house? I believe a mixture is the best course of action. What say you?

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