Hostels and Backpacking trips for Seniors Travel

We all know the stereotypical backpacker – a wide-eyed youth trunking a heavy bag of dirty clothes around the middle of nowhere, a rebel without a cause. We also know where he usually sleeps – a dingy dorm room with 12 other young people, struggling to sleep amid the noise and a disturbing smell from an unknown source. But what is the status of hostels and backpacking trips for seniors in this modern-day?

Although we all know someone who’s had this experience – maybe we did it ourselves back in the ’60s or ’70’s – hostelling and backpacking aren’t necessarily like that these days. 21st Century hostels are clean, welcoming places.  They are often with state of the art facilities with private single and double rooms with private bathroom facilities.  These hostels and backpacker guesthouses can be utilised by travelers who are young and new young alike. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of hostel and backpacking trips for seniors travel:

The accommodation is better than you think: Hostels nowadays are a far cry from the dark old days outlined above – most are modern, clean facilities with friendly staff and a wide range of sleeping arrangements available. If you can’t face the idea of a large dorm, you can take a bed in a 6-bed, 4-bed, or 3-bed dorm – chances are, the other beds will be vacant half the time. And if that still seems a bit uncomfortable, many hostels have a private twin and single rooms with bathroom facilities as well. Check out for hostels you can prebook in over 3500 cities worldwide.

You’ll be surprised at how cheaply you can get what is basically a regular hotel room without some of the frills. Once you’re settled in, you’ll find a host of amenities are available to you – a fresh breakfast in the dining area, assistance with maps and guidebooks at the reception, and wifi internet access to keep up with the rest of the world.

Transport options are many and varied: For most of us, the idea of picking up a heavy backpack and lugging it around is a good example of a nightmare trip. But you don’t have to strap pots and pans to your back to be a real backpacker – most people travel much lighter these days, and you can take advantage of a mix of public and private transport to get around. Why not take the airport bus instead of a taxi, or hop on a group tour instead of renting a car. You’ll be surprised at how much you can see without hanging on to the usual creature comforts. Many hostels and backpackers offer a tour desk as part of their service. Generally, the tours are extremely good value.

The savings cannot be beaten: Without the price of a hotel room and a rental car, you’ll find your travel costs way down on the usual. It’s a simple process: for example, becoming a member of YHA (Youth Hostels Australia) only costs a small fee and is not restricted to any age. Getting a YHA member card entitles you to discounts on a whole range of attractions as well as a cheaper hostel bed in their huge network of reputable hostels around the world.

Backpacking for single seniors travels:  If you are after true seclusion, backpacking probably isn’t for you – because you will make so many friends along the way many of whom are also travelling alone.  The one thing I love most about backpacking is the people you meet and the friends you make.  Don’t be surprised if you are not travelling alone for long!

The world of hostelling and backpacking is wide open for all to enjoy – it is a great start for seniors travel. And the lower prices mean you can go much further and see much more on your next trip. It is an option to be considered for both domestic and international travel.

For more information, I highly recommend  With you can prebook your hostels in over 3500 different cities around the world.  They also have regular specials and promotions.


Bronwyn White

Bronwyn White is a travel and tourism industry professional with more than 30 years of experience.  Her special interest is helping retirees, semi-retired baby boomers enjoy the dream of travel.  She loves to help them plan and get the most out of this time.