5 ways hostels make the world a better place

September 18, 2017

It’s Sleep for Peace week at HI! Kicking off on the UN’s International Day of Peace on September 21 and running until World Tourism Day on Sept 27, Sleep for Peace lets us take a few moments to think about how hostels really help foster peace, diversity and understanding around the world. When young people come together from all around the world under the same roof, you can’t help but start to appreciate our similarities and differences. Here’s how hostels do it.

1. Strangers

The nice thing about strangers is they don’t have to stay strange. Hostels bring together strangers from all over the world and often you spend the night in the same room as them. In a hostel, you’ll undoubtedly cross paths with people you never would have met otherwise, and in close quarters, it’s hard not to strike up conversations.

Friends in hostels

2. The social element

Speaking of conversations, hostels are social places. They’re built around communal spaces —the dorms, the lounges and the kitchens—and we’re all there to meet new people and learn  new things. You just don’t get that at a hotel or even an AirBnB.

Girls playing the guitar outside an hostel

3. Food

Food can tell you a lot about a place and the people that live there. In a hostel kitchen, guests from all kinds of different places are bringing in their own take on breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks with their own recipes and ingredients. Linger long enough and you might get invited to share a meal from somewhere you’d never think of travelling to. And then you can return the favour.


4. Free, fun activities

Tons of hostels offer up free activities, making it way easier to get out and experience the culture of whatever place you’re visiting. Even pub crawls can take on a totally different vibe depending on where you go. From walking tours, to sports to trivia nights—a hostel’s free activities are designed to bring people together and experience new places.

Free yoga lessons

5. Travelling

Okay, it goes without saying that hostels are all about travel. But we live and breathe the stuff. From the people who stay at our hostels to the people who work at them, we all know we have one major thing in common: we have an unwavering need to explore, discover and learn. Travelling with an open mind and an open heart definitely uncovers the best travel moments and memories.

Travel Buddies

Sleep for Peace

This year, HI Canada is donating $1 from every overnight stay on September 21st to the Youth Travel Foundation to fund a Sleep for Peace grant. Hostels across the country are also marking the week in their own special ways. 

You may also like to read

Are fall colours better in Quebec or Ontario?

Let's settle the debate—for the best reds, oranges and yellows, which province puts on a better show? 

September 07, 2021

What an unexpected friendship with an elderly couple taught me about travel

The endless wisdom from two self-described Old Ones who have been there, done that and have no plans to stop. 

September 06, 2021

8 things you learned in a pandemic that will help you when you’re travelling

It hasn't been for nothing! You've actually been becoming a better traveller this whole time. 

September 01, 2021