Travel

Cheap but chic hostels around the world

Back in 2000, I set out on my first post-college backpacking adventure, in Australia. By day, I sailed the Whitsunday Islands and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef. By night, I unfolded my own flat white sheet on an extra-long twin bed in a room with no bathroom and about 10 strangers, silently praying that none of them snored — or worse. This was hostel lodging.Fast forward more than a decade, and things have completely transformed in the budget accommodation department. Hostels all over the globe are adding design and comfort elements, making them more boutique hotel than college frat house. Cheap, it appears, can be chic. The only constant that remains is a strong sense of community, the unfortunate single supplement, and having to hand in your towel upon checkout. So don’t let the name mislead you. These 10 hostels, in cities big and small, both near and far, are too nice to ruin with any drunken debauchery. At least one can hope.