Backpacking hostels are on the rise in India: Here’s how travel has evolved over the years | The Financial Express

Backpacking hostels are on the rise in India: Here’s how travel has evolved over the years

Backpacker hostels truly fuel the spirit of travelling, with people from different cultures connecting, forging new friendships, and going on adventures.

Backpacking hostels are on the rise in India: Here’s how travel has evolved over the years
Travel etiquettes are the set of guidelines and customs that one must follow while traveling.

With technology and digitisation blurring boundaries and connecting the world like never before, it might seem like we’ve seen it all, and there’s nothing to discover. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s an abundance of places we’re yet to see, and the opportunity to explore our planet is now greater and easier.

With more and more companies shifting to remote and hybrid models of working, travel enthusiasts are making the best possible use of their time away from the office by exploring new places, albeit not in a way that would have been expected over a decade ago. The way we travel has transformed unimaginably in recent years, and the pandemic has also been a catalyst for this change.

Changing preferences

People are now increasingly preferring their getaways to be off the beaten path and away from the bustle. Besides, they’re opting to socialise with other travellers on their journey, connect with nature, interact with locals, and travel slowly, truly savouring the beauty of each place rather than simply hopping from one city to another. This is where backpacker hostels come into the picture.

A step into the past

The inception of hostels in India goes way back to 1945, even before India’s independence, when the first hostel came into existence at Tara Devi, near Shimla. Then the Youth Hostel Association (YHAI) of India was established, with its first hostel launched in Delhi in 1977. Till today, the hostel serves as the headquarters of the YHAI. Since then, these budget-friendly places of stay have travelled a long way.

Forging new paths: The evolution of backpacker hostels and the modern-day traveller’s den

While the term hostel might generate images of small rooms with 10-15 strangers crowded together into each one, creaking metal frame bunk beds, and a canteen with subpar food, that’s certainly not the case today. As the travel industry evolved, so did hostels.

With an increasing number of travellers, especially millennial and GenZ travellers, looking for affordable, clean, safe, and experiential accommodation, hostels have become the most plausible and go-to option. Vibrant common rooms with books and games, dedicated workspaces, cosy, comfortable dormitories & private rooms, Instagrammable cafés with delicious, freshly prepared meals, stunning views, and a plethora of activities – this is just a glimpse of what today’s backpacker hostels offer backpackers. All of these come at pocket-friendly prices, allowing you to create unique, memorable experiences without breaking your bank account.

Making for a particularly remarkable experience is the social element that these backpacker hostels offer apart from the accommodation itself. So, whether you’re a solo traveller, exploring with your friends, or a digital nomad who wants to escape the monotony, backpacker hostels allow you to interact/connect with other like-minded travellers, allowing you to take home pleasant, unforgettable memories. But where are these hostels?

Summing up

Backpacker hostels truly fuel the spirit of travelling, with people from different cultures connecting, forging new friendships, and going on adventures. Despite the technological advancements that enable us to interact with people halfway across the world from our homes, backpacker hostels bring people together. In the coming years, it’s likely that they will emerge as the #1 choice for travellers worldwide. If you’re someone looking for a getaway, all you need to do is pack your bags. As English-Australian entrepreneur, travel writer, and founder of the Lonely Planet guidebook Tony Wheeler once said, “All you’ve got to do is decide to go, and the hardest part is over. So go.”

(Deep Banka is Chief Operating Officer, Zostel. Views are personal)

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First published on: 04-12-2022 at 11:00 IST