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Two young women on an escalator at the airport with suitcases and passports

What It’s Like to Stay in a Hostel for Your Girls’ Trip

“Sooo, New Orleans for my birthday?” read the text from my best friend. Turning 30 is a huge milestone, and as a mother of two, she wanted a fun girl’s weekend away to celebrate. As a frequent solo traveler, I’d had great experiences in New Orleans, so the idea of hanging out in one of my favorite cities with my best friend was a no-brainer. 

New Orleans has a wide variety of hotels to choose from, but I wanted something fun and exciting to celebrate the occasion. And I instantly knew where we should stay: HI New Orleans hostel

a young woman eats ramen in the kitchen at HI New Orleans hostel

I’d fallen in love with HI New Orleans when I stayed at the hostel the year before. I loved the accessibility to tourist attractions, kitchen space to cook, people I met hanging out by the pool table, and lounge area where I could work. Though I was traveling around the U.S. solo and working remotely at the time, which was not the plan for this trip, I still knew the hostel it would be the best choice for our weekend. Now, I had to convince my best friend it was the perfect place for our girls’ trip – and I’m glad I did. Here’s why.

You save money not being in a hotel

a polaroid photo of the bright red street cars that run in front of HI New Orleans hostel

A girls’ trip to a city like New Orleans meant we were going to eat and drink a lot, so when planning our girls’ trip budget, I realized that we might want to balance out our expenses. We knew staying in the French Quarter would be way too expensive: we compared prices with boutique hotels in the area, but they were out of our budget, too. We even considered staying further away to pay a little less, but we realized we would pay the difference in transportation to the city center anyway. HI New Orleans became the best choice at the best price.

You can be closer to restaurants and attractions

a group of three young friends sits around a table laughing over tacos and margaritas

New Orleans is a social city, and we wanted to make the most of it on our girls’ trip. We knew that most tourists hang out to listen to live music and eat in the French Quarter, on Bourbon Street, and on Frenchmen Street. While we could have taken a rideshare whenever we needed to get around late at night, it was summertime! We wanted to be outside, walking around and looking cute during the day. HI New Orleans’ location on Canal St. was perfect for walking to places in the French Quarter. HI New Orleans is also located on the corner Canal Street and Rampart Street, which made it easy to get an Uber or Lyft to and from the airport and when we needed to travel further away.

Sharing a private room with friends is like a grown-up sleepover

two young friends lie on their backs on a bunk bed laughing

Hostels make girls’ trips a throwback to childhood sleepovers. My best friend and I loved a good sleepover in middle and high school. But instead of us going to each other’s houses as adults, we booked a fantastic private room. HI New Orleans’ private rooms had multiple beds, including a bunk bed and a queen bed in our room, and a private bathroom. The room setup was perfect for recapping our day and having our best friend chats before bed. However, if more than two or three people are on your girls’ trip, you may consider booking an entire dorm so everyone gets their own individual bed.

You can be social in the hostel 

a young woman plays pool on a red pool table while two other young people watch

By design, hostels are built for travelers to be social. You may already have your friends by your side if you’re traveling in a group, but hostels are also known for making strangers into friends. On our trip to HI New Orleans, we briefly hung out in the hostel lobby and met a few new people on our trip.

Hostels also curate some of the best recommendations for eating places to eat and things to do. At HI New Orleans, there was a wall of recommendations from the staff and locals. So when we saw staff members around the hostel, we were able to could ask them more about their recommendations. 

You feel safe and secure

a young woman checks in at a hostel front desk and receives her secure keycard for entry

Safety and security are essential if you plan to drink in a party city like New Orleans, and what I love the most about staying in hostels is their security for travelers. To get into HI New Orleans, all travelers swipe their room keys. No one can be let in randomly. And there is always someone at the front desk if you have a question or need emergency assistance. You never know what might happen on your girls’ trip, so feeling like staff at the hostel were looking out for us if we needed anything was comfortingl. 

Choosing a hostel for a girl’s trip is an underrated experience. While you might be hesitant about hostels in the U.S., staying in one as a group can makes it less daunting and even more fun. It’s also a great introduction to hostels because you stay with your friends, not strangers. So the next time your friends wants to travel for their birthdays or are looking for accommodations for a long weekend, skip the hotel. Try staying in a hostel instead! It’s an experience you won’t forget.