Many travelers like to find ways to cut the cost of their trip down as much as possible. One of the biggest expenses on any vacation is lodging. Luckily, there are many options for travelers to cut this cost quickly. Rather than staying in a hotel, tourists can choose to find a hostel.
The Differences Between Hostels and Hotels
Both hotels and hostels offer guests a place to sleep, a shower and usually some complimentary food. However, beyond these three points, there are few similarities between the two business models. Hotels offer guests private rooms while hostels typically board people in the same space as strangers.
You won’t typically find a hotel that accepts payment in anything beyond cash or credit cards, though some hostels will let travelers do a few chores in exchange for a night’s sleep or at least a discount, according to wiseGEEK.
The accommodations in a hostel might differ from those in a hotel, too. While many hostels offer a place to work, use a computer and watch TV, these are typically common areas and guests may have to wait their turn to change the channel or send their emails.
“Some hostels require guests to bring their own sheets, blankets or pillows.”
Finally, some hostels require guests to bring their own sheets, blankets or pillows, or pay an extra fee to use the ones they keep on hand.
The purpose of all these differences, of course, is to lower the cost of travel. According to Backpack Europe, one night’s stay in a hostel might cost a traveler between $15 and $45. Meanwhile, the average price of a night in a hotel is about $120, according to data from Statista.
Opening a Hostel
Price is a big factor for many travelers. Because of this, many people opt to spend their nights in hostels rather than costly hotels. However, opening your own hostel does take some hard work and careful forethought.
The first thing you should consider is location. It’s important that your hostel is easily accessible. Consider the various modes of transportation people will use to get to your city, such as by boat, train or bicycle. Search for locations near a train station or airport to place your hostel. It’s also important that you are close enough to the main features of your city, such as museums or landmarks, that people can easily navigate to them from your location.
Once you have a good location, it’s important to think about the layout of your building. Nobu Tabata, the owner of a 132-bed hostel in Japan, told BootsnAll, a website where travelers can plan and pay for trips, that the most cost-effective layout for any hostel is to have long hallways with rooms stemming from them. For this reason, some people hoping to open a hostel might want to consider constructing the building themselves rather than renovating an existing one that won’t accommodate their needs.
“The most cost beneficial layout for a hotel or hostel involves long corridors with rooms coming off both sides, while a square design wastes a lot of space in the middle of the building,” Tabata explained. “Creating a space from scratch is always going to be better.”
Think About Accommodations
Not all hostels offer free breakfast in the morning, but the ones that do have an advantage over their competition. It would behoove you to consider offering free food, even if it’s only toast and some fruit, to draw in more guests.
It’s also a good idea to have some essentials for sale at your hostel. People make mistakes and not everyone will remember to pack their toothbrush or a padlock. Keep these stockpiled in case a guest needs a spare.
As a hostel, your guests typically won’t expect you to have sheets or blankets ready for them. However, as with basic essentials, some guests may not come prepared. It’s a good idea to have these ready for travelers who forgot or lost their sheets so you can rent them out for a small fee.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing to only offer sheets to those guests in need of them is cost. Tabata pointed out that one of the biggest costs for hotels is laundry, especially when sheets and bedding need to be washed every day. When you only offer sheets as an option for rent, you mitigate the need to arrange for frequent laundry services. However, as Tripbase Travel Blog pointed out, there are some things you should be prepared to spend a little extra on. Mattresses can get worn out, especially when new people are always sleeping on them. Get mattresses that can withstand some wear and tear to avoid having to replace them quickly.
Portable Storage Solutions for Your New Hostel
Whether you plan on building your hostel from the ground up or renovating a pre-existing building to start your business in, there is likely some construction in your future. During any construction project, it’s important to keep equipment and building materials safe. A Mobile Mini storage container is a great fit for this purpose. With its patented Tri-cam Locking System, it will keep thieves and vandals away from your valuable equipment and other property. Plus, Mobile Mini steel storage containers are weather resistant, so you don’t have to worry about your linens and other goods inside getting rained or snowed on.
Once the construction is over, though, there are still storage needs you might want to address. You’ll want to keep travel essentials on-hand for the traveler that forgot to pack a toothbrush or another necessary item, or to store those sheets you might rent out. If you don’t have the space to set up a small shop inside the building, a Mobile Mini container would make a good structure to house an on-site, out-of-the-way convenience store where travelers can buy essentials or rent sheets.
For more information about how a Mobile Mini can offer solutions to your new hostel business, contact Mobile Mini today.