Baby boomer travelers needn’t be hostile to hostels — or vice versa — if they choose carefully.
I’ve written in previous posts about a new breed of hostels, arising especially in Europe, that are catering to travelers looking for a bit more comfort and privacy than the youth hostels of our, well, youth. Some even fall into the luxury category, at least as far as any hostel qualifies as luxurious.
But how do you find the kind of hostel that, say, offers private rooms, including en suite washrooms? The kind that might appeal to the typical baby boomer? That’s where the website hostelworld.com comes in.
At Hostelworld, you can find hostels in just about any price category in more than 180 countries around the globe, some 30,000 properties in all. (The website also lists B&Bs and budget-priced hotels around the world as well.)
And right now, in the month of December, Hostelworld is making a major push for new customers, luring them to the site with its “Epic Adventure Giveaway.” As they put it, they’re giving “you and two mates” (they’re based in Dublin, so they’re using “mates” to mean friends, family etc.) the “chance to win a trip to your Dream Destination!”
The prize includes three roundtrip flights to that destination, five nights’ stay at a “top Hostelworld.com hostel” and 3,000 euro spending money, which works out to around US$4,000 . Three Hostelworld Travel Packs are also included, though I confess I don’t know what a Hostelworld Travel Pack is exactly.
No matter, the total package could add up to around 10,000 euros, assuming you don’t choose a dream destination right next door to where you live and that you can round up two mates who share your idea of a Dream Destination, or are at least willing to go with you.
(Why two mates? Haven’t they ever heard the expression “Two’s company…three’s a….”? But maybe they’re trying to appeal to a younger demographic that likes to travel in groups.)
In any event, that’s one of the better travel prizes I’ve heard in a while. And all you have to do is tell Hostelworld where you’d like to go in the world and why you deserve to go there, in 50 words or less.
That’s not very many words, so I suspect the winner may be chosen more by random drawing than ability to convey why he or she deserves to go to, say, Tokyo, or New Zealand, or Argentina. (Since there are no hostels in Antarctica, I’d avoid choosing the seventh continent, although that happens to be number one on my list at the moment.)
You do need to list your age group, one of which pretty closely coincides with baby boomers (50-69) and another of which is 70+. The other two choices are 18-29 and 30-49. (I’m hoping that the age listing is for them to gauge which generations are most interested in staying in hostels rather than using the info for discriminatory effect; would they not choose someone over 50 for reasons of age, for example? I don’t know, but the “two mates” aspect makes me suspicious.)
To further sweeten the pot, Hostelworld is dropping its booking fees for December, so in case you’re ready to take off somewhere now without waiting for he contest results, you can save some money anyway.
My take on this is that either Hostelworld is really in need of business and is going all out to drum it up, or the Hostel-booking biz is doing very well indeed and this Epic Giveaway reflects that.
I’m guessing it’s the latter. I just hope baby boomers will be given a fair shot to explain why they deserve to spend five nights in an Uzbekistan hostel, because I figure everyone else will say Tahiti or Rio or Mykonos and I might stand a chance on creativity. But whether I could round up two mates to share the Uzbeki experience is another matter entirely.
Answer to Last Week’s Quiz Question:
According to a recent Expedia survey of more than 1,000 U.S. travelers, what is the top priority for consumers during the process of planning for and researching a trip?
The answer is B: Lodging