The Hostel Life

I have been living in The Hague for nearly two months now. It is a great location considering how close it is to other major European countries. This makes it very easy to travel by plane, train, or even bus. So far, I have traveled to several different cities and countries. Amsterdam’s airport is close by and has flights to almost every city you could think of. Many of these flights are affordable for a college student looking to do some traveling.

Up until my trip abroad, I have never stayed in a hostel. When the word hostel came to mind, I imagined a giant room with an endless row of metal bunk beds. The hostels we have stayed at have been nothing short of great. Some are right in the middle of the city, some are on the outskirts. You can use sites like and Hostelworld to find a hostel. Usually, it costs around 15 to 30 Euros depending on the day and location. Often times, the price includes a free breakfast. A good rule of thumb to follow is to pick a hostel that has at least an 80% rating on the website.

Hostels are an interesting place to meet other travelers. It is almost like getting a random roommate every time you stay in one. In most cases, the rooms are mixed which means you can have roommates of the opposite gender. More often than not, many hostels also have different room types to choose from. Some offer a big room like ten or more beds, some offer smaller rooms for two to four people. The smaller rooms usually cost a bit more. Some of the smaller rooms have a private bathroom in them while the bigger ones have to use a community bathroom. Hostels are basically a cross between hotels and dorms.

The people working at the front desk are usually pretty good resources when it comes to finding out the local spots to hang out or get something to eat. Two things I would invest in when staying in hostels are a lock and a small towel. Every hostel has a locker in the room for you to use. But they do not give you a lock to use. I recommend bringing your own lock, something smaller than a combination lock as those are usually too big. Also, you do not want to carry around a normal sized towel when you are traveling. You want to travel light and a big, bulky towel will not help. Something like a swimmer’s towel or a small washcloth works. It is light and gets you dry enough.

I hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect when staying at a hostel. If you have any questions or comments, let me know and I will get back to you. Thanks for reading!

Chiraag Bhimani

The Language Barrier

In practical use, a language barrier might be something that prevents two individuals from communicating effectively. In my recent travels, I have come to terms with a new meaning of the language barrier. Language is a big part of any culture and thus, if you want to truly immerses yourself in a cultural experience; you have to interact with the language on some level.

What’s interesting about The Hague, however, is that language is not an issue as almost everyone here speaks English. I believe this presents an amazing opportunity for anyone who is in search of a new cultural experience but does not know any other languages. With this language barrier out of the way, you are able to dictate your experience in The Hague.

I bike the city like the locals. I eat all the local Dutch cuisine. I have adjusted to Dutch timeliness and even became accustomed to their nightlife. With the language barrier removed, I have been able to have a 100% authentic cultural immersion in the Netherlands and I am incredibly grateful for that. I encourage anyone who fears a language barrier to consider studying in Holland.
– AJ Bucci