Hostels are meant to be a cheap place to stay when traveling. European hostels are as low as $15 in some countries, and that’s a way to stay in a country at rock bottom prices. Sure, you miss out on many of the luxuries and amenities that you would receive in an upscale hotel, but the price difference is worth the loss.
But Israel’s hostels are far more expensive. In fact, hotels are expensive, too.
Make your way into Tel Aviv, and everything is more expensive. You’ll pay 40% more for a beer than in most other countries. Even a mid-range hotel will cost $130 or more, depending on location.
With everything being so expensive, it’s often best to try and find places to stay that offer a lower price and decent accommodations. You’ll find hotels that are fit for presidents, and these spots offer everything, from fine dining to hotel booking services that accept PayPal and the best of the best accommodations.
Boutique hotels and chains have their perks, too. You’ll have a large breakfast, and thanks to our infrastructure, mobile and Internet service is exceptional.
But I’ve found that apartment rentals are a great option, especially for families. You’ll be able to find some apartments that are just a stroll away from the beach that are $100 a night, and there are some that offer rooms for less than $50.
The $50 option often offers better accommodations than a hostel.
VRBO is a great option, and I am finding 1-bedroom apartments for as little as $10 a night and another apartment that is on the sea-front for $129. Airbnb also has a lot of great options, with an entire apartment available for as little as $33 a night.
Oftentimes, these two options offer an overall better price and superior privacy when compared to a hostel.
When you rent out an apartment, you’ll also have a kitchen, which allows you to make some of your own food at home. Yes, I recommend that you spend a lot of time out in the city, going to markets and eating local food. Most people want to experience the true taste of Israel, and Israel’s Hummus lunch is definitely worth trying.
There’s also the sharing of food, which is a bit different than in the States, but it’s a nice twist when traveling to Israel.
Street food is also worth a try, although it’s quite expensive, too. Groceries aren’t cheap either, but if you know how to navigate the markets, you’ll be able to go back to your apartment and cook your own food.
When rates are similar for an entire apartment and hostel, it only makes sense to rent an apartment. Hostels offer bare-bone amenities and don’t provide the same feeling of being home as an apartment. Both will offer great, free Wi-Fi options that will keep you connected to friends and family during your stay.
But hostels definitely offer a more social atmosphere, where you’re likely to meet other tourists than be thrust into the middle of the city alone.