Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.



Tuesday, 4 March 2008

"Youth" Hostel? Not Anymore

I thought I knew what the title of this post would be before I wrote it. When I made a reservation through hostelworld.com for the Central Backpackers in Oxford, I figured I'd be writing something along the lines of "Oldest Git in the Hostel".

Well, hostels have changed. The manager looks as old as I am, the owner is a fellow Canadian from Toronto and has a kid, and there's a group of German women here who are in their forties.

When did this happen? Back in my early days of hosteling, twenty years ago now (ugh! tempus fugit) I never saw anyone older than thirty, but tonight at the book exchange I traded in one of my spare copies of Moon Handbooks London for a book on fatherhood.

Yikes.

Oh, and I figured out what happened. All those late teens and twenty-somethings I backpacked with grew older, just the same as me.

What's next for youth hostels, wheelchair lifts?

2 comments:

Frank N. Stein said...

lol, I wonder if you could give some credit to the decline of hostel popularity to that movie, "Hostel". Honestly, I'd be weary of using a hostel. Although, I know a handful of people, all under thirty, who have used hostels the last year or so.

Sean McLachlan said...

I don't think that hostels are declining in popularity. In England at least, they seem to be growing. When I wrote my London guidebook I got to be very choosy about what hostels to put in. I think that many over-thirties, however, never even consider staying at a hostel. Perhaps they don't think they'll be welcome. In at least some hostels, though, it looks like they are!