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!

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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.


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?


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!