In our post on backpacking, when referring to travel (or backpack across Europe) backpacking we mentioned the concept of staying in a hostel. We, like most Americans, had heard the word, but weren’t overly familiar with it, so we thought we’d take a look at it here on the blog.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a hostel is primarily defined as “an inexpensive place for usually young travelers to stay overnight.” gives a more in-depth explanation on their FAQ page indicating that hostels often involve a dormitory style sleeping arrangement with bunk beds and as many as 30 guests sharing bathroom facilities. Apparently, a more recent trend is for newer or renovated hostels to offer dorm rooms shared by smaller groups, with some even being private rooms including bathroom facilities like a budget hotel.

While this may seem like a European thing, there are many U.S. cities listed on When researching lodging options in and around Yellowstone National Park, we found one hotel that was also part hostel. If you’ve stayed in a hostel and would like to share your experience, tell us about it in the comments.