If you're planning your next vacation on the cheap, you might choose to stay in a hostel to save your money for more important things, like wine. Well, someone had the genius idea of combining these two things. Wine hostels are real, legit thing you can stay in, and they're going to make your low-rent travel experience a lot more posh. Hostels are often the preferred accommodations for young people traveling around the world, and adding wine to the experience of rooming with a bunch a strangers can certainly make transient dorm life a lot less awkward.
Case in point: the Wine Hostel in Porto, Portugal, which is appropriately decorated to celebrate the region's famed Porto wine, PopSugar reported. Each floor is named after a varietal of wine with every room donning the theme of a different type of port. The Wine Hostel claims to have the "longest happy hour ever" where travelers can sample different local ports while mingling with other guests on a common balcony overlooking the Garden of Cordoaria after a magical day of traipsing around the city. You can stay in a shared dorm or book your own private room. "The bar has a great atmosphere," one traveler is quoted as saying on the Wine Hostel's website. "The only problem is that you won't want to leave."
There's something about free wine and tapas that's so much more enjoyable than vino and nibbles you have to pay for. As it turns out, there's actually a reason for this. Dr. Steve Terracciano, a cognitive and behavioral psychologist, told Food & Wine that getting free stuff causes your ancient survival instincts to kick in. Back in the olden days, declining something was pretty much unheard of because you never knew when you might have the chance to indulge again. The other reason you might not be able to say no to free wine is FOMO. Declining free cocktails, mocktails, and appetizers means you could miss out on making meaningful connections with other travelers.
If you're traveling to Georgia, at the intersection of Europe and Asia, you're going to want to check into the Wine Hostel Sanavardo where you can sip locally produced wine from the hostel's own vineyards and get your groove on during Georgian dance classes. A 30-minute train ride from Rome, Italy, will deliver you to Wiki Hostel in the Zagarolo-Rome wine region where you can sample the region's locally made wines from the Wiki cellar without ever leaving the hostel.
In Ireland, better known for Guinness and Jameson than wine, you can stay at the Isaacs Hostel, Dublin, a 19th century converted wine store. And, while you might not get free wine at this hostel, you can join your hostel mates for a free weekly pub crawl before returning to crash for the night in your vintage wine cellar.
If you're staying in Dublin on a Wednesday, then the Times Camden Hostel is an obvious choice because they'll give you all the free wine and cheese you can handle. Fridays are for free sangria, and Saturdays are saved for free drinks of your choice. Seriously, I'm rethinking ever staying in a hotel in Europe again where the rooms are expensive and you have to shell out big bigs bucks for wine and cheese while those in the know are getting it all for free. While staying in hostels in the U.S. isn't the norm, especially for locals, the free wine and cheese night at Apple Hostels in Philadelphia, Penn., just might change your mind. Because, again, free.
A wine hostel might not call itself exactly that — but you can keep your eyes peeled when you're looking to book your accommodations, especially if you're planning a trip through wine country, and see if your hostel options offer any sort of deal on wine, or if they can help you organize a wine tasting. Hostels aren't necessarily the budget accommodations they used to be — in fact, they can be pretty chic.