On March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day a tradition upheld since the early 1900s. On March 8, working women worldwide highlight their solidarity in the fight for equal political and economical rights with men. And in many countries, men join in support too. In Russia, men wake up early and buy flowers for their wives, daughters, mothers and grandmothers. This all sounds wonderful, but it’s important to note how it applies to us women travelers, and especially us solo female travelers. A few hundred years ago, it was considered shameful and disrespectful if a woman traveled alone, without the company of a governess or a husband. In the early 1900s, though there were no laws against it, women typically didn’t travel alone because society frowned upon it. In the 1930s, Eleanor Roosevelt was one of America’s first prominent women who’d break tradition and travel alone, despite what anyone said.
Women gained more independence during the suffrage movement and on the home-front in WWII and female travelers became more common. Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who didn’t travel. And the number of women traveling alone is getting larger and larger. Women are starting to realize that traveling alone is doable, safe, and best of all–thrilling.
To mark the event, HostelBookers, the budget accommodation specialist, released its 10 best hostels around the world for women travelers — taking into account the needs of solo female travelers as well. HostelBookers also put together aseries of expert articles for women travelers, listing the best destinations, packing tips safety tips, the necessity of traveler’s insurance and attitudes towards women on every continent. So if you haven’t struck out on a trip of your own yet, here are ten female-friendly hostels to help you start planning.
The Miami Hostel, Miami, Florida:
Located on South Beach, The Miami Hostel has 8, 10 and 12-bed female dorms available. The hostel supplies guests with free beach towels and you can enjoy cocktails in the hostel bar before heading down to the beach.
St Christopher’s Orient Espresso, London, UK
Girls can take their pick of private, 4-bed or 8-bed dorms. Other hostel facilities include a free travel library, complimentary chess in the coffee shop and internet access in the internet cafe.
Papaya Female Youth Hostel, Rome, Italy
All the rooms and facilities are clean, and the hostel provides free internet kiosks and Wi-Fi that are useful for planning a day out in Rome. It’s centrally located so just grab a map and explore.
Cairns Girls Hostel, Cairns, Australia
With car rental facilities nearby, this is a great choice for those hoping to explore the coastline and the Great Barrier Reef. The hostel is located in the central business district close to the main shopping and tourist outlets. It boasts easy access to cinemas, nightclubs, the waterfront and the lagoon.
Caulaincourt Square Hostel, Paris, France
Located close to Montmartre and Le Sacre Coeur in Paris’s pretty bohemian quarter, the hostel offers free Wi-Fi and free bike rental which is a great way to explore the city.
Adventurer Hostel, Los Angeles, California
Ranked top 3 for ‘Most Popular’ in North America in the HostelBookers Awards for Excellence 2010, Adventurer Hostel offers female-only dorms which sleep 4, 8 or 20 people.
Plus Prague, Prague, Check Republic
Women will appreciate the homely creature comforts on offer; extra space, cosmetic tables equipped with hairdryers and complimentary toiletries included in the girls-only dorms. The rest of the hostel is mixed genders and has an indoor swimming pool open to guests.
Lub d Bangkok – Silom, Bangkok, Thailand
The hostel is equipped with plenty of security features such as key card access to the dorms, private rooms and communal areas. There are also individual lockers in each dormitory.
BASE St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia
Located in St Kilda – Melbourne’s seaside suburb – BASE offers ladies their own Sanctuary wing. In these female-only dorms girls can enjoy free champagne, hair straightening irons and tea or coffee in bed on weekends.
Jazz on Amsterdam Ave, New York, USA
It offers ladies 8, 6 or 4-bed dorms many of them en suite, air-conditioned and with nice colorful decor. Staff organize outings and events throughout the week so guests have plenty of opportunities to meet their fellow travelers.