Hotel VS Hostel VS Homestay - Which is Your Best Option?



You already know what a hotel stay is like. But with so many other travel accommodation options available, have you ever found yourself in a dilemma on which to choose? You’ve come to the right place. Between a hotel, a hostel, and a homestay, we’ll be highlighting the differences that matter. We're also throwing in a few good deals as our Mayflower 11.11 Travel Sale is running from the 8th to 18th November! Read on to find out more.

The authentic homestay




Photo by Unsplash 


We begin with the most humble of all accommodation experiences - a homestay. Its a form of lodging where traveling visitors share the same space with a local who owns that accommodation. Homestay owners usually want to provide more than a bed to sleep on. The full works could include cooking and dining with the local homeowner, mingling with their family and friends, taking part in their daily activities, and helping with the clean up too! So imagine if you’ve always wanted to know what life would be like on a farm, you’d choose a homestay on a farm. Or if you’ve always wanted to know how an artist’s life is like, you’d choose a homestay with an artist. Their house becomes your home away from home and their family becomes “your family” for the duration of your stay.


Homestay Dining


Photo by Unsplash 


If you travel solo for a month, choosing a homestay means you’ll always have the company of others to come home to. It can get pretty lonely for solo travellers who are on a long trip. On a short trip to a country where the language and culture is completely foreign to you, you get to make friends immediately. Your homestay owner will usually be able to give you tips on what to do around the area and where to get the best views or discounted meals. This is great for travellers who enjoy meeting new people, taking it easy and slow, and experiencing the local culture in the most authentic way.

Where to find a homestay


As of now, the most popular platform to find a homestay globally is AirBnb. Accommodation is selected and booked through the app or website after creating an account and user profile. The app is well-regulated by the company so both hosts and guests are screened and there’s a rating system to encourage transparency and ensure greater security. Prices differ according to country, currency, and ultimately what the homestay owner offers. Payment is seamless and secure. Second to AirBnb is another platform literally called “Homestay”. This is different from independent homestay providers who promote their homes on the Internet. Homestay the platform, is based in Dublin, Ireland and operates worldwide.

The good ol’ hostel




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Hostels are inexpensive accommodation options catered to specific groups of travellers. You can choose from a dormitory (mixed or gender-segregated), a private room with a shared bathroom, or in more “lavish” hostels - a basic family room with its own attached bathroom. The most common types of hostels are Youth Hostels and Backpackers Hostels.




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A youth Hostel is  for students and young people and is usually funded by a charitable organisation. There may sometimes be sports facilities available. Prices between RM50 to less than RM100 a night and food is available at a cafeteria. A “backpackers hostel” can be different, often with more creative interiors and cosy corners for book swaps, a shared kitchenette to cook simple meals, shared bathrooms, and common spaces. Most backpacker hostels offer dormitories instead of private rooms to keep costs low and foster more socialising.


Youth Hostel


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Other than keeping costs low, the benefit of staying at a hostel is being able to meet like-minded travellers. Sometimes you also get the opportunity to cook meals together and try food from different cultures represented. Be sure to choose one that suits your lifestyle or travel preferences - especially standards of cleanliness and comfort. Some hostels position themselves as “party hostels” which means you can expect cheap drinks, partying all night, and no sleep! So be sure to do your research and pick the right one.


Where to find a hostel


The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is a worldwide organisation that has provided affordable hostels as early as the 1950s. Don’t be confused by its name, these hostels are open to both genders and are reliable, affordable, and safe. YMCA hostels are in 119 countries including China, Taiwan, India, Spain, Russia, Mexico, Canada, and of course Malaysia too.


The luxurious hotel - Now available on discount* with Mayflower!



Photo by Mayflower


There’s nothing like arriving at a hotel after a tiring trip and being warmly greeted by professional and friendly hotel staff from the moment they open the vehicle door for you. The burden of your bags is quickly taken by the concierge, and you are ushered to a lovely and comfortable lounge filled with the scent of fresh flowers and light jazzy tunes. A refreshing drink and snack is served, and your room keys are settled in a jiffy. What a welcome! And if you’ve ever had an issue with the cost of such luxury, this is your moment: *You can now experience RM50 off on selected hotels with Mayflower’s 11.11 Hotel Promo sale!




Photo by Mayflower


Staying at a hotel probably has the most benefits when it comes to convenience and comfort. Hotels have room service and eat-in menus, as well as a pool, a gym, a business centre, a restaurant, and sometimes kids playrooms too. So if you’re on a business trip or if you’re a family travelling with young children, staying in a hotel would be the best option for you.

Where to find a hotel


Search our website of course! We have hotels that range from 3 to 5 stars to suit your budget, but since you’ll be taking advantage of our Mayflower’s 11.11 sale, key in your location of travel and keep a lookout for hotels that fall under our Selected Hotel Promo.


In conclusion, hotels, hostels, and home stays all have their differences and benefits. What’s important is that you know which one suits you. Consider what’s important to you on a specific kind of trip, your travel style and your budget, and then you’ll know which is your best option! 


Are you ready to go on vacation? We sure hope you are! If you haven’t booked your flights yet, check out our Mayflower 11.11 Travel Sale that’s happening right now! Register as a Mayflower member for the best travel deals and steals. Book your flight, hotel and tour packages on now. AND don’t forget to follow our Mayflower Facebook Page for more!  





Sarah Lim

Believes travel is more than food and shopping. Slowly becoming a history and architecture geek. Loves the outdoors but struggles to keep plants alive. 
Takes photographs, occasionally writes. Follow her adventures at @justsaytravel or just say hello. sarahlimwrites at gmail.