Youth hostels are something like across between a cheap motel and a college dormitory. Found in countries all over the world, they are extremely inexpensive to stay — making them ideal for young travelers, though young and old alike are welcome–but they do have some disadvantages, too.
What you’ll find in a typical youth hostel room is a couple of bunk beds (rooms are usually shared) and perhaps a lamp and a small dresser. There is often a common room, where travelers can meet one another and share stories of their adventures, and a kitchen where everyone cooks their own meals. Bathrooms are shared by the guests, who are also often asked to help a little with the cleaning chores. There is no room service or maid service of any kind.
But if you just need a place to sleep and clean up during your travels, youth hostels are a good option. Here are a couple of organizations that can help you learn more:
Northern California Hostels
From romantic lighthouses on the central California coast to locations in the midst of San Francisco’s urban energy, this site has got it all, including places to stay for as little as $13 a night per person!