Hostels cost significantly less than hotels, but if you’re still thinking, ‘cheap, cheerful and backpackers’, think again. New generation family-friendly hostels worldwide are more about fresh design than sardine-style dorms. Private rooms, with private bathrooms, are the norm. They’re in the heart of incredible cities, by the beach, in the country, on islands, and across every continent. And, considering Hostelworld have over 35,000 hostels to choose from, and an incredibly easy booking app, it’s hard to imagine you won’t find at least a few hundred to win you over.

Family hostels are small on price, big on flexibility

The free-spirited combo of hostels and independent travel couldn’t work out better for families. Large rooms are more the rule than the exception. You can choose self-catering: pick hostels with restaurants or opt for a mix of both. And if you don’t fit the standard, cookie-cutter, 2 x 2 family shape, that’s fine too: between the friendly, relaxed atmosphere and great value, hostels are perfect for single parents; they work mixed age groups beautifully; appeal as much to tricky teens, as toddlers, and even do multi-gen effortlessly. 

Coming round to the idea of family hostels? Take a look at seven Hostelworld favourites from the centre of Barcelona to beachfront in Madeira. With private rooms from less than £50 a night, for a family of four, just think of all the fun you could have with the money you aren’t giving to hotels.

Plaza de Espana, Seville

1/7  ToC Seville, Andalusia, Spain

ToC Seville is right in the heart of Andalusia’s capital. It’s one of the newest city hostels, and couldn’t be more family friendly. The design’s ultra-hip, boutique hotel: from very cool bunk-beds to great outdoor spaces. There’s even a mini-cinema with lounge-around sofas, and the motto is ‘make yourself at home’: you know this because it’s just one of many cheerful messages, boldly printed around this bright, airy hostel.

The lowdown

Where: Two minutes walk from Alcázar Palace in Seville’s historic centre.

Hostel: Family-friendly; restaurant; bar; mini-supermarket; laundry; bike hire; self-catering facilities; movie-room; 24-hour reception; steam room; outdoor terraces; common room.

Extras: Free city tours; free walking maps; free WIFI.

Cost: From £84 per night for a private family room, en-suite, sleeps four.

Direct UK flights: to Seville take two hours, 40 minutes.

Next