Dear Duchess: Hostels in Paradise

Dear Duchess,

Congrats on your websites and videos! I have two (probably) solo trips coming up and I really can use your expertise and frugal insights. The destinations are San Juan and St. Thomas. Do you know of any good places to consider for accommodations that are budget friendly (read: cheap, lol) and safe for a solo female traveler? I thought about (maybe) trying a hostel because I know that can be a good way to meet folks but… It’s a hostel (hahahahahaha). Some are cool and others feel too much like a freshman dorm. I have a ton of travel this year and I really don’t want to break the bank, but I would like a place that is comfortable, safe, and not littered with beer cans. Any ideas?


Frugal Female Solo Traveler

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Dear Frugal Female Solo Traveler,

Thank you so much for visiting the site. To get right into it, San Juan has gotten a bit pricier over the years, but don’t fear there is always a frugal way to play! From my knowledge (and research) there are very few hostel-like accommodations in San Juan and for a first timer they might be a bit scary…read: unclean and in shady areas. Here are a few that I would look into, starting with Posada San Francisco. It has great reviews from solo female travelers, like yourself. It’s also lauded as an ideal location and the price is definitely right! It also helps that it’s more of a guest house than a hostel.

Hostel La Vista is also clean and cheap but location may be an issue, as it may be a bit difficult to find. My last recommendation is Island Time Hostel. It’s about $30/night and near the beach, which is a plus. You also have the option of renting a private room if dorm style doesn’t tickle your fancy.

My favorite way to save money anywhere is AirBnb. If it’s your first time using an AirBnB, use my link and get a $50 credit. A quick search shows that rooms/apartments from AirBnB hosts start at about $40/night. Read the reviews from previous travelers and you’ll have a better idea about the host, location, and appearance of the AirBnB.

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For St. Thomas, the AirBnB’s are much more expensive. However, if you are traveling during the offseason, May – November, you may luck up on lower prices with AirBnB, hotels and or/hostels.  Rhoda’s Guest House in St. Thomas comes highly recommended for women traveling alone. There are no private rooms but since low season is approaching, you may end up having the room to yourself.

If guest houses and hostels rub you the wrong way, then you may hit the jackpot during hurricane season by placing a bid at Priceline. Don’t let a little rain scare you away! Head over to Priceline and bid on a hotel in your desired class. Stick within your budget and if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!

Hope you enjoy your time in the sun and remember that breaking the bank is not an option!

Keep Traveling,

Deal Duchess