5 Boutique Hostels For The Millennial In You

The bunk bed and shared bathroom just got a serious upgrade

Revisiting your college dorm days of shared bathrooms and bunk beds probably doesn't sound like the most appealing way to spend a well-earned vacation. Thanks to a budding crop of boutique hostels, however, you can stick to a budget and still get a unique experience.  

Hostels used to be the budget traveler's best bet, before Airbnb became the go-to option for so many millennials. Airbnb renters may have gained private space and curfew-free lodging, but they've lost one of the best parts of backpacking: meeting new people.

Luckily for hostel loyalists out there, a number of hostels are transforming themselves into boutique communal living spaces, equipped with on-site kitchens, bars and concierge services. Many also offer events and activities—aka social opportunities that don't involve staring at a screen.

Check out these five boutique hostels around the U.S.

① The Wayfarer: Located in what's known as the Funk Zone, this Santa Barbara-based hotel and hostel offers 27 rooms and four shared rooms, as well as complimentary breakfast in its communal kitchen.

② The Crash Pad: This boutique hostel caters to the adventurous traveler looking to spend more time outdoors. Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the aptly named Crash Pad has amenities like free Wi-Fi and locally roasted coffee and breakfast.

③ Freehand: With locations in both Chicago and Miami, this high-end hostel provides a laid-back vibe mixed with classy cocktails and small-plate bites. Leave the Tevas and money belt at home.

④ Holiday Jones: Nestled in one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Chicago, Holiday Jones attracts what it refers to as "The Enlightened Traveler"—someone who wants all the perks of a high-end hotel but at a discounted price. Both private and shared rooms are available, and stays include free breakfast, access to common areas with guest computers and a communal kitchen.

⑤ Hostel Fish: When you arrive at this hostel, you'll probably think you accidentally booked a room at a swanky Denver hotel instead. Each room is decorated with a funky theme, and guests can take advantage of daily tours and pub crawls.

If you're in going to be in Detroit, check out El Moore Lodge, which features garden-view shared rooms for men or women. And if the city you're visiting next isn't on our list, stay tuned. New boutique hostels are popping up all over the country, like The Native opening this winter in Austin, Texas.