This article is a travel topic
Hostel, in the context of travel, is a form of accommodation for travellers and for youth groups, which provides shared accommodation. 'Hostel' means that, at the minimum, there will be some dormitory accommodation. Hostels usually also have common areas, a youthful and traveller orientation, and information on the local area and travel to other locations.
The concept of 'youth hostels', as they were originally known, started in about 1910 in Germany and was soon copied in several European countries. Originally, each Hostelling International organisation sought to provide low cost accommodation in rural areas for young city workers, with an emphasis was on hiking, cycling and other healthy activities.
With the advent of international travel, hostels not affiliated to Hostelling International associations were established: these were often known as backpackers hostels. Today, there is less difference between Hostelling International hostels and non-Hostelling International hostels, and both are often referred to as "backpackers".
Hostelling International (HI)
Many hostels have affiliated themselves with Hostelling International  (formerly International Youth Hostel Federation)--a network of over 90 separate national hostelling organizations. Note that not all hostels are affiliated to HI, and that there are also other hostelling networks. The best indicator of quality is a hostel's online reviews, which can be found by searching Google.
It is advisable to book hostels in advance rather than just turning up and hoping that there will be a suitable bed. To find a hostel, search Google or read hostel reviews on various hostel booking sites.
Many hostels appreciate it when guests book directly with the hostel, because the hostel then saves money on commissions that they have to pay to external booking systems.
A sailboat hostel is a boat that has been redone for or dedicated to use as a hostel for international backpacker travelers. A sailboat hostel is a great way to see things that would otherwise be inaccessible or too expensive on a shoestring budget. A hostel of this sort should offer their beds at what could be considered a hosteling rate (roughly between $5 and $60 per day, depending on the country).
Sailboat hostels, depending on their size, can accommodate 3 or more people. Generally they would include a breakfast and some general sailing instruction and safety guidelines, as well as activities related to the sea such as snorkeling and surfing, to name only a couple.
While there are several stationary and motor-powered boat hostels, currently there are only a small handful of boats that could be considered sailboat hostels. This is a new kind of adventure, taking the spirit of international backpacker travel to the sea.
STAYWYSE: The Association for Youth Travel Accommodation
In October 2007, STAY WYSE was officially approved as a sector association of the World Youth, Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation , a not-for-profit organisation that represents the global community of youth travel, student travel, cultural exchange and international education specialists.
STAY WYSE is a not-for-profit industry association to represent the entire global youth travel accommodation sector.
The Association's mission is to provide safe, affordable and clean accommodation within a communal atmosphere that encourages youth mobility and cultural understanding.
It's members include the leading Youth Travel Accommodation providers. It's current Board of Directors include members from Hostelling International, Hostelworld.com and Mundo Joven.
STAY WYSE undertakes an annual industry benchmark study. The study enables youth travel accommodation operators to benchmark their own business performance characteristics against global standards in order to develop strategic concepts and optimize business outcomes.