When most people think of Vanuatu, they probably think of sprawling resorts with private beaches and five star luxury. For me, however, I’d always rather stay in a hostel than a resort or hotel. Although these days I have a good full-time job that allows me to splurge a little, I still love the vibe of hostels, especially as a solo traveller!

Plus, one of the best things about Vanuatu is its laid-back island atmosphere. While there’s many beautiful resorts if relaxation is what you’re after, Vanuatu has such a friendly, easy going atmosphere that it’s perfect for the laidback traveller. So, given that I am more partial to an impromptu D&M with a fellow traveller than 5* resort luxury, I spent most of my trip to Port Vila staying in one of the few shared options.

The Traveller’s Budget Motel is not your typical hostel, in that it had both private rooms and shared dorms. However, a quick search of Hostel Bookers tells me that there aren’t many (any?) true hostels in Port Vila. ‘Travellers’ was one of the few budget options that has a shared, 8 bed dorm.

For the first night I was given a private room as the shared dorm was booked out. It was small, clean and had lovely little personalised touches such as fresh flowers and a nice little note welcoming travellers. The next day I was moved to the dorm for my next 3 nights – but it was only shared one night! So, I can’t say I got your typical loud, hostel dorm experience, but it still gave me a good comparison for when I did later stay in a fancy resort.

While the sleeping situation may not have been your usual hostel vibe, the travellers did manage to replicate it a fair bit with its shared kitchen and pool area. Offering free tea and coffee, as well as other drinks on an “honesty policy” (god I love those), this was a great place for guests, staff and the owners (plus their dogs) to mingle and chat.

I plan to compare my hostel vs resort experience in Vanuatu, but I think it will come as no surprise to those who know me that the hostel vibe really suited me. Not only do you save money (and boy do I love to save money), but I’d much rather spend my evenings sipping on a tea, chatting away, than locked inside my (admittedly very nice) resort hotel room. So, I’d definitely recommend the Travellers and shared accommodation for those chatty, budget conscious travellers like myself.

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