Dinged by the rings? You can go to the Olympics for a mere $1,000
It’s often said that some of the best parties during the Olympic Games are within the gated walls of the Athletes Village. But unless you have a six-pack of abs and a security badge, your chances of gaining access are nil. Next-best place to let loose, and grab a couple hours of sleep, is at one of the more than a dozen hostels scattered throughout the Vancouver area. Most are filling up fast, but Hostel International’s Jericho Beach location is one of handful with beds remaining through the Olympics. At just $30 a night for a bed in a shared dormitory, the price can’t be beat, and neither can the location: The hostel is a short walk from Thunderbird Arena, site of qualifying Olympic hockey games. Sharing rooms with strangers can be fun: Sure, Sven and Soren, the Swedish curling enthusiasts, are loud snorers, but their passion for face paint and patriotism is part of the Olympic experience. Added bonus of a hostel: There are often self-catering kitchens, so you can shop at local grocery stores and cook meals yourself.
Hostels are proving to be such an attractive option that the government has decided to jump on board. Late last month, the 2010 Organizing Committee announced it was taking over Vancouver’s Hotel Eldorado, and opening its doors as a youth hostel for the duration of the games. A rate of $34 a night will get you dorm-style accommodation in one of the facility’s 300 beds, along with an affordable breakfast, Internet access and TV lounge.