I have a tight budget and would like to stay in a hostel and meet other travelers, but should I spend the extra on a hotel room instead?
If you don't mind sharing rooms, stay in a hostel. Galway is a young, college city and you'll find plenty of other friendly backpackers staying at the hostels. It's a very safe town. I recommend Kinlay Eyre Square Hostel, it's within walking distance of everything.