If you’ve made it your mission to see as much of the world as possible, then there’s a high chance that you’ve stayed in a few hostels of the course of your adventure. After all, you’d have to be a millionaire to be able to afford hotels in each new destination! Hostels are cheap and cheerful, but they can be pretty daunting if you’re flying solo. In fact, they can even be daunting if you’re traveling as part of a group. If you’re not the kind of person that easily approaches another person, it can be difficult to make friends in a hostel. However, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems.
Choose to stay in a dorm
Most hostels offer travelers the chance to stay in private rooms, but if you want to make friends, it’s best to avoid these. Dorm rooms give you the chance to live communally with a whole group of people from all walks of life, and some of these may soon become your friends. By living in this shared area, it gives you so many more chances to interact with those around you. If you don’t want to bombard them with questions during your first interaction, then give them a simple “hello” and introduce yourself. The conversation should hopefully flow naturally from there.
Hang out in the communal areas
Most hostels want their travelers to become friends and hang out, which is why they often give guests the chance to chill out in communal areas. It may be that they have their own bar on site, it may be that they have a living area where you can sit on the couch and fill each other in on your day, or it may be that you just get chatting in the kitchen as you’re making your dinner. If you want to make friends while in these hostels, it’s important to explore these communal areas. They are designed for exactly what you want, so make use of them!
Make use of social events
Hostels are a welcome retreat for solo travelers, as they often put on social events to help everyone get the most of their traveling adventures. This may be a free walking tour of the local area, or it might be an event in their on-site bar or one nearby. These events are the perfect way to meet people away from the dorm rooms. You can share drinks together, you can embrace the culture together, or you could even venture onto the next step of your adventure together. In fact, many solo travelers have found traveling companions while staying in these hostels.
Know when to move on
Hostels are just like the real world. You are going to get on with some people, and there are going to be other people who don’t float your boat. When you are trying to make friends, try not to hang onto people you think you should be hanging out with because they seem the most popular. You need to know when to move on to new potential friends because you could be limiting yourself by staying with those you don’t particularly want to be around. At the end of the day, it’s your adventure, so you need to be selfish.
Do you struggle to make friends in hostels? Well, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not as difficult as it may seem.