Whether you’re traveling in a group or by yourself, everyone can learn a trick or two about making friends in hostels–the breeding ground for global friendships.
Hostels are amazing fun. Some of my favorite memories of traveling occurred during my stay at hostels, and that’s usually always because of the friends I met. I’ll admit, hostels attract a certain traveler. Everyone’s extrovert, fast-paced, and all there to achieve one thing–have an amazing time. There are exceptions, but in my experience, people want to enjoy beautiful new places and make global friendships along the way. With that in mind, continue reading for my top 4 ways to make friends in hostels.
Tip #1: Choose the Right Hostel
This is a crucial trick if you’re wanting to make friends at a hostel. Choose the right type of hostel for you and your purpose. For example, MadMonkey hostels are famous in South-East Asia for their promise of parties, bar crawls, and never-ending fun. I did one night there in their Bangkok location, and it’s safe to say I made a ton of friends thanks to dynamic hostel reps, ice-breaker games and lots of alcohol. This might not be your idea of fun and that’s ok. Hostels have their own personalities and characteristics which suit some more than others.
When booking on websites such as hostelworld.com or booking.com, take care to read reviews and descriptions to get a feel for the hostel. Lots of hostels offer day trips, city walks, free evening drinks and more. They want everyone to make friends and enjoy their time, so be sure to pick the right hostel for you to meet like-minded friends.
Tip #2: Take Charge to Make Friends
Sometimes, bite the bullet and say to yourself, ‘what do I have to lose?’ Get yourself out there. If you’ve met a group of friends, but spent yesterday with a different group, why not get them all together? All it takes is one person to round everyone up and then before you know it, you’ve got a whole team of friends ready to travel the day away.
The best way to make friends and get to know people is by taking charge and calling the shots. Someone’s got to, why not let it be you! Tell them about a local bar you were given a flyer for, or that you met someone last week who said this pool on the other side of the city is the best pool ever. People in hostels love interaction, so be the one to offer it. Enjoy making friends as the friendliest person in the hostel!
Tip #3: Why Not Join The Hostel Team?
Most of the time, the staff at hostels are wandering travelers themselves. They love the city, the hostel, the people, so they decide to stay. On the tourist trail, there is no better way to make friends from all over the world than by working for a hostel. They’ll usually set you up with a room in return for work. It could be housekeeping, reception, activities, you name it. In some hostels it really is that easy.
Let the staff become your best friends as you collectively meet new faces every day, waving goodbye to those you’ve served. Get involved and become a hostel team member to find purpose and friends while traveling.
Tip #4: Stay in Hostel Dorms
It’s easy to get into the habit of booking private rooms. You’ve got your own space, you don’t need to worry about covering up, and your alarm will only disturb you. You must break this habit if you want to branch out and make friends. You might think it’s OK, because you met Maria from Spain and Luke from Scotland on the museum tour earlier, but they’ve gone back to their dorm and are forming a plan for the evening. You won’t catch this plan because you’ve booked a private room.
Everyone in hostels knows the score. In dorms, there will be annoying alarms, spilled drinks and a door slamming 8, 9, 10 times an hour, but that’s OK! Trust me, it all becomes normal and you’ll be happy you chose sociable dorms making friends over private, lonely rooms.
There are hundreds of other methods to make friends at hostels, the list is endless. Making friends is so important to me when I travel, so I couldn’t wait to share my hostel friend-making suggestions. Let me know what works for you, I can’t wait to go back some day and do it all over again!
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