How to Meet People in Hostels
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Making friends while you’re traveling can seem like a difficult thing to do. Before I began to solo travel, I thought there was no way I’d be able to create the friendships I have while staying in hostels. It can be scary putting yourself out there and you’ll definitely be leaving your comfort zone, which if you don’t know, is the best thing you can do for yourself. You’ll grow as a person and become more confident. With that said, here is a list of things you can do to make it easier to make friends in hostels! By using these six tips on how to meet people, something that seemed so difficult proves to be super easy.
1. Go to Breakfast
Some hostels provide free breakfast, and if not free, often offer breakfast for a really cheap price. This is not only good for travelers wanting to stay on a budget but also a great way to meet people. Simply asking someone if you can sit with them to eat and starting a conversation will help you get to know them better. Asking people what they have planned for the day could lead to them asking you to join! If you’re a solo traveler, it’s good to spot out other people by themselves because they’re trying to meet people too. Solo travelers are always looking for other solo travelers.
2. Talk to the hostel workers
Not only do the hostel employees know a bunch of information about the place you’re visiting, but they are almost always super friendly. Sometimes the workers are young travelers themselves working as volunteers for free accommodation at the hostel. Other times, they are locals who have great tips to share. Hostels normally have a chill atmosphere and the employees will be happy to join you for the activities at the hostel or even the activities you have planned outside the hostel when they’re not working. Sometimes, the workers will cook dinner with you and might even teach you how to make a specialty dish of the area.
3. Make dinner in the hostel’s kitchen
One beneficial aspect of hostels is that they have a kitchen area for everyone to use. Travelers often use this to their advantage when trying to save money meaning you’ll often find people in the kitchen. When so many people congregate there, it’s hard not to make friends while cooking. By the time you’re done, you’ll have someone to eat dinner with!
4. Talk to people in your dorm room
Right off the bat, say hi to the people in your room. Usually, people want to have a conversation and you’ll be able to tell immediately when you introduce yourself. Asking where someone is from and why they’re visiting is a great conversation starter that frequently leads to a longer conversation. Another way to make friends in your room is to ask anyone if they want to go grab something to eat! You’ll usually get a yes from someone.
Every once in a while, you’ll get a room where the atmosphere isn’t that great, and no one wants to talk to each other. Super lame. It's good to remember hostels are supposed to have a fun atmosphere and you contribute to that so try to create that while you're staying at one. When this happens, I suggest using my other tips to meet other people in the hostel.
5. Take part in the activities the hostel sets up
Hostels are not just for providing cheap accommodation to budget travelers. One of the sole purposes of hostels is to create an environment where people from all over the world who love to travel can come together under the same roof. People running the hostel know this, meaning events are planned to make it easier for people to meet. Some examples include movie night, game night, and themed pub crawls. Some hostels will even offer free wine at a certain time. Freeeee wine. You’d be a fool not to go.
6. Hangout in the common area
Every hostel has a common area. If you’re planning to relax for a bit, go hangout there to meet people. Going there will normally result in a conversation with someone and they could invite you to do something later in the day or vice versa.
Related: How to Book the Best Hostel
Wrapping it up
There’s no harm in introducing yourself to people and you’ll learn all the good that comes from it. Meeting people from different places can teach you a lot. From my experiences, conversation is never boring at hostels either. People coming from everywhere, with different ideas and thoughts will result in interesting conversation. It’s likely you’ll learn something new from the discussions you have in hostels and you’ll leave having new friends from all over the world.