Recently on a trip to Bangkok I asked many like-minded travellers what was their favourite thing about staying in hostels. Time and time again the answer was ‘meeting new people’. So while many people know hostels are a great way to strike up new acquaintances, there are certain ways that will get you connected from people all over the world. Here are five…
1. Cook for yourself in the kitchen
‘Sorry, would you pass over that pot please?’; ‘Excuse me, are you finished with this knife?’ It’s questions like these that have kicked off a bit of banter between backpackers all over the world for years. ‘Ooooh…that looks nice – what are you cooking?!’ From here the famous ‘So where are you from? / How long you on the road for?’ conversation ensues and new friends are made. So while you may be tempted to nip out to the nearest burger joint, put the effort in to cook in the hostel kitchen and it’s more than your dinner you’ll be making.
2. Stay in hostels with bars
As we all know, once we’ve consumed a beer or four we become more talkative. So stay in a hostel that has its own bar you’re bound to strike up a conversation with somebody over the space of the evening. What’s more, many of these hostel bars have themed nights. Tuesday may be karaoke night, Thursday could be quiz night…Saturday might be singles night! Either way, hostel bars are the perfect place to be bowled over by new buddies.
3. Sign up for organised tours
These days more and more hostels around the world are organising their own tours direct from the hostel. This could be a tapas bar tour in Seville, a trip to Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles, or a walking tour of the old town in Edinburgh. More often than not they are walking tours lasting two to three hours giving you lots of time to talk to your new hostel buddies between stops, finding out where they’re from, what their favourite sport is and more.
4. Stay in dormitories
This might seem an obvious way to meet people, but not everybody who stays in hostels these days stays in dormitories. Instead many stay in private rooms as most hostels offer them. But where’s the fun in that! How will you meet people getting ready for a night out, or others in the common room the day after the night before for conversations that begin with ‘You were late last night?!’ This is the beauty of dormitories. So people – if you want to meet people when staying in hostels make sure to stay in dorms.
5. Be forthcoming!
Hostels are all about being social, but they won’t be social if you don’t approach people and say hi. The best-known way to strike up a conversation are the reliable ‘So where have you been before here?’ or ‘How long are you here for?’ questions. From here there’ll be no looking back.
What do you think is the best way to meet people in hostels? Tell us by commenting below.