If you’re a solo traveller on a budget then you’re probably going to be staying in a hostel or two on your journeys, and solo travelling can be so lonely or daunting if you don’t make friends during your travels. Below I will share my top tips to make brand new friends from all around the world in hostels.
Don’t Underestimate Bathroom Conversations
This one might be more applicable to women than men, but the conversations I’ve had when washing my hands, doing my make up or getting ready for the showers are some of the best I have ever had. It makes it easier to ask to sit with them in the bar or breakfast area of the hostel because you’re a friendly face to them now. Some of the best restaurants I’ve found in foreign countries have been through bathroom conversations!
Hang Out In The Bar
Although not all hostels have bars or community areas, the majority of them do, or at least the ones I’ve been to. If you spend time hanging out at the bar you’ll meet a large variety of people as long as you have the courage to speak to them. Trust me, they’re probably in the same position as you so please talk away, you may regret it if you don’t. Alcohol is the best ice breaker of them all so this is possibly the best way to make new friends.
Talk To Them First
If you’re nervous to start a conversation, then the other person probably is too. Build up your confidence and make the first move. If you see someone by themselves, ask if you can join them. Starting the conversation makes you seem confident and reliable and believe me they will appreciate it (and if they don’t then it’s their loss…)
Ask To Sit With Them At Breakfast
As mentioned above it can be nice having breakfast with a friendly face. Not all hostels offer a breakfast service, but the majority do. It can be nice to talk about your plans for the day and even possibly find out you’re doing the same thing and head off together. It’s a great opportunity to add people on Facebook or get their phone numbers. Because you’re in a relaxed environment with an opportunity to actually connect it’s the best way to do it.
Stay In A Hostel Dorm
As with the bathroom conversations, being forced to stay in a confined space with others will force conversation. You’re guaranteed to meet wonderful people from all around the world. If anything it would be unnatural not to make conversation with the people around you. Human nature will kick in and you’ll make really good friends.
Sign Up To Social Gatherings
Hostels are made for making friends and often hold events where you can meet people! If they don’t hold the events themselves, they will have bulletin boards that list local events. Always ask the people at reception where to socialise as well they will have the upper hand on all the local events.
Choose Your Hostel Wisely
It’s important that you book yourself in to a nice, clean hostel that would attract likeminded people. Otherwise you might have an uncomfortable stay with grumpy room mates. If you see a hostel that has frequent social events, I’d suggest you try one of them!