For the solo traveler finding a place to stay and to stay social is always needed.

When traveling, it is always nice to have a great place to stay where meeting other travelers is an easy affair. This can be difficult if you are on your own, on a budget and not sure where to make home base. The obvious solution is to stay in a friendly hostel.

A hostel is a great place to find a cheap dorm bed or room for the night, but can also be the perfect place to meet like-minded travelers. There are some exceptional individuals out there who can enhance your already amazing adventure, but you need to find them.

In a major city there are usually a multitude of hostels to choose from. So how can you be sure you are going to pick the best hostel with the best chance of finding some companions to pal around with while you are in town?

Stay in a dorm

The way to meet people is by being with people and there is no better way to do that than rooming with them. Now this does not mean trying to find a roommate, so stop having flashbacks of your college freshman year experiences!

Hostels usually have two types of room — private and shared. You and your companions have a private room all to yourselves, but in a shared room you’ll be sharing with strangers – you just book your bed, rather than the room.

Shared rooms are usually known as dorms, and can vary in size from two beds to over a hundred. In general, a mid-sized room of six to twelve beds is what you’re after, unless you prefer to feel like you’re sleeping in a Mumbai train station. Actually, the train station would be preferable to some large dorm rooms. And safer.

Staying in a hostel dorm is cheap and allows you to meet some very interesting fellow travellers. Remember to be respectful of your dormmates and their belongings, and always be open for a chat. This conversation could be the first step in a travel companionship.

Choose your crowd

Another good way to narrow down your hostel search is by figuring out what kind of people you want to meet. Are you looking for a group to go out with and have a romping good time, or a mellower crowd that are down for cruising some museums and a cozy intimate evening in the hostel’s common room?

If you are looking to not only get the most out of a city during the day, but also at night, finding a hostel with its own bar is probably the right choice for you. Even if you aren’t the biggest drinker the chances are some of the other people in the hostel are, and this is where they are going to meet up. Besides, even if you only want to check out the local night life or have a good conversation, finding a hostel with a popular bar is a quick way to meet some other people right away.

Hostel bars are a great meeting place for those travelers just beginning their night, since the hostel bar is often the first stop of a night in town. Plus, it’s common for the bartender’s friends to stop by as well, which is a great chance to brush shoulders with some locals. Having a conversation with the local bartender and his mates might help you decide where the best places to go out that night will be.

So book a bed in a hostel dorm — you’ll get more out of the destination, and might just make some great friends along the way.

Your thoughts on "Hostels: the solo traveler’s social club"

  • Good stuff! I haven't come across a hostel with a bar in it, so I'll have to be on the lookout for that in the future!

    on June 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm Reply
  • There are plenty of bars now that have bars in them. They are usually known to be party hostels, but i have met people in London, Miami and NYC at the "hostel bar" and it's also a good place to get to know where to go and not to go in that new city. L Hostels in NYC, for example, even has a huge roof terrace where they get local live bands to play!! awesome in the summer! they are on HostelsClub site if you want to see pics!

    on June 10, 2009 at 9:34 pm Reply
  • I was growing weary of the hostel scene on my trip around the world, but when I landed in Europe the day before Christmas Eve, I was banking on meeting people at my hostel's bar in Brussels so I wouldn't be spending the holiday alone. And I did just that - Americans, an Aussie, a few Brazilian girls. We had a great night out.

    on June 11, 2009 at 10:37 pm Reply
  • I like it when there's a bar, but it has more of a cafe feel -- that's my thing. I can get a reasonable glass of wine and chill. Most of my hostel activities revolve around a) sleeping, b) working on the site, and c) talking with people. Hostels with bars can do some damage to a), but work wonders for the other two.

    on June 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm Reply
  • It's always great when a hostel has a bar. Im not a big drinker, but I always end up meeting some great people, and finding information about places I would otherwise have missed. It can help you relax a little as well to talk to like minded people.

    on December 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm Reply
  • Great info can't wait to get out there and experience it for myself.

    on December 17, 2009 at 9:28 pm Reply

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