This is the final installment of today’s hostel-related posts. So, first I shared my “formula” for choosing hostels when traveling alone, and then I shared my top 5 favorite hostels of all time….but maybe all this sounds great in theory, but you’re just not sure how to approach people at the hostels once you get there. I have some suggestions.
“Hi, do you mind if I join you guys?”
It’s as simple as that. I’ve witnessed this done many times by others, have done it myself, and so far I have seen it work 100% of the time. Examples: a guy (now a friend) at Kabul Hostel in Barcelona joined our recently formed core group with this simple question. Then, a guy (now a friend) at Bahaus Hostel in Istanbul used the exact same phrase and the response was exactly the same as in Barcelona: “OF COURSE”. Guaranteed to work. Remember, it’s a hostel, and if you followed my advice for choosing a hostel, pretty much everyone there is open to meeting new people and also traveling on their own.
Introduce yourself to your dorm-mates as soon as you arrive
Your dorm room is an easy and obvious place to meet people. When you arrive, introduce yourself to everyone in your room. I mean, you’re sharing a room….you’ll be getting to know each other quite well during your stay, trust me. I can’t stress how important this one is.
Make eye contact and smile at everyone
If you get eye contact and a smile back, approach and introduce yourself. This is how I met my good friend Daylan at Kabul. She was sitting at a table, I walked by, we looked at each other, smiled, and that was that. I just went and sat with her and we became friends.
If someone invites you to join them, go. At Circus Hostel in Berlin while I was ordering a drink at the bar, a girl next to me said “hey we’re playing cards upstairs on the patio if you want to join us”. I went, and that’s how I met my good friend Afreena.
There is really no reason to be shy at a hostel: you won’t be rejected and meeting people is a huge part of the solo travel experience.