Sometimes traveling solo can seem daunting. Thoughts like "but I won't have anyone to go on adventures with, who am I going to talk to, or is it safe?" might come to mind.
As a solo traveler myself and to those that have done it before you know that can be far from reality!
You meet so many people while you travel from all over the world. The best places to meet people are actually in hostels.
When most people think of a hostel they think of trashy, run down, dingy, and sketchy dorm rooms. Am I right?! Or at least that's the perception I had and most people I've talked to who haven't stayed in one yet. It doesn’t help that movies and television shows often portray hostels as the worst place to stay.
How did I get over this stereotype? Hostel World is an app/website that rates hostels all over the world. People can leave reviews and ratings which made me feel better.
We are a society of reviews and ratings now so of course I'm going to do my research! Some of the best experiences I have had abroad were from staying at a hostel.
A lot of hostels will offer you excursions, tours, and guides to their city. Some are included but most are extra $$. When I stayed at the Slumber Party Hostel in Ao Nang, Thailand, we went on a Jungle and Kayak Tour (separate ones). You're with a group of other hostel people and a guide so you're not alone and there are plenty of photo opportunities!
In Denver I stayed at Ember Hostel and met some pretty cool people. We ended up driving to a nearby hot spring and caves in the mountains which was pretty unique. So it doesn’t matter where you stay, there can be people to go on adventures with while traveling solo.
When you travel solo it pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Plus you're with an entire group of people who are doing the same thing as you, interested in similar topics, so it makes conversation easy!
Now I think there's probably always going to be that one person that doesn't shower and just plays Wonderwall all day long. But, for the most part it's a challenging and worth while experience to branch out and meet new people. And I can say that with confidence because I'm an introvert!
Most hostels have the option of separate male and female bunks, smaller rooms, and private rooms. It just depends on what you’re comfortable with. When you stay in a hostel you have your own bunk and storage for your bags (usually a locker under your bed or in the room).
I highly recommend bringing some locks with you to put on your bags or the locker itself for security. I have had great experiences staying in hostels but you just never know and want to take precaution. Plus when I travel I always bring the locks with me in general because sometimes people can try and steal your stuff from the airport.
If meeting people and having some interesting experiences hasn’t sold you on hostels then maybe the price will. Staying in a hostel is so much cheaper than any hotel and even Airbnb! WHY?
Because you are paying for a bed/bunk and not an entire room or house. So they can charge a low price. The same type of amenities are still included. Most have a kitchen to store cold items, heat anything up, or make coffee in the morning.
So check out Hostel World and consider using it on your next trip! Your bank account will thank you and you’ll be able to spend on other things.
By Sam Hendricks
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