Hostel Life - How to Survive (and Thrive)

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When spending time abroad it is almost inevitable that you will stay in a hostel. Often, especially among the US traveler, these have a negative connotation (maybe because of a certain, horrifying, movie), but we're here to tell you they're not that bad! In fact, they can be a great place to meet people, have fun and even live!

We've created a few easy ways to make the most of hostel life (and honestly, it's not that bad, our staff and participants have had great experiences in hostels):

  • Take advantage of the social events - Movie nights, pub crawls, BBQ's, pizza parties, city tours, etc. hostels are often planning activities and events to help get you acquainted with your host city, and help you meet other travelers. Take advantage of these opportunities, especially because they are usually free or low cost and attract other like-minded, friendly backpackers!

  • Utilize the staff - hostel staff is often knowledgeable about sights, transportation, budget friendly restaurants, tours, things to do and see and any other questions you might have. Take advantage of these free resources and ask as many questions as you can!

  • Don't forget a lock, shower shoes, a towel and basic toiletries - hostels are usually pretty safe, but it's smart to lock up your valuables, just in case (usually a locker or chest is provided for each bed). The bathrooms are usually communal, so you don't want to be without footwear in the showers. Toiletries + towels, pretty self explanatory (this is not a hotel, so often only hand soap is provided).

  • Be open minded - likely you'll be staying in a room with a bunch of strangers, often people that you wouldn't normally be friends with. Go in with an open mind, and you'll be surprised what you learn, who you click with and what you do. Hostels attract people of all ages, races and ethnicities, so it can be a great way to expose yourself to new, different people!

  • Be a YES (wo)man! - Because of the social nature of most hostels, you're likely to get invites to partipcate in other peoples plans. SAY YES! Even if you're just a by-stander for the event (no need to go skydiving, but won't it be cool to see your new friends fall from the sky?), it gives you the opportunity to experience new things and meet other people. If that's not the point of traveling, what is?

Ready for your first hostel experience? Check out all of our abroad opportunities today!