Staying in hostels is, by far, the best way to travel. Not so sure? Well, read 10 reasons you should stay in a hostel and then you’ll know why.
So, you’ve checked in at the hostel and you’re heading to your dorm room. Here’s 10 types of travelers you’ll meet when you open the door.
1. The overly prepared traveler
This person is instantly identifiable as they usually have a Lonely Planet guidebook in their hand and an overstocked backpack on their back.
They’ve spent weeks meticulously mapping out every possible facet of their journey so they’re never spontaneous or flexible. Before the trip even started they spent thousands of dollars at MEC, REI and Northface. If it’s on the Lonely Planet’s “be prepared” list they have it in their humongous 80L backpack.
These people are also known to hop from country to country at lightening speed never realizing that, as cliche as it sounds, the journey really is as important as the destination.
2. The lone ranger
Shrouded in mystery, this person travels for long periods of time with no real discernible plan. They’re usually super quiet and are perfectly content with just sitting alone reading a book or listening to music.
You can try to get them to join you on a night on the town but they’ll almost always say “thanks, but no thanks”.
3. Party animals
No need to sugar coat it – there are a lot of party people at hostels. The fact that there are hostels that market themselves as party hostels should tell you something about how many are out there.
These are usually young kids on their gap year and it’s their first time out in the world. They just want to get drunk, hookup and get laid. They’ll inevitably always be sporting brightly colored wristbands from recent festivals they’ve attended and be the only people in the hostel who’ve packed dress clothes to go clubbing with.
Their trip won’t be defined by any of the tourist destinations but by all the clubbing they did and the people they hooked up with.
4. Traveling couples
There’s actually two kinds of couples in hostels: the lovey dovey couple and whatever the opposite of that is.
The lovey dovey couple have the matching backpacks and are so in love that the world around them ceases to exist. They’re on their own private adventure and not looking for anyone else to be a part of it. Private rooms were made for these people and if they do by chance book two beds in a dorm room they’ll only use one.
There’s also the other kind of couple. She just wanted to be on at a resort by the pool sipping mai tais but he talked her into going on an adventure. He convinced her hostel life would be fun and a great way to meet new people. Instead they end up sleeping in separate bunk beds appalled at the travelers they meet.
5. The hippy vegan
The hippy vegan will be the one with the dreads, dirty clothes and the guitar they’ve lugged around from country to country. They’ll choose eating in over eating out and hitchhiking over the bus or train.
This lot of people are the most easy going and carefree of the bunch. They’ll share their alternative lifestyle views in a way that will actually make you rethink the way you live you life. Of course, they could also just be annoyingly smug and spend a whole night ranting about corporations and the establishment.
6. Old people who want to be young
Even though they could be the same age as your mom or dad, they sure don’t seem it. These are some of the coolest people you’ll meet because, even though they have the money to stay somewhere better, they choose to stay in hostels anyway. They understand the benefits of hostel life and just want to soak up the entire experience.
They’ll jump on any opportunity for adventure whether it’s eating tarantulas or going skydiving. They want the adventure and want to experience everything they can.
7. The know it all
We’ve all met this type. They’ve been a few places so now they’re an “expert” on the subject. They probably have a travel blog and are full of opinions about where to go and what to see even if you didn’t ask them.
A know it all will listen to your travel story but only so they can dismiss it by telling a “better” one of their own. They’ll brag about how many places they’ve been and how they did a more authentic visit to a country than you because their journey was more “local” and “real”.
8. The traveler who lives there
Every once in awhile you’ll come across a traveler who has decided, for whatever reasons, to hang there for a few months. They may be low on funds, love the city or maybe they just fell in love but one thing is for sure – they live there.
They’re probably work at the hostel part time in exchange for room and board and they are, for all intents and purposes, one of the inner circle of staff there. In fact, if you have questions about anything they’re the first people you should talk to. Buy them a beer and they’ll tell you everything you need to know about the city.
9. The long term traveler
This person has been traveling for several months and maybe even years. They quit their job, sold everything and now they’re out exploring the world with no end in site.
The long term budget traveler is careful with their budget and travel activities. They’ll tend to spend more time in one location than the usual backpacker and prefer nice conversations over cards than going out partying at night.
10. The end of journey traveler
Sometimes that travel bug people had gets cured. Maybe they get homesick, maybe they run out of money or maybe they just want to try “real” life again after staying in dorm rooms for months on end.
You can actually see the fatigue in their face and their lack of energy and motivation. They’re at the stage where they’re just going through the motions. They’ve seen everything they wanted to see and done everything they wanted to do and now it’s just time to go home.
Until it’s time to get out there again and see more of the world…