How to make the most of an empty hostel
The majority of times you stay in a hostel, it’ll be bustling with travellers. In fact, if you’re staying in a dorm, it may be hard to find a bit of privacy or a quiet moment to yourself. But what happens if you’re the only one at your hostel? Whether it’s due to low tourist season, bad weather or just strange timing, this might happen at some point, especially if you’re an avid backpacker. Count yourself lucky that you get to enjoy the whole place to yourself. Here’s how to make the most of an empty hostel.
1. Get to know the hostel staff
When you’re mingling with other travellers in a hostel, it can be easy to forget about the hostel staff, who are usually local residents. But if you’re one of the few guests at a hostel, make an effort to chat with staff. By interacting with locals, you’ll forge a deeper connection with a place, learn about their favourite spots to go and things to do, and undoubtedly enrich your travel experience. Offer to cook for them or just sit and enjoy a cup of tea and conversation. You’ll learn more about where you’re staying and make local friends in the process.
2. See if you can get upgraded to a private room
Most hostels offer more than just dorms and have a good selection of private rooms that are usually more expensive. But if you’re a backpacker on a budget, you likely opted for the cheaper bed in a dorm room. If you’re the only one at the hostel, however, and private rooms are available, see if you can be upgraded at no extra cost. As it stands, you would technically have a private dorm room, but having the bigger bed and other potential amenities will make it feel like a special treat rather than just another night in a dorm.
3. Look for other hostels in the area that organize events
One of the best things of staying in a hostel during your travels is the events and excursions on offer. This makes it easier to not only take part in fun experiences, but to also meet other people. Whether it’s a pub crawl, cycling tour, family dinner or workshop, these activities are usually a key part of our travels. If you’re the only one at the hostel, it may be more of a challenge to join one from there. Instead, research other hostels in the area that organize the activities that are of interest to you. That way, you can join in and still have your own space while not feeling completely isolated.
4. Try meeting people and introducing yourself while you’re out exploring
Generally, most people stay in hostels with the intention to socialize and it feels natural to just introduce yourself to someone But we forget that we can still meet people while we’re going about our day in a new place. If you’re alone at your hostel, try introducing yourself to someone when you’re grabbing lunch, getting a pedicure or reading in a café. At the very least, you could end up having a pleasant conversation and at the most, a new friend.
5. Take advantage of alone time and the extra room
Whether you’re more introverted or extroverted, we all could use some personal alone time, especially if you’ve been backpacking for a while. Instead of being concerned with the lack of social stimulus, be grateful for a bit of alone time and personal space. You can listen to your music without headphones or just throw your things everywhere. Most importantly, this gives you the time to do the things alone that you might have been meaning to do such as journaling or finishing that book you have been reading for too long. Travelling will teach you how to be alone.
6. Have a sense of humour about it
The best way to approach anything unexpected while you are travelling is to just surrender to your circumstances. Being in a hostel alone is one of those things that you cannot control, so instead of worrying too much about it, embrace it. Laugh over the fact that this rarely happens and how you now have another unique story for years to come.