How To Make Friends in a Hostel

If you are traveling alone or with others, it’s likely that you will, at some point, become friendly with others along the way.

Hostel buddy Stuart and the 2 cheeky cleaners from our dorm in Phnom Penh in Cambodia
Hostel buddy Stuart and the 2 cheeky cleaners from our dorm in Phnom Penh in Cambodia

For some, this is easy, for others – particularly at the start of a trip – not so much. So here are some tips you can use to help ‘break the ice’ and develop travel friends – without ever leaving your accommodation.

  1. Say Hi when you get into your dorm, or when they get to your dorm, ash them the ‘standard questions’ – where are you from, where have you been, where have you liked best etc.
  2. Do some earwigging – listen to where others are going/have been/anything which could start a relevant conversation you can contribute to
  3. Ask people for advice – it could be ‘where did you get those awesome earrings’, or ‘oh so you’ve been to xxxx – what was it like, would you recommend?’
  4. Compliments – they always help, everyone likes to hear something nice from someone!
  5. Invite yourself along, and invite them along – particularly if they are a solo traveller – and introduce yourself and them to others too
  6. Go to the hostel bar. Easiest place outside the dorm to get chatting to people.
  7. Make friends with the staff because 1- they have a lot of cool stuff to say, find out their story, it’s not just other travellers who want to meet people! and 2 – they know all the best places to hang out, and all the best taxi drivers etc, meaning you will too – useful when you’re out and about with people from the hostel and you can get the gang home from an awesome day or night out as recommended by locals 🙂
  8. Lend people your stuff – if someone’s ran out of deodorant or suncream, and the 7/11 is allllllllll the way down the hot and sweaty street market? Offer them a spritz of yours to tide them over.
  9. Offer to take photos of groups of people – an easy way to endear yourself to others; you see it all the time, a group of 4 people trying to take a group selfie or one taking a photo of the other 3, just hop over and ask if they’d like you to take a photo for them. Then strike up conversation. more often than not, they’ll love you and chat away 🙂
  10. Use. The. Internet. Seriously, many people will say things like ‘ugh, i’m travelling half way across the world, I don’t wanna be sat on my phone all the time’ – and they have a point. However, if you’re wanting to make friends, the best way to make travel buddies is to be able to actually keep in contact with them, arrange dinner, sound them out about that cool day tour,  meet up with them later in your travels in a different country etc. This is why Facebook is your friend.

So good luck, and have fun getting to know your new friends!

Do you have any friend-making tips from your travels? Let me know!

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