How to Make Friends in Hostels (Even If You’re Shy!)

When you’re travelling solo, things can get lonely sometimes. As awesome as the travel experience might be, you can’t help feeling lonely at times, wishing that you had someone to share the excitement with.

Then let me share some great news- hostels are the BEST way to make friends!

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve always been a sociable type or whether you’re on the shy end of the spectrum, book yourself to stay in a hostel and you’ll soon have a bunch of lovely travelling friends to go with those brilliant travel memories you’re creating.

So here are our top recommendations that will help you make friends in your hostel in the most pain-free way possible.

#1. Be friendly to other people at your hostel!!

Telling you that being friendly is a great way to make friends might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to do this.
They rock up at their hostel, frown at the world, sit in the communal hostel kitchen with their headphones in and then wonder why they’re not making friends at their hostel.

Don’t be this person! Get that smile on your face, be nice to everyone and be open to adventure and friendship!

#2: Stay in a hostel dorm room

Pick a dorm room instead of a private room and you stand a far better chance of effortlessly making friends and having fun. Why? Because when you’re in a hostel dorm room with other people, you’re far more likely to get talking without making much of an effort.

Make sure you’re not that person hiding in their bunk with their back to the world. Not cool!


#3: Hang out in hostel bars or communal areas

Hostels always have a ton of areas you can get sociable, so make full use of them!
Head to the hostel bar (if they have one), TV lounge, kitchen or other communal area to find lots of like-minded people you can chat to, find out great local info, watch TV, drink a beer or two and really live it up.

And who knows, maybe those friends you make right there in your hostel would like to join you for a fun afternoon of surfing, horseriding or even kissing that Blarney Stone…

#4:Sign up for those trips, pub crawls and activities

Hostels are always running organised trips, activities and pub crawls to help you really experience the place you’re staying. So make sure your name is at the top of the list!

When you’re on a trip with other hostel guests, you’ll naturally get chatting to them without making much of an effort. Especially when you all can’t believe just how gorgeous our landscapes, history and people are!

Even if you’re an introvert, try not to hide at the back of the group. Get in the front, ask questions or ever quietly exclaim your thoughts about what you’re seeing and people will naturally gravitate towards you. Yay!

#5: Don’t be afraid to make conversation

Wish that someone would start talking to you? Then why not start talking to them instead. Yes, it’s hard to make the first move (I know from personal experience), but when you break through the shyness and connect, 99% of the time you’ll get a positive reaction and have an instant friend!

Great conversation starters include: where are you from? Where have you been? How long have you been travelling?

A post shared by ilaria bagnoli (@ilariabagn) on Aug 24, 2016 at 7:23am PDT


#6: Chat to the hostel staff

Yes, we know that we’re behind a desk, but that doesn’t mean that us hostel staff don’t want to connect with you, hear all about your country, the places you’re visiting and what brought you to Ireland in the first place. Come on over and say hi!

Many of us are travellers ourselves, but we also have the added bonus of being clued-up with the local info, know the best (often secret) insider places and can help you have a really authentic Irish experience. What could be better than that?

#7: Seek out other solo travellers

Groups can be intimidating for anyone staying in a hostel, especially if you’re shy. So for maximum results from a minimum of effort, seer well clear of their madness and seek out other solo travellers instead.

Just find a person who is alone, sit beside them and the conversation will naturally flow. You’ll both have a new friend to explore the local area with and won’t feel so awkward anymore.

Doing this kind of thing might feel a little bit strange at first but it’s completely normal for a holiday hostel. Be brave- YOU CAN DO IT!


#8: Don’t isolate yourself

It’s easy to think that just because you’re in the hostel communal area that what you’re doing doesn’t really matter- that people will naturally come and chat, right? Well, almost.

You see, if you’re there with your head down, scribbling in your travel journal, staring at your iPhone or are listening to music with your headphones in, people will presume that you don’t want to talk and walk right on past. And you don’t want that, do you?

Open up your body language, put that pen down and start interacting!

Even if the thought of staying at a hostel and making friends makes you run away in fright, blush beetroot red or cringe, don’t worry. Just follow these seven fab tips and you’ll be surrounded with a brand new tribe of awesome global friends.

And finally, use your common sense, listen to your gut and be safe when making new friends in your hostel. And most of all, HAVE FUN!