The 5 People You’ll Meet in a Hostel

If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I’m all about hostels. I’ve worked for them, I write for them, and I always stay in them no matter where I’m traveling to. Regardless of where I am, although I always meet interesting people from all over the world, I also consistently meet the same same stereotypes of people in my hostel dorm. If you’re a hostel hopper like I am, you know what I’m talking about. No matter where you are, here are the six types of people you’re bound to have in your hostel room.

1. Nocturnal Neil

There’s always one. You won’t see Nocturnal Neil’s face during the day, but you will see the back of their head pressed against their pillow at 4 p.m., and hear them groan faintly when you come in the room to get your shower stuff and accidentally drop your shampoo with a thud on the hardwood floor. I basically never sleep when I’m traveling (and not very much in life in general), so I’m typically still awake when Neil comes stumbling in at 5 or 6 a.m., usually having just gotten back from the club myself. But then I also make myself wake up three hours later to make sure I see as much stuff as possible in whichever city I’m in, while Neil catches up on their sleep to make sure they have enough energy to go out the next night. Maybe Neil has the right idea.

However, maybe not, as Nocturnal Neil is also usually the person to pee on your head in the middle of the night. There’s nothing like waking up to what feels like rain falling on your forehead and then realizing it’s your drunk top bunkmate peeing off the side of the bed in the middle of the damn night. Raise your hand if this has happened to you.

2. Rustlin’ Ruthy

Rustlin’ Ruthy typically has the opposite sleeping habits of our pal Neil. Ruthy will be in bed before you’re even finished getting ready to go out, leaving you and your other hostelmates with the awkward task of sneaking into the dark room to grab your hairbrush and makeup bag to bring into the bathroom and then sneak back in to rummage through suitcase as quietly as possible using your phone light so you can see what you’re doing because you realized too late you grabbed the wrong skirt.

Ironically, Rustlin’ Ruthy will not provide you with the same courtesy. As soon as the sun comes up, or even slightly before, Ruthy will be up too, much to your (and Neil’s) chagrin. But unlike your quiet sneaking around at 9:45 p.m. the previous evening, Rustlin’ Ruthy will be loudly rustling through their suitcase, chucking stuff in the garbage can, banging their locker open, frequently even turning the light on or chattering to their companion without bothering to whisper. (Rustlin’ Ruthies sometimes come in pairs.)

Thankfully, Rustlin’ Ruthy always has a flight or a bus or another reason to leave the hostel with all of their belongings very early in the morning, so after they loudly clang out of the room and down the hall, you still have time to be grumpy for a few minutes but then fall back asleep for a few hours and still wake up at an O.K. time to go see cool stuff.

3. Antisocial Alice

Literally any time you walk into your room, Antisocial Alice will be there, always sitting in their bed, usually on their phone, and usually not talking to anyone. Alice basically won’t say a word unless you say something first, and even then, it will be minimal. Alice doesn’t make a mess, make any noise, have any issues, or get in anyone’s way, which is chill, but it’s also kind of like, why are you staying in a 12-bed hostel dorm and not your own hotel room?

4. Snoring Samuel

This one needs no explanation.

5. Instant Best Friend

Although most of the stereotypes I just discussed are negative, the Neils, Ruthies and Samuels of the hostel world pale in comparison to the most common person you’re likely to meet in a hostel: the Instant Best Friend. Hostels with common rooms and/or free activities for their guests make it extremely easy to make friends. I’ve made countless amazing friendships in hostels that started with asking a stranger in the common room what they were doing that night, and I still know them to this day.

Is there a hostel stereotype you’ve encountered that I forgot?! Lemme know in the comments!

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