Five reasons why backpacker hostels are the perfect pit stop for a solo traveller

Five reasons why backpacker hostels are the perfect pit stop for a solo traveller

It had been a month since I took a break from my travelling and decided to move back to Delhi. Soon I was craving for the feeling that comes with being a traveller on the road. So when I was invited by life to come stay for few days at The Hosteller which is an up and coming chain of backpacker hostels for travellers, I just could not say no to that offer. Since I was running low on my travel fund, I decided to go for their hostel in Delhi over their other properties in the mountains. I had stayed at various hostels before this but still this time was different from all my other experiences in the past. Firstly, because it was my first time staying at The Hosteller amidst its comfortable & chill vibe and secondly never had I ever experienced staying in a hostel in a city where I was currently living in instead of travelling or passing through. At first it felt strange but slowly as I started having conversations & making plans with the other travellers staying there, I started feeling comfortable in the very essence of my being. For all the three days that I stayed at that hostel, I got to experience & discover a whole new side to myself. If I look back at my time at The Hosteller, I am really glad they invited me to come stay with them as it gave me the chance to meet other travellers, exchange our thoughts and learnings which helped me remind myself of the reasons why I started travelling in my life and what made me choose this way of living life as an unemployed traveller exactly a year ago. The reason was as simple as wanting to learn from my travels & just letting this journey be guided by intuition & the voice of my heart and see where it leads me and what do I find or discover about life & myself at the end of it. Which is why I always keep encouraging people to travel as much as they can and try travelling with yourself. Because unless you do not give yourself the chance to be in your own company, you might not be able to uncover the mystery of life and understand your purpose in it.

Often people ask me about my first solo trip, how I planned it, how did I manage to ensure about my safety as a solo female traveller & stick to a budget as a student all at the same time. The first solo trip like all my other trips was unplanned & really spontaneous. I had no idea how these trips were done as up until then backpacking solo existed only as a cool concept that I would see other people doing and I just knew it in my heart that this was an experience I had to try out at least once. It has been two years to that and now I am madly in love with travelling & backpacking solo!

Having interned before with a chain of hostel during my college years in LSR I knew how these hostels operated which is why I ended up travelling to a backpacker hostel located in the middle of the tea plantations in the Nilgiri forest on my first solo trip. At that time, I wasn’t really sure about how good the place would be for a solo traveller but I was 100% sure that my decision of staying at a backpacker hostel would ensure that I have an amazing trip. Want to know why? Then read on to know my reasons on why I always prefer backpacker hostels over any other accommodation as a solo (female) traveller:

  1. You call it cheap accommodation; the hostels call it traveller friendly prices:

Photo by Irynka Hromotska

Most hostels aim at providing affordable living with all basic amenities along with security. Going by the typical Indian mentality, a cheap accommodation always screams shady & unsafe for most Indians. Which is were most of you are wrong in your assumption about staying at a hostel and thus often miss out on probably the coolest way to travel. Unlike popular belief staying in a hostel is a great option for those looking for travelling on a budget or worried about their safety while travelling solo and the possibility of getting bored in solo trips. I have seen some pretty cool hostels all over India catering to the needs & pocket sizes of all kinds of travellers, starting as cheap as Rs.100 to Rs.500 or more for a bed per day. You name it & you will find a hostel with the perfect dorm rate suiting your budget. These hostels all have their own story to tell with their modern, stylish & quirky interiors & artworks. With some hostels providing facilities of Wi-Fi, laundry, air conditioned dorms, locker beds, library, indoor games, laptops, snooker table among so many other endless facilities & activities. You will sometimes never feel the need to step out of the hostel & would just prefer to chill & spend all your time in a raasta themed roof top café overlooking the mountains or in a Batman themed common hall with never ending conversations flowing everywhere around you. Which brings me to my second reason for choosing to stay with a hostel while travelling solo.

  1. You might check in as a solo traveller but will never fall short of people to hang out with in a hostel:

Hostels are the best thing that could happen to someone who never plans or researches about the place they travelling to. Because all you really need to do to have a great time in a hostel is to simply just check in & hang out in the common room, strike a conversation with the other fellow travellers and a little later plans are made & you my friend do not have to worry about being alone in your travels any more. Its so much better than traveling with a group of friends as most of the times you are obligated to do whatever the group wants to do as you fear being left all alone while your friends hang out together. But at a hostel you are free to choose whomsoever you want to hang out with, which plan you want to be a part of and in case you do not feel like going out, that’s fine too because you always got the rooftop or the common hall & more travellers to chill with without having to worry about being left out!

  1. Its all about feeling the vibe & making travel memories with the tribe:

Lohri Celebrations with Roadhouse hostel in Goa

When you dream about travelling I’m sure most people imagine encountering interesting people from around the globe who have been travelling for their own reasons. I’m sure at some point we all wanted to cross paths with such wandering souls and would want nothing more than just sitting and hearing them talk about all their travel stories, crazy experiences & learnings. I always enjoy meeting such people. The sense of unity in diversity is what hit me when I started staying at hostels and got the chance to meet & hear stories of people from all around the world. Each with their different ways of looking, understanding life and living. During my first solo trip I was the only traveller in that hostel who didn’t have any travel stories to share. That night I just sat listening while others talked & shared their experiences & travel stories over bonfire on a starlit night surrounded by the overwhelmingly fresh smell of the tea estates. By the end of the night I was thinking to myself about the day when I too would have stories to share with other people, where people would listen to them & be inspired to travel just the way I was when I heard them for the first time that night in Lovedale Ooty. That was just the beginning for me. Two years & over a dozen hostel stays later I have arrived at a point where I am the traveller that others were meeting & listening to while I shared my story with them. In times like these i can see in their eyes the fascination I was familiar with. Since I too had it in me two years ago. Which is why if you want to travel to make great stories with people you never knew until a day ago but somehow feel connected to & end up becoming their friend & exploring buddy, then you have to go experience staying at a hostel the next time you hit the road.

  1. Get off beat & personalised experiences curated just for you:

Happy faces after a food walk by The Hosteller

Has a hotel staff ever recommended you genuinely good places to go eat out at, or accompanied you for a city tour or a food walk or taken you to explore lesser known routes in the mountains just to watch the perfect sunrise/sunset. I am going to go ahead and assume the answer for that is a definite no! Well if you choose to stay in a hostel, then you not only get to experience all of the above mentioned things but also so much more all for free! The hostels don’t aim at only providing you with a comfortable stay but also try and make it a memorable & a life enhancing experience that leaves you wanting to be transformed by the end of it. How else would you gain new experiences & explore new places and be a traveller instead of a tourist?  A lot of hostels have community manager or an activity manager who are just young people like us that happen to love travelling, exploring & sharing authentic experiences with travellers staying at the hostel. Having volunteered as an activity manager for two really cool hostels I can personally vouch for the awesomeness of these people who will go to any length to make sure you have an amazing time travelling & leave with so much more than what you expected from your trip in terms of experiences & learnings.

  1. Be part of a larger community of global travellers & travel to make a difference:

Most hostels aim at building & serving a larger purpose of bridging the interactive gap between the local communities & the growing family of travellers from across the globe while also catering to the needs of the planet and the traveller. Sustainability right now needs to be approached as the core thought in everything that is happening around us whether it is something that is being created or being offered as a service to people. The traveller community is no more limited to the travellers and the people involved in providing hospitality to them. It is now seen as being inclusive of the lives & livelihood of the locals of the place where one travels to along with bearing in mind the consequences of our actions towards the environmental preservation of planet earth during our travels. More and more hostels are now trying to promote the culture of travelling responsibly by using solar energy to power their hostels, promoting organic farming, consuming locally grown food, helping small local businesses grow and feel part of the global traveller community. This is giving rise to the beginning of a new kind of traveller. Someone who understands his/her responsibilities towards the planet and wishes to travel not just to gain experiences but also to give back to the world & make a difference with his/her travels.

Now that you know my reasons for always choosing to stay with a hostel over a hotel as a solo (female) traveller, I will hope that you are able to get rid of all your fears & misconceptions and do not hesitate anymore in choosing a backpacker hostel for your next trip or your first solo trip because RIGHT NOW is the time for you to LIVE MORE, TRAVEL MORE & LEARN MORE!

6 Replies to “Five reasons why backpacker hostels are the perfect pit stop for a solo traveller”

  1. I just love all this , I srsly am in love with u ! I mean u are the one who has skipped all stereotypes Nd decided to what u want ! – I am desperately waiting if u can blog about your own start as a traveller , how were days for u ! ❤️ Hoping for the next blog soon

    1. Well this is great! For now I am staying in hostel in delhi and I relate many things from what you have said :)) Please keep going!

      1. Hey, Its good to see your comment Min. Hope you are having a great time at your hostel! And thank you so much for your well wishes!

    2. Hey thank you for reading my blog. I have already shared my story of how i started in my previous posts ( Check out “Preface of an unemployed traveller” & “How to travel without a job”) and let me know how it is. 🙂

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