05 Feb 7 Tips to Staying in a Hostel When You’re Shy
I’m really shy, though I’m not always. Usually I am when I’m uncomfortable. If I’m with close friends, family, or doing something I really like, I’m surprisingly outgoing. It usually makes people laugh when they think about how quiet I was when we first met compared to how loud and silly I can be. So when I try to put myself in a situation that I know will be stressful I do my best to make myself comfortable, ensuring I’ll be as relaxed and, hopefully, outgoing as possible. Hostels usually aren’t the most comfortable places, even for people extremely outgoing, but there are a few things you can do so you’re not hating yourself the whole time, wishing you’d splurged on a private room. Here are my 7 tips to staying in a hostel when you’re shy.
- Research the hostel- If you’re traveling alone and staying at a hostel, it’s likely that you’re planning ahead. (I like to when I’m alone, less stress at the time). So when you research check out the bathrooms, the dorms, and the common areas. When you look into bathrooms make sure you’re okay with them. It’s it’s a communal shower I know I would be a lot less likely to book there ( I like my privacy!). When you know what you’re getting into, whether it’s 3 people in the dorm, or 12, the showers are completely open, or they’re small, private stalls, you won’t be preoccupied with wild thoughts of what you might face.
- Make any space your own. Even if it’s a small corner or on your bunk, making that space comfortable will let you rewind after being “on” all day. Thought you should still make an effort to talk to people, some times you just need a few seconds alone and that’s easier if you have a comfortable space. If you like reading, make a little reading nook in your bunk or find a cozy corner away from people. Allow yourself that time to focus on your needs on a deeper level so you don’t burn out.
- Bring earplugs and an eye mask. It’s really frustrating to have people coming or going, making noise, or goofing around when you’re trying to sleep. So to avoid people intruding into your dream world, block it out as best as you can. This might not be a 100% fix, as you’ll still be sharing a room with a few, or a lot, of people, but at least while you’re sleeping you should be able to forget about them.
- Make sure your luggage is safe. Like the last tips, this isn’t necessarily going to make you any less shy, but feeling comfortable can certainly lessen the anxiety. Stay in a hostel that has private lockers so you can secure your luggage inside. Even if they are small lockers you can put your valuables away. So while you’re out or even in, sleeping or just hanging around, you don’t have to be worried about your things being stolen, or at least not touched. The less you have to worry, the easier it will be to be comfortable.
- Stay in single sex dorm- There’s nothing wrong with staying in a mixed dorm but if it’s your first hostel experience, or the thought of sleeping near some strange smelly guy makes you even slightly uncomfortable, it’d probably be best to skip it. When you’re not worried about some guy accidentally seeing your underwear, or you in a towel, your comfort level will be much higher. (But, I want to note that in the mixed dorms I’ve stayed in I’ve never had a problem, so don’t avoid them completely out of fear. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting single sex rooms if that’s easier.)
- Try to make a friend early- By having someone else in the dorm to talk to or even just to know, it makes it feel more like home, if only slightly. That way, when you come back, you have a familiar face and someone to talk to. You won’t feel completely alone.
- Spend your days doing something active- This isn’y exactly about staying at a hostel, but if you’re active during the day, walking around the city, going on a hike, another kind of active adventure, you’re less likely to care about staying in a hostel. When you get back at the end of the day, you’re going to want to sleep, no matter if you have a private room or there are 3 people there. I really think that having time to think gives me more fuel to feel uncomfortable and therefore, shy.
These are a few of the ways I successfully stay in hotels though I can be extremely shy. Tell me about how you stay in hostels in you’re shy. Or even if you’re not shy, tell me your tips to staying in hostels.
Go to my Dealing with Shyness page for more posts like this.