The 10 Types of People You Meet in Hostels

Anyone who has stayed in at least a handful of different hostels will surely have noticed that there are a few common archetypes that seem to pop up time and time again within such a setting.

From the token dude travelling with his acoustic guitar to the person whose main concern is smashing frosties during happy hour, here is a list of the 10 types of people that you meet in hostels.

1. The Guitarist

Seriously, why is there always some dude with his guitar?

You will usually find the guitarist in quieter hostels outside of the city centre. He is often a long-term lodger – the kinda guy who might even do a bit of work around the hostel to earn his keep. He hangs out on the balcony or porch and talks about love, peace and everything wrong with the social constructs of the western world.

Bonus points if he has dreadlocks and is surrounded by a seemingly permanent cloud of smoke that is most decidedly not tobacco!

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2. The “Solo Traveller” Who Hates Being Alone

Let me preface this by saying that it is totally okay to travel independently with the intention and hope of making lots of friends along the way!

However, I think most backpackers would have encountered the following person, at least once.

He or she bangs on about how much they love travelling alone but also seems really fearful at the prospect of actually going anywhere alone. He/she can be found hanging out in large dorms or common areas, striking up a conversation with anyone and everyone until they obtain an invite to hang out and go exploring.

This person may sound like a little bit of a nightmare, and if you want to be alone or have quiet time – can certainly be a bit annoying, but if you are in the mood to go out on a pub crawl or rent a car and get out of the city, you better believe that this is the person who can make it happen.

3. The Partier

Usually (but not always) a guy, the partier stays out until the sun comes up, sleeps all day and then repeats.

He seems to only be out at night but has a consistent stream of travel photos taken during daylight hours posted to his social media feeds. His diet consists of the free hostel breakfast and happy hour booze. He doesn’t care about politics or religion or culture, he just wants to travel and have fun. His seemingly neverending supply of energy will make for a lot of fun nights out, but be prepared – he can be hard to keep up with!


4. The Complainer

Possibly the most annoying person you’ll ever find in a hostel, the complainer is just never happy.

The wi-fi is too slow. The food is sub par. The mattresses are thin. The showers have low pressure. On and on and on it goes. The complainer will more than likely have valid complaints – but the sheer number of them is what makes them stand out. The complainer whinges so damn much that you’ll wonder if they even like travelling in the first place!

5. The One Who Just Left an Ashram In India

This person is all about searching for meaning in life and likes to do so through travel. They cannot stop raving about reaching enlightenment at that ashram a few months back, they probably wear loose and flowing clothing, are committed to a vegan lifestyle and have no problem with recreational drugs.

This person can actually be a lot more fun than one would initially think, but unless you have very similar life views, probably won’t be the best long term travel buddy.

6. The One Who Never Left

These days, I reckon the number of hostels with one of these token punters would by far outweigh the number that don’t!

Basically, this person set out backpacking and for whatever reason found themselves staying in one place a lot longer than they initially expected. Whether it be a budding relationship, lack of funds or just finding themselves in love with a new or city or town, this person will find a way to transition from a regular backpacker into a member of staff at their chosen hostel. Some for only a few months and some for as long as years.

7. The Australian

‘Nuff said.

No but seriously, Australians love to travel and as a result, you can find us pretty much anywhere in the world. The Aussie can be found drinking beer, calling people ‘mate’ and complaining about how he/she has run out of vegemite.


8. The One Without A Clue

The one without a clue is usually a total newbie to the world of travelling. They have read every article imaginable about what they need while travelling, will carry a backpack way bigger than they really need, are almost always seen clutching a Lonely Planet guidebook and have a 95% chance of owning a travel belt.

These travellers are blessed with more enthusiasm and energy than one could ever want, but are also cursed with the inexperience that every traveller has when first starting out.

9. The Mum

You know the mum. She’s not new to the rodeo, has done a lot of shit, seen a lot of shit and now not a lot phases her. She’ll happily dole out advice, listen to your problems and it isn’t unusual for her to perform minor first aid.

Don’t be fooled though, the mum might not be interested in partying every single night, but when she does go – she goes hard. Luckily, she always possesses the amazing skill of being able to get herself and all her friends home safely after a night out, even when she’s 11/10 drunk.

10. The Gold Ol’ Regular Backpacker

The most commonly found person in hostels, the gold ol’ regular backpacker is the standard – and for good reason. They love a good party – but not every night. They are experienced travellers and probably speak a little bit of a lot of languages. They are always up for adventure, but have learned how to keep themselves from overdoing it and burning out. They are good at managing when the shit hits the fan and always on hand if a fellow traveller is in the midst of a crisis. They enjoy flying solo and also travelling in groups.

The good ol’ regular backpacker is the standard for a good reason – they are what makes backpacking so much fun!

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20-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

57 thoughts on “The 10 Types of People You Meet in Hostels

  1. Haha great post …we all love (or hate) a God aussie traveler, I have to admit I have been Num 3 and 6 and become Num 10 the more I’ve travelled 😀😀 great post

  2. I only once stayed in a hostel and had just one roommate. I guess he was the party guy. We didn’t talk much though.

    Btw, I guess the complainer wants to make conversation and conflict is the easiest way to start a conversation, so.

    I wonder which type I am…

  3. You need to add one to your list: “The Texan”: Whenever asked where he’s from the true Texan never says he’s “from the states”, but instead tells you he’s “from TEXAS”. He also can’t go very many sentences without saying “y’all” and is pleasantly chivalrous and polite. Known to by drinks for ladies and party till dawn. 🙂

  4. Haha… nice list. Maybe I´m a combination of number 1 and a kind of 9 (but more the handcraft version of it… I´m very good in repairing all kind things)
    Greets Peter

  5. I definitely agree with the Guitarist and Australian! I also found that I ran into many French Canadians on my way through Andalucia as well. Thanks for sharing this post!

  6. You’re also likely to find a Finn as well. They are the most well traveled people on the planet. They also speak many more languages than most people, are warm once you get to know them, yet won’t push themselves onto anyone. The only reason you might not meet them in a hostel is that there are only 5 million Finns. But considering how few there are, they get out and travel…a lot.

  7. Hey mate, why is ‘the Australian’ only #7?

    The character I would put on the list reflects me: late fifties; fairly conservative; gets the shits easily with guitar players and partners; hates being ignored in the communal kitchen by the young people; and resents being invited out with the others to effectively act as chaperone.

    Fair to say I have chosen to avoid hostels in recent trips!

  8. HA! You nailed it. The only backpacker “type” that I didn’t see mentioned here that was pretty common was the walking Wikipedia. All the answers, all the time. No need to ask, we were gonna get the info whether we wanted it or not.

    I’d like to think I’m the Good ol’ Backpacker (not gold cuz gold weighs too much), but I was probably the complainer several times too…

    Reading this brought back memories of my recently completed thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. And the hostels…

    Miss it so much. It’s all about the ppl.

    Thanks so much for this post!

    1. Yes. While I am no longer a hosteller, in the last 5 years I have been lucky enough to hostel it with each of my 3 kids on sepaerate trips to Japan. A great place to bond.

  9. I can’t wait to be one of the everyday backpackers! Though I don’t doubt I’ll start as the newbie and wind up the mum! 😀

  10. Hahaha, I laughed a few times at this! That was a fun read! I’ve never backpacked, so I’d probably qualify as the newbie who knows absolutely nothing and would be amazing by absolutely everything… I would love to do it though. 🙂

  11. This made me laugh. Such a cool post with a funny description of the type of people that you probably have met during your travels. . I haven’t done any backpacking, so most likely I would qualify as the newbie 😀 well, everyone must start somewhere ..

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