Why HI USA Hostels Are Great for Solo Travellers // Sponsored

“Do you not feel lonely?” I get asked this question a lot. And I mean a lot. But seriously how can I ever be alone when I meet so many fellow travellers and friends along the way of my journey. And you should know that I am a big introvert. Sometimes way too much for my own good but chances are, that someone in a hostel will lure me out of my shell and get me talking. And then I never stop. You have been warned. But I do love staying in hostels and was really happy to be invited by Hi USA to check out some of their hotels on my US trip.

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You could be working on your computer all afternoon long and someone might take an interest in why anyone would be such a workaholic zombie (I seriously don’t move apart from my hands and facial expressions – see video proof here). Or you could just start the typical conversation of “Where are you from? What made you come here? Where are you going next? If you do not take anything away from your hostel experience (which is unlikely), you will at least learn basic small talk.

Why HI USA Hostels Are Great for Solo Travellers // Sponsored

During my travels, I basically lived in hostels, which makes the hostel experience slightly harder as you – especially introverts – often crave personal space as well as peace and quiet because hostels are super social. If you are bored, you are doing something wrong. Since I loved all my stays in Australia’s YHAs, I teamed up with HI USA again to find out whether American hostel life was any different from the Australian one. And it was.

Why HI USA Hostels Are Great for Solo Travellers // Sponsored

Turning the Nice Up

For one, I received an amazing breakfast that was included during my stay in Richmond and Baltimore. Think of a wooden table with plates full of morning oats, fruits, milk, juice, bread and spreads. Add sunshine and you get the hipster breakfast heaven right there. I loved it. And it tremendously helped me prep for the day and get some vitamins into my sick body. Jep, another hostel before my stay at the HI USA hostels had made me sick due to draftiness. No fun, I tell ya.

And since I wasn’t in my usual happy place and arrived way too early for check in one day in Baltimore, I was all the more surprised to see the staff making such an effort to get my room ready before everybody else’s so I could rest. The nicest receptionist ever. She later even invited me for a pub outing with her colleagues and friends. Ok, America you are officially awesome.

Why HI USA Hostels Are Great for Solo Travellers // Sponsored

Get Chill and Rest Your Wanderer Feet

If you are not such a restless workaholic like me, you can actually lay back and appreciate the eye for detail HI USA has put into their east coast hostels. My personal favourite was the common room and kitchen in Richmond with its vintage/hipster flair showing in mixed retro furniture, steel and wooden tables, awesome typography on the walls and a little reading nook upstairs. And did I mention my Queens Room with my own super big bed, table for work, clothes rack and big bathroom? Hostel life can be fun, folks.

And if chilling out is still not your thing, know that the wifi so far was good (except the one time it shut down for a few hours throughout the building, which finally made me move my workaholic butt and explore the city) and you can watch Netflix to your heart’s content. In New York City, there even was a basement theatre for watching films and live comedy shows (no Amy Schumer, though). For more entertainment, each hostel offers different activities every day. Many of them are free.

Why HI USA Hostels Are Great for Solo Travellers // Sponsored

One World, One Passion

Speaking of events and getting back to my original point, they are a good way to both explore the city from a local point of view and hang out with like-minded people. This way, I found people who liked parks just as much as I did (check out the Central Park walk in NYC), had a love for American poetry (I saw Poe’s grave, y’all) or accidentally sit next to someone who has lived in the same place as you (a big shoutout to Malmö, Sweden).

So if you ask me whether the mission of HI USA is actually accomplished, I will vehemently nod my head in agreement. Oh, and it happens to be just what I am trying to do here on my little blog as well: making the world a little better through travel, because travel is the best teacher and helps spread tolerance and cheer. Seriously, nothing will dismantle your carefully crafted stereotypes better than to be confronted with people from all over the world who, at the core, seem to be just like you. And they love what you do, that is travel. Let’s all connect over mutual passions.

Tell me: Have you ever stayed at a hostel in the USA? What has your experience been like?

Read next:

The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking Big Sur
The time I got robbed in a hostel & how to be smarter
Beachbound at Bondi Beach YHA
Living on the Rails in Sydney Railway Square YHA


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It had to happen, after ditching the 9-5 for a prolonged break, Annemarie's wokaholic tendencies led her to start a daily blog about her adventures. Realising how much travel has helped rebuild her confidence and and general #GirlBoss-iness, Travel on the Brain released a book about her adventures in Down Under and New Zealand and creates quirky video series focusing on story telling in destinations around the globe.
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Comments

  1. Reply

    Your post makes me want to try a hostel next time. These ones look lovely!

    1. Hi Tiffany, have you never been to a hostel? It is quite a different experience. I love hostels because they are affordable and you do meet a lot of like-minded people. And they all have crazy stories to tell if you feel like socialising. It’s definitely a cool part of travelling.

  2. Reply

    I’ve never actually stayed in hostels in the U.S., but these look great! It’s been a few years since I’ve regularly stayed in hostels (I think the one I stayed in in Brisbane a few weeks ago was the first in about a year and a half!), but I look forward to getting back into hostel life on my next big travels!

    1. Hi Kirstie! Yeah, I heard terrible things of US hostels and my very first in Boston was indeed horrid. And it was supposedly the best. Someone even left their hostel to come to the one I stayed at. I thought it was a joke. So I am super happy I got to stay in YHAs after that because I know they offer quality. And you stayed in Brisbane?! Oh dear, they are all horrible as well as far as I could see. I hope you can get back into hostel life with some decent ones. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Let me know how it goes when you do. :)

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  4. Reply

    This is great! I basically live in and out of hostels while I travel throughout Europe and I love them. Some are a hit and miss but most of the time I have a really great time. I knew the US (as I’m from there) had quite a few hostels I had just never checked them out before. Thanks for sharing! Now I’m definitely going to have to check these places out! :)

    1. Reply

      Hi Kalee! Same here, I used to live in hostels during my world travels as well and I agree, some are hit and miss. But if you do a little research in advance, you can be super lucky. Let me know how you like US hostels once you’ve tried them.

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