14 Types of Backpackers You’ll Meet Staying at a Hostel

14 Types of Backpackers You’ll Meet Staying at a Hostel

Staying at a hostel is widely known as one of the best and cheapest accommodations for young travelers around the world. While providing a roof over your head, it also lends the opportunity to meet endless different types of interesting people along the way. For better or worse, you will be sharing a room, an entire house, and MANY lengthy conversations with a variety of characters. After sleeping in our fair share of hostels, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you live that life! Here’s our favorite types of backpacking nomads you will inevitably meet at hostels.

Essential Backpacking Tips

14 Types of Backpackers You’ll Meet Staying at a Hostel

1. The Surfer

The surfer bro will do anything to catch that last wave. Rain or shine, they’ll be out in the swell tearing it up until the sun goes down. Their bag may have nothing packed in it, but they find away to carry around a giant surfboard everywhere they go. We were once told as a hostel tip that “A day without surf, is a day without life.” 

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2. The Humanitarian

The humanitarian has a grander plan than just traveling. They always have volunteering experience in countries you’ve never heard of, hostel tips, and stories that will bring you to tears. Their profile picture on Facebook is them teaching kids in Asia, and sleeping in a hostels is nice and comfy compared to their mud hut in Rwanda.

3. The Know it All

The know it all simply knows everything about traveling and staying at a hostel, and arguing with them is never worth it. They say they know the way to the bar, and end up getting you lost. You find them quoting facts word for word from the Wikipedia page of the city you’re in, and they would not be impressed with your travel experience even if it included the moon!

4. The First Timer

This person has just been born, and released into the travel world. You always think they’re drunk because of how excited they are. Every day is more AMAZING than the last. Their 3 week vacation turns into them quitting their job to travel full time. 

Sleeping in Hostels
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5. The Old Timer

While some backpacker hostels cater towards the older crowd, this is definitely not that place. This wise old traveler is well respected and liked, but they’re the only 30+ year old still “living the dream” in a noticeably younger environment. We all love the hostel life, but it’s looking about time for someone to make that switch from Hostelworld to Airbnb!

6. The Cheapskate

Everyone’s on a budget, but this persons taking it to a whole new level. The cheapskate refuses to eat or drink out even during happy hour. They’re always hogging the hostel kitchen, and packing things to go at breakfast. They know the free admission days to all museums and parks, and they take no prisoners when haggling at the markets.

Hostel Tips
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7. The Party Animal

This is probably the most common type of backpacker you’ll meet staying at a hostel! Partying comes before everything else for this guy or girl. The party animal somehow justifies spending $5 per night sleeping in hostels, but $50/night on drinks.

You heard them claim to be a close personal friend of DJ Tiesto, but they won’t remember saying that in the morning. You’ll often find them stumbling home as the suns rising, and waking up just in time for the next happy hour.

8. The Solo Traveler

This lone wolf is ready to take on the world completely by themselves. They take pride in the fact that they’re traveling alone, but are still ready to mingle when necessary. No one embraces budget travel and the hostel life more than the solo traveler! 

Backpacking Hostels
Mua Caves and Hiking Lying Dragon Mountain in Tam Coc Vietnam

9. The Dumb American

You typically hear this person before you see them. They may appear to be completely unaware of their surroundings. The guy says dude and bro at backpacker hostels because he can’t remember peoples names. The girl thinks the Kardashians are part of the English Royal family. They should probably not involve themselves in conversations about foreign politics, but can never stay out of it.

10. The Instagram King/Queen

This person constantly has their phone out instead of actually enjoying what they’re seeing. They take pictures of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and could easily host an art exhibit featuring their extensive selfie collection. They filter every picture, and still inexplicably hashtag #nofilter. Quite simply, if it’s not on Instagram it didn’t happen!

11. The Hippy

The hippy makes a dorm bed into their own personal sanctuary, and a sarong is the main staple of their wardrobe. Constantly making vegan and vegetarian food in the kitchen while trying to get people on their wavelength. They haven’t showered or changed clothes in days, and always have something strange braided in their hair. Also friends with the humanitarian, but they secretly despise them.

12. The Foodie

The pickiest eater you’ve ever come across. They often critique street food like they’re at a five star restaurant. The foodie is a less famous, more annoying version of Anthony Bourdain if he was staying at a hostel.

Hostel Life
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13. The Flashpacker

Don’t be fooled. They might stay at backpacker hostels, but they’re not tied to your typical budget. Hostel life for them is for style points, and not out of necessity. It’s quite possible you may see them sleeping in hostels one night, and a resort hotel the next!

14. The Adrenaline Junkie

The adrenaline junkie is always looking for activities and hostel tips that have the possibility of killing them. They want to stare death in the face and laugh at it, and are quick to talk others into coming with. Sky diving, shark diving, and bungie jumping are all on the agenda for this daredevil.

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In case you’re wondering, we find ourselves to be a cross between the foodie and the cheapskate! Have any questions about this blog, or want to share your own hostel tips? Comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar


Travel Planning 

 Information: Explore dozens of amazing destinations around the world, travel planning tips, itineraries, street food guides, and so much more.

 Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we flew from Norway to Poland for under $20 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld can be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars for renting vehicles. A quick travel tip is to ask for a discounted weekly rate rather than booking 2-3 days.

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around the world. From food tours to skip the line entry passes! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Travel Planning Guide

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