5 Tips For Keeping Busy When You’re Stuck In Your Hostel


When people tell you you must go traveling, they usually forget to mention the downtime. While adventuring across the world is a lot of fun, there will be points where you’re stuck in your hostel bored out of your skull waiting for the next chance to get out or party. This doesn’t need to be wasted time though. Whether you’re a solo traveler or part of a group, here are some ways to keep busy in your hostel.

5 Tips For Keeping Busy When You’re Stuck In Your Hostel

Online games

In today’s world gaming is dominated by two words, mobile and online. You may have grown up playing two-player games sat next to your sibling, but things have changed and gaming with someone halfway across the world through your phone is the norm.

Playing Games on Poki

Online Games

You’ll be thankful for this during those boring hours waiting in the hostel. There are a number of brilliant online games you can download and play on your phone, spanning multiple genres and, we must say, varying degrees of quality. Usually, we wouldn’t say take a flight just to sit in a bed on your phone, but these games are great little challenges to kill a couple of hours with.

Online gambling websites are a slightly more challenging and pressured (but in a fun way) method of passing the time. Avid online poker players will already know about websites such as PKR games (if not you can learn facts and figures about PKR games here) where you can get your poker fix without having to step foot in a casino.

Get creative

Downtime is creative time. Most of us never push ourselves creatively at home, it’s easier to just relax and enjoy someone else’s creativity through Netflix or a video game. But when you’re stuck in a hostel in can help to get those juices flowing.

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Get creative

Lonely backpackers should always take the time to write something. A short story, a letter, a poem or the first chapter of that book you always wanted to write. Try not to take things too seriously, just write whatever’s on your mind. It’s a great exercise for letting yourself go and engaging your brain. If writing isn’t your thing try drawing or painting if you have the materials, or even practicing some music if you’re traveling with an instrument or the hostel have any lying around.

Playing guitar while backpacking in Tasmania

Traveling as a group? Why not make a game out of your creativity. You can take turns writing a line of a story, or try your hand at some world building. These activities can help bring people out of their shells and unearth some talents people never thought they had.


It’s in moments like these that people discover they were readers all along.

One of the best ways to pass the time when nobody is around to entertain you is to indulge in a good book. You probably packed a couple with the best of intentions, but save a few minutes on the train you’ve not found the time to properly get stuck in. Now that you’ve got some downtime it’s the perfect chance to get through a couple of chapters. If your hostel is quiet or your friends are all out doing something that didn’t quite catch your interest, even better. You can’t read guilt-free.


There’s something that just fits the image we all have built up in our heads of traveling about sitting in your hostel bed, overlooking the city with your face buried in a good book.

Talk to the staff

Hostel staff are the ones who make sure once in a lifetime adventures go off without a hitch. They often go unnoticed, so next time you’ve got a spare hour or two take the time to have a chat with them.

Cool staff at Little Bucharest Hostel.

You can learn a lot about the local area from the people that work within it. Who is better suited to offer transport advice, give you hints about secret events and tell you what the best places to eat in the city really are? They have so many people coming through all the time that it’s second nature to them. Likewise, they’re going to have some great stories from hostel life. And a great hostel story is a brilliant tip of how not to embarrass yourself!

Take the time to get to know your hostel receptionist, barman or cleaner, they might just be your next travel buddy.

Research the local area

We all like to act like we do proper research before we travel, but we know that’s not necessarily true. Plus, you don’t want to be the only one in the group sticking to an itinerary. There’s something mysterious and exciting about landing in a new place with no direction and a world open for exploring

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Research the Local area

Use your spare hours to do a little bit of research for the next day of traveling. Like we’ve mentioned, hostel staff are a great source of information and local tips, but it pays to do some online research or even delve into a travel guide (shocking ideas I know). Speak to as many people as you can about what they’ve been doing and what they’ve discovered. They might invite you along to it or you can seem like a bastion of local knowledge to your friends.

Traveling is about anything but the time you spend in your hostel, but it’s important to make every second count. These are great social and alone time activities perfect for any kind of traveling and wherever in the world you find yourself.

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