Travel How old is 'too old' to stay in a backpacker hostel?

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Peter Sidorkiewicz

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Oct 2, 2004
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For me it was at a hostel in Perth the penny dropped. I would have been... 30ish.
I was like looking around the place thinking "I am too old for this sh*t" and checked out, and check into a hotel down the road.
I have the exact same story in Amsterdam. I just hated the room I was allocated, the bunk was a top bunk which I don't like and to top it off, the staff were rude to me if I wanted to change rooms. I just said fu** this and left.

Haven't stayed at a hostel since age 33.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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May 30, 2006
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For males, dorms are probably out by 30. Private rooms a bit later. And it depends a bit where and the type of hostel, in some 25 might be pushing the boat out if you don't look younger than you are.

I stayed in one in Rome in early40s, but the private rooms were more 2-to-3-star hotel at hostel prices. People didn't care, but I wasn't looking to party with the younger crowd (I never did that much when I was younger). It was just a convenient cheap place. Generally, I go for cheap hotels. I might use hostleworld for booking sometimes - they can be cheaper for the same cheap hotel occasionally, probably because its aimed largely at a low end market - but not look at actual hostels.

By the time you get to a certain age, you won't really be meeting anyone anyway most of the time - varying by location and type, so why bother. Then again, some will have reviews from older travellers, they might be worth a look.
 

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Malifice

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Oct 2, 2007
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By the time you get to a certain age, you won't really be meeting anyone anyway most of the time - varying by location and type, so why bother.
Depends on your personality as well.

I was 45 and met tons of people in Central America. Plenty of hook ups too. Over twenty or so in just over 3 months. Varying ages, but mostly early 20's a few 30's and one in her 40's.

And that was actively trying not to be creepy or actively hit on chicks, because I was still pretty devo about my own situation. The whole trip was supposed to the traditional couple trip to South America with my GF of 5 years, but she broke up with me a few months out from us going, and I just decided 'screw it, I'm doing this solo'.

Sorta bounced from messaging her via dodgy hostel wifi, getting my phone confiscated to stop me messaging my ex, beer pong and the usual card games and hostel story-telling.

It's just kind of hard to avoid in that environment. People travelling are generally always looking to hook up, or open to it.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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Parts of South America can be a little different to the more well trodden, western Europe or Thailand. And, yes, personality will make a difference. I'm a very solo person by nature, so that makes a difference.
 

chunkylover53

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Depends on your personality as well.

I was 45 and met tons of people in Central America. Plenty of hook ups too. Over twenty or so in just over 3 months. Varying ages, but mostly early 20's a few 30's and one in her 40's.

And that was actively trying not to be creepy or actively hit on chicks, because I was still pretty devo about my own situation. The whole trip was supposed to the traditional couple trip to South America with my GF of 5 years, but she broke up with me a few months out from us going, and I just decided 'screw it, I'm doing this solo'.

Sorta bounced from messaging her via dodgy hostel wifi, getting my phone confiscated to stop me messaging my ex, beer pong and the usual card games and hostel story-telling.

It's just kind of hard to avoid in that environment. People travelling are generally always looking to hook up, or open to it.
That sounds like heaps of fun dude. Awesome way to bounce back after a break up.

Excellent work.
 

Malifice

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That sounds like heaps of fun dude. Awesome way to bounce back after a break up.

Excellent work.
Thanks man.

I was totally bummed about having to front up to hostels in my mid 40's as the sad (literally) old dude. As it turns out, it was actually mostly OK.

As long as you're mindful of your age, and dont get too bummed about the occasional antipathy directed your way, most travelers are a pretty accepting bunch. I was pretty surprised by the number of women that were OK with hooking up with an older dude as well. I wasnt going out of my way to hook up or anything (I was upfront about my age, and my mojo was at an all time low due to the cliche of my ex GF leaving me for her Personal trainer + the general headfu** of being mid 40's) but there was almost always at least one girl at every hostel that was flagging me in.

At my age you have to be super careful though. You basically have to shut down any attempt at tuning, and wait for them to make the first move. Unless you're getting the absolute green light, dont even go there and keep yourself in the friendzone, and try your luck with Tinder.

Putting that to one side, Central America was dope. Totally worth 3 months of everyone's life, working your way down from Cancun to Panama. Beaches, gorgeous cenotes, Mayan ruins (Chitchen Itza, Tulum, Tikal etc), parties, yacht cruises through the Belizean cayes and through the San Blas islands, more parties (Sunday Funday, Filthy Friday), booze and drugs everywhere (if that's your thing), hikes, horse riding, Quad hire, snorkeling, diving etc.

fu** I miss it. Stupid Corona.
 

Angus Young

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Oct 3, 2008
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Depends what country you're in... If you're in Australia 30 is old and u will be judged and seen as uncool and creepy

cool places in latin america and asia etc where there is no age thing and people don't give a fu** its all good

so depends
 

nobbyiscool

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I'm so surprised by some of the answers here. I think if you're a solo traveller, and if you're not going to noted party places, you can get away with it well into your 30s, possibly your 40s.

When the 'rona hit that was part of the grieving I went through - by the time we came out the other side I was going to feel too old to do a backpackers. But it now occurs to me that I hate people and I won't travel if I can't afford my own room.

So maybe that's the point at which you're "too old" - when you're just going "nup, fu** that, I'll delay the trip for a year or consolidate 2 trips into 1 shorter trip and stay in my own room."
 
Mar 25, 2021
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Answer: Never too old.

Real Answer: Depends on your gender.

I know a lady in her (then) 50's who went around the US solo staying in hostels, has nothing bad to say. Everyone was amazing to her.

Men may be different, especially if you are solo. But I've never seen hostels as pick up joints. They are just cheaper places to stay while you go about your own adventures.
 

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