• Tried and Tested: Awesome Hostel Activities to Take Advantage of!

    Written by: Jennifer Doré Dallas

    Blogger at moimessouliers.org. Let’s keep the conversation going at @moimessouliers on Twitter and Instagram!

    HI San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf communal lounge

    Being bored when travelling is simply out of the question, and at HI USA it’s obvious!

    During our one-month trip along California’s coast, my friend and I were able to stay in 10 of the state’s HI USA locations. We headed out each day to explore the town we were in, but every time we came back to the hostel, each of them had a lot in store for us. In addition to meeting tons of inspiring people, we were able to choose from dozens of activities, events and tours available to guests each week, sometimes even for free.

    Tours of All Sorts

    I love walking tours as I think they are a great way to discover a city and its finer details. In many of the larger hostels, pub crawls, food tours and walking tours were posted at reception to make daily planning easy. All we needed to do was sign up and show up. Although some of the outings required payment of a nominal fee, they still were far less expensive than those offered throughout the city and some were even free, like the Chinatown walking tour at HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf. If you don’t want to venture out alone or would like a guide, these HI tours are a great way to explore the world!

    Event board at HI San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

    Food Nights and Kitchen Explorations

    Not only is eating an important part of any traveler’s day, it’s a time that is best spent in good company. Many times within our month in California we were invited to take part in foodie nights at the hostels we were staying in. Once, we shared delicious curry and cookies at HI San Diego Downtown’s Curry Dinner. We ate like kings for a suggested $3 donation and it served as a great introduction to chat with new people who were also hanging out in the kitchen area. In San Francisco, we ran into a bit of rain but HI San Francisco City Center’s staff knew exactly how to warm us up and lift our spirits. They prepared a tasting of Chinese tea that was up for grabs to all of us lounging around right after the communal dinner activity! It’s what I love about hostels: you always know there will be something going on you can take part in if you wish to!

    Dinner night sign-up at HI San Diego Downtown
    Pasta made at a hostel

    Games and Leisure

    All the hostels we visited had lounge areas or living rooms that we got to enjoy at leisure while planning the following day or simply relaxing between outings. At HI Point Montara, there was a ton of board games available for some healthy competition between guests. For a more hands on approach, HI San Diego Downtown and HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf even had billiard tables to keep us entertained.

    Pool table at HI Santa Monica

    During our time at HI Point Reyes, the weather wasn’t so great, so we grabbed a blanket, picked up a book from the well-stocked shelves and headed to the couch to read all while devouring the scrumptious brownies one guest had baked for us.

    HI Point Reyes hostel lounge area

    Whether you’re travelling alone or with friends and family, hostels are a great choice to complement the incredible things you’ll discover in the cities you’re visiting. Who said the adventure couldn’t start right out of bed or just before you call it a night?

    What are the activities you like to take part in while traveling?