Many hostel these days offer a choice of female only or mixed dorms at their hostels, therefore offering female travellers the choice of which room they prefer. In some cases, for instance at YHA hostels, you may not have a choice of staying in a mixed dorm or not, as all rooms are same-sex only. Equally, in some independent hostels you’ll find there are only mixed dorms available. Personally, I prefer mixed dorms, as I like the company of both male and female backpackers, and I think it provides a better atmosphere. I can understand however, why a lot of female backpackers (particularly those new to travelling and hostels), would want to stay in a female only dorm. With female only dorms selling out fast in many hostels, I thought I would take a look at the positives and the negatives of staying in one, based on my own experiences.
Positives of staying in a female only dorm
1. No smelly boys.
I know not every guy is messy, but I’m sure most people would agree us girls are usually a lot tidier, cleaner, and just damn right more hygienic than guy travellers tend to be! Although I am by no means a clean freak, whenever I’ve stayed in a female only dorm it is usually a lot cleaner than the mixed or male only dorms, and usually smells fresh and not the smell of stale sweat from a bunch of smelly hung over men!
One good thing about a female only dorm is that you don’t have to bother about going to the toilets to change if you don’t want to. If you’re just changing into your pj’s then it’s no fuss just to strip off quickly and into whatever you’re wearing to bed. Same goes for changing on a night out etc. There is a lot less fuss when it comes to getting ready or changed for any occasion.
3. Feeling comfortable
I grew up in a household with 3 older brothers, and me being the only girl (apart from my mum). I’ve also stayed in many flat shares with guys and girls. I’m used to living with guys, and feel completely comfortable in that environment. However, I know a lot of women don’t feel comfortable (at least at first) to stay in a mixed dorm with other men there. Mostly, I think it’s more just what makes you feel comfortable in terms of peace of mind than anything else, and so if you’re someone who would feel a bit uneasy about sharing a dorm with other guys then there is that benefit.
Negatives of staying in a female only dorm room
1. No sexy boys
Ok, so you may have gotten rid of all those smelly boys, but what about those cute nice ones too! Part of going travelling, particularly when you’re young and single, is about having fun. I’m by no means suggesting you go sleep around (unless of course you want to), but it’s nice to mix with travellers of both sexes rather than just the girls sometimes. Also, you never know, you could meet the man of your dreams in the bunk right next to yours! After all, you both like travelling, and most travellers I have came across have a lot in common.`
2. More expensive
This will really depend on what hostel you are staying at, and where in the world you are, but by enlarge I have found that same-sex dorms tend to be a couple of dollars a night more than a mixed dorm. The reason for this is because if a hostel has all their mixed dorms fully booked, and a guy comes in wanting to book a free bed, but the only bed available is in a female only dorm, then they can’t sell it to him, and the hostel looses a potential customer. You’ll also find for the most part that the really big dorms which are the cheapest per night are mixed and not same-sex, as it’s all about bums on beds for a hostel offering such large rooms. This therefore means that most female only dorms tend to be the smaller (and more expensive) ones, in a 4 or 6 bed dorm.
3. Less fun
Again, this is a general rule and not the same for every occasion, but I’ve found that the atmosphere in a mixed dorm is much more fun and outgoing. I’m not sure exactly what it is, maybe people who book a mixed dorm are just a little more laid back or have less inhibitions, I really don’t know. Every time I have stayed in a mixed dorm versus a female dorm however, the mixed dorm has always been way more fun. I think the mix of guys and girls works well, rather than too much of one or the other.
Female only dorms definitely have their benefits sometimes, particularly to those female backpackers who are new to travelling. In my opinion, the mixed dorms are better, and a lot easier to make friends in, as well as just being a little bit cheaper. It all comes down to what you prefer though. Why not try both? See what suits you best. Just because one thing suits me doesn’t mean it won’t suit you, and although I personally prefer the mixed dorm environment, I can totally see why some people choose to stay in a female only dorm.