Maybe it was accidental. You get to the hostel and oooooops: the receptionist tells you that you are staying in a 6 person mixed-dorm hostel. OR maybe you really wanted to stay in a specific hostel and the only option was to stay in a mixed-dorm hostel. OR it was just cheaper. I have stayed in quite a few mixed-dorm rooms and I have some tips that helped me feel more comfortable that you can try out!
1.ASK THE HOSTEL IF OTHER FEMALES ARE IN THE ROOM
I always, always, alwaaaaays do this. One time, I was told that I was actually going to be the only female in the room. I expressed my discomfort with that situation, and the hostel kindly changed my room. Always ask for a change if you feel uncomfortable with the situation. Hostels are particularly considerate with female solo travelers.
2.TALK TO YOUR HOSTEL MATE
Whether you are in a mixed-dorm or all-female dorm, this is just common courtesy. Make it imperative to always say hi to each of your roommates. And when you are in a mixed dorm hostel this can instantly ease any tension. Usually, the travelers in hostels are all kind-hearted people that are there for the same reasons as you. And so men may be a little intimidated by having a female bunk buddy. Ease the tension and give a polite hello. This helps make you and them feel better about staying in the same proximity. Also, by making eye contact you are showing him that you are aware of your surroundings and you are strong enough to stand your ground.
3.CHANGE IN THE RESTROOM
I have some traveling girlfriends that are not bothered by changing in front of strangers in mixed dorm hostels. HOWEVER, that is definitely not me. I know it is a natural tendency to check out someone if they are unchanging right in front of you. Help alleviate any sexual thoughts by just changing in the restroom. As much as I would like to say it does not matter, it really just does. Don’t act like it doesn’t. Unless you really aren’t bothered by the fact that men might be looking at you that way when you are unchanging. Go fooooor it, it’s a freeee world.
4.KEEP A WATCHFUL EYE
Look, I get it. As a woman, it is annoying that this even has to be a thing. But the reality is you have to. No one else is going to keep an eye on you, but you. Make sure that you do not put yourself in a vulnerable state. By this I mean, do not come in noticeably drunk into the room. AND don’t stay in the room alone if only one other man is in the room. Situations like this only put you in a vulnerable state that you can avoid.
5.LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE
You have got a roof over your head and a bed to sleep on. Anddddd you most likely have the restroom a little longer than if you were in an all-female dorm. It could be worse. I have made some great male and female friends in a mixed dorm hostel! But if you ever feel unsafe, do NOT hesitate to get help and leave the situation.