Hello Billy and Akaisha,
I’ve had a brief look through your guide so far and one thing that caught my eye was that you appear to have both couchsurfed and stayed in hostel dorms.
I’ve been essentially travelling for three years now myself and have stayed in private rooms in hostels, but never shared sleeping space. However, a while back I found myself sharing an apartment with a young female American backpacker. And then, on a recent trip to Eastern Europe with a friend, we found ourselves sharing a sleeper on a Ukrainian train with a couple of locals.
Both experiences were positive. So now I’m thinking maybe I should occasionally try sleeping in a dorm, or couchsurfing. Saving money would be handy, but the social aspect I think would be the big thing, particularly as I’m single and usually travel alone.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
While Billy and I travel together and have each other’s company to share, we often see singles sharing sleeping quarters in one fashion or another. Billy and I have done the same when circumstances call for it — when rooms are filled up in hotels, or like you say, sleeper cars on trains that hold 4 people. In Europe and in Mexico we utilized pensions which gave us private rooms, but was a social situation in the kitchens.
Fellow travelers provide a wealth of information and single travelers seem to be used to that exchange and actually rely on it.
We have a Travel Housing Options Page which you might find useful.
Not every shared housing or sleeping arrangement works out to be noise-free or compatible but I suppose that is part of the traveler’s story. We have good friends who swear by Couch Surfing even if they don’t sleep over but rather meet someone for a cup of coffee or lunch. It’s an easy way to make a quick connection with a local to get insight and tips on a new location.
These types of social networks offer a lot for the single traveler. Take a look at our Single Traveler page for some ideas. The good news is that the number of these traveling networks seem to be expanding.
Hope this helps, Mike. Enjoy your travels!