As a solo female traveller, sleeping in a room with a bunch of male strangers might seem like the LAST thing you want to do. But trust me, it has its benefits. Here's why you should sleep in the co-ed room at a hostel.
1. Women are waaaaaay messier
True story ladies. Walk into the 'women only' room at the hostel and it will look like everyone's bag exploded. (Hey, I'm the first to admit that I end up pulling everything out of my bag when settling in). Guys seem to be able to keep their stuff neater, in their bag, or at least confined to their bunk and out of the way (don't ask me how).
2. They cost less
Yup, the more 'exclusive' segregated rooms are often a few dollars more. It isn't a crazy amount, but is enough to make a difference if you are travelling long-term or on a budget.
3. Men are protective
Not that I am saying you need protecting ladies! Hell, you are travelling solo! BUT, it is in the nature of the average male to look out for the average female. If nothing else, you will have a few people who notice when you are coming and going, and who might want to chat with you about your day.
4. In my experience, males staying in a room where there are women they don't know are extremely respectful
I stayed in a co-ed room in Paris with five guys — I was the only girl. All of them would get up and ready as quickly as possible in the morning to give me my space and full access to the bathroom. It was actually really sweet, and a trend that I have seen repeated over and over.
5. Co-ed rooms are full of friendly couples!
Couples who opt out of private rooms, or cheap hotels, to stay in hostel dorms are the kind of couples who want to socialize and meet new people — especially the innocent solo female traveller in the bunk next to them. I have been asked to join these travellers on many occasions and have made some really great friends because of it.
6. There is usually a bed available
The co-ed room is usually the last to fill up because most people automatically ask for a female only, male only, or private room. You are pretty much guaranteed a place to sleep in the mixed dorm.