I usually stay in Airbnbs because hostels, while cheaper, are terrible.
On my 30th birthday, I booked a bed in a 15-bed mixed gender room of a hostel. There were five triple bunk beds and no floor space for luggage. Privacy was non-existence. I felt that if I had left my belongings unattended, then I’d never see them again.
After that experience, I vowed to only choose places that were secure and up to my personal standards. What can I say? I’m a princess.
However, due to a broken promise, I had to stay in a hostel once again in Dublin, Ireland.
An Irish Romance
As adamant as I am about keeping to safe practices while traveling alone, I’m also a big romantic. I met an Irish man at a bar in Belfast.
Originally from the area, he travels to the Northern Ireland city from Dublin to visit family. Upon learning that I was to visit Dublin in two weeks, he offered to host me for a weekend.
TRAVEL TIP: Never rely on strangers.
A few days before I was to go to the country’s capital, he messaged me saying that there was a family emergency and that he could only host me Friday night and not Saturday. Telling him I understood, I asked if I should simply book a place for the whole weekend, to which he ensured me that he still wanted to see me Friday night.
You’re gonna kill me but tonight’s not gonna happen. I gotta go home in like an hour.”
– Text Message
Two hours before taking my train from Galway to Dublin, he messaged me again saying that things had escalated and that he was leaving for Belfast immediately. No apology, no details, no offer to assist me in any way.
Professional Travel Tips
After frantically scouring the internet, I ended up canceling my Airbnb for Saturday night and booking a bed at a hostel for the weekend. The hostel had, for lack of a better word, cages to store your luggage and belongings and secured with locks as well as monitored by camera.
TRAVEL TIP: If you are going to be impulsive, then make sure you have the funds to get out of a sketchy situation.
While staying in a hostel with five other adults is uncomfortable and awkward to me, it’s a great place to meet people looking to explore the area. Being the type to make the best of things, I booked a pub crawl through the hostel and spent the night getting drunk with my fellow travelers from the hostel.
I never heard from the Irish man ever again, although he still watches my Instagram stories.