Why choosing a hostel with the best ping pong table can help you to have the ultimate gap year

There are certain things you need to consider when picking a hostel for your gap year. For most people this includes cost, location, comfort etc… but have you ever considered forms of entertainment?

We spoke to one hostel that had trialed just this. Prior to taking these measures the hostels bookings were decreasing. The hostel were then approached by a marketing team who suggested that they could increase the quality of their guests experience by adding a something like the best ping pong table. So, they read about ping pong tables and found one that could double as a conference table (in case it didn’t work out).

What they found was a way for people to instantly engage with other travelers. Prior to this the hostel did not even have a proper common area, and now people were coming together to play with each other and finding it far easier to converse with other travelers. This is particularly important for creating a quality experience for guests and the hostel soon found that this became one of their best assets.

And it’s not just ping pong tables that saw an increase in booking. Other forms of entertainment were trialed, some more successful than others, but all pertaining to reach the end goal which was to create a better experience for guests and overall more engagement. This also included numerous trust building activities.

Recently other hostels have been trying something different. They have been trialing morning routines where they offer guests the opportunity to get together for an hour long yoga session. This not only offers something unique to guests but also offers them an experience to get involved with other guests. Other forms of entertainment where fellow travelers had to engage in some type of relationship building activity also significantly increased the ability of travelers to make friends.

The consensus was clear. By offering opportunities for guests to engage, both the guest experience can improve and the hostel bookings. Below we have provided some tips for both hostels and travelers.


Take advantage of these opportunities when you do encounter them. Sometimes they will not be widely publicized so you may need to ask reception when you check-in if there are such programs being held. It can also be worth calling ahead of time to ask what type of engagement program the hostel uses. Remember that a major reason for you to travel is to meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise met, so make the most of these experiences.


Make it known to travelers when they check in that these types of opportunities are available. If you do not yet offer these then start. It isn’t expensive to buy a form of entertainment that offers guests something different, and something like a yoga class can be as simple as playing a DVD and offering free use of yoga mats. Anything that guests feel like they are receiving free will increase the quality of their experience.