Staying at a hostel can either be a terrific or a terrible experience. It helps to manage your expectations. Remember hostels are more like college dorms and less like hotels. Hostels can be a great place to meet fellow travelers, pick up destination tips and delicious dining recommendations. You may even make some new friends! Here are 13 tips to help you survive a hostel like a boss.
Do your research. Find out if a hotel will meet your needs by reading the reviews. Obviously stay clear of hostels with few or bad reviews.
Check for exits. Just as a safety precaution, check where your exits are. I’ve never had it happen, but if a fire breaks out in the middle of the night, you will probably wake up disoriented. Knowing where the exits are ahead of time can help you find your way out under times of duress.
Behave yourself. There is such a thing as “hostel etiquette.” Don’t be a jackwagon. Don’t come in stumbling drunk in the middle of the night. Keep your voice down, don’t turn on the main light after 10p or before 8a, keep your space tidy, and do everyone a favor by booking a private room if you snore.
Far and away. Opt for the dorm furthest away from the common area. Common areas can be noisy if you are trying to sleep.
Less is more. If you don’t have to pay extra, try to get a room with the fewest number of beds. Fewer beds mean fewer interruptions when you are trying to catch up on your sleep.
Choose your bed wisely. The lower bunk can provide you with easier access to your backpack or bathroom and sometimes an outlet to charge your phone. The top bunk can offer slightly more privacy.
Don’t let the bed bugs bite. Check your bed for bed bugs. Bed bugs leave tiny black poop on the sheets or mattress. They also lay yellowish eggs. Check along the seams and headboard. I wash all of my bedding and clothes with peppermint essential oil to keep them out of my stuff.
Keep a sleep kit in your pillowcase. Keep an eye mask, earplugs, and keychain flashlight in your pillowcase for easy bedtime access.
Prepare your clothes. If you are going out for a late night, prepare your sleepwear before you go. It saves you from rummaging through your stuff late at night when everyone else is trying to sleep. The same goes if you are leaving early. Prepare your clothes the night before if you are going to take off at the crack of dawn.
Clean up after yourself. This is not a hotel where maids are there to clean up after you. No one cares if you are a slob at home. This is a shared space, so be respectful. Don’t be that guy or girl, clean up after yourself.
Lock it up. Never leave your stuff unattended, no matter how nice your new friends are. Use a locker if it is provided and make sure you bring your own lock.
Bring a towel and flip-flops. Some hostels offer rented towels. Save yourself the money and bring your own quick-dry travel towel. And don’t forget your flip-flops. Do you really want to take a chance and pick up someone else’s cooties in the shower? Trust me, bring the flip-flops.
Beat feet to breakfast. If the hostel offers a breakfast, be on time. Some hostels only make so many meals, and if you are late, you might miss out.
What are your best tips for surviving a hostel? Please share your tips in the comments below. If you liked this post, please give me a like and subscribe to this blog.