There are many pros and cons of staying in hostels while travelling. Booking a room on a budget, meeting new people and having organized events are all reasons you may be considering staying at one. However, as with everything, there may be some things you would not expect when sharing accommodations with strangers. Here are some tips on things to do or try to avoid when staying at a hostel for a smooth and enjoyable time for both you and your roomies!
- Consider the size of the room you are booking. When booking a dorm room at a hostel, you typically have the choice of choosing how many beds are in the same room. The count can vary from 4, 6, 10 or even more than 20! With fewer beds, the price tends to be higher but this may be worth spending a little more depending on your schedule. If you have packed days and need your sleep or are bothered by noise, having fewer people will definitely be worth it. If you don’t mind people coming in and out at any hour and are looking to meet new people, opt for a larger room!
- Keep any items for nighttime at the top of your bag. If you go out in the evening and are coming back later at night, having your toothbrush, pyjamas and any other products you may need before bed handy will be extremely helpful. Entering a room with others sleeping is always tricky and you’ll want to minimize the amount of noise you make trying to find your things. So do everyone a favour and keep the essentials nearby!
- Make friends! Hostels are a great place to meet other travellers and get recommendations on what they have been doing in the city. Don’t be shy to start up a conversation in shared spaces such as the kitchen or common areas or consider having a drink at the bar to meet new friends. Often hostels will organize events or tours and this can be a perfect way to plan out your itinerary. You’ll surely find a buddy who is also looking to have fun with other visitors!
- Be disruptive during quiet times. A part of sharing rooms is being a respectful guest to the others around you. If you need to leave your room during the early morning or are arriving late at night, try not to turn on all the lights or make unnecessary noise if others are asleep. Your roommates will appreciate this and will hopefully return the kindness while you are sleeping.
- Leave items unattended. You may get comfortable in your room and feel at home sharing with other people, but always be aware of your belongings and keep your important items locked or inaccessible at all times. It is better to be safe when staying in shared rooms and knowing where your possessions are. It’s a good idea to bring extra locks for your bags and lockers just to be covered in case the place you are staying does not supply any.
- Expect others to clean up after you. After you are finished using a common space make sure to leave it as clean (or cleaner) than when you arrived. What makes hostels so great is sharing it with others and nobody wants to use a messy kitchen or dirty bathroom. So be considerate with your messes and tidy up your things when you are done.
Staying in hostels is a great experience and something everyone should consider trying if they have not yet done so. There are so many to choose from and you can refer to reliable reviews from past guests to get a feel for the place you are looking to book. Some hostels are known for their exciting social scene, while others may be more subdued and private. No matter which you prefer, staying in hostels is a great way to meet some friends and save some money!