Hostel Etiquette 101

by | Nov 19, 2011 | Accommodation, Travel Tips | 1 comment

There is not a single person alive who can say that their favorite part about staying in a hostel is the quality of sleep. For me specifically, attempting to sleep in a hostel is always a struggle and I usually have to resort to wearing headphones or earplugs and an eye mask. While every traveler is different and their opinions about hostel etiquette will differ, I’ve compiled a list of the main rules of staying in a hostel that, in my opinon,  are the most important. While not many declares them, they are certainly an unspoken code of hostel living, and should be followed if you’re planning on spending your time in a hostel.

1. Do not turn on all the lights if you are coming back late or leaving bright and early. If you can’t see, that’s your own fault. Should have brought a flashlight. Or use your cellphone/I-Pod.

2. Don’t hog the bathroom, especially if there’s ten people and one bathroom. Other people have places to be and need to shower too.

3. Don’t rustle your bags early in the morning/late at night. Bring cloth bags for your dirty clothes, toiletries, or whatever you’re using those damn plastic bags for.

4. Do not talk on your phone in the middle of the night. Yes, it happens.

5. Don’t take up half the floor space with the contents of your backpack. Someone will trip. Or steal your stuff and really, it’s just obnoxious.

6. Don’t Steal. As fellow dorm mates, backpackers, travelers in general, we are all in the same boat.

7. SNORE. Seriously, if you are an insufferable snorer, just go to the hotel or get a private room.

8. Pack your bag the night before you have to leave, especially if you’re leaving early in the morning. You get to sleep an extra fifteen minutes and you don’t disturb anyone!

9. Be friendly. Talk to the newcomers of the room, make them feel welcome, invite them out if a bunch of you are going somewhere.

10. Share stuff with people. As a woman who travels without a hair straightener(mainly because they never work anywhere, no matter what converter I use), I love when girls will offer to share theirs with me. Book swapping is great, too.

11. Leave behind lotions, clothes, etc. that you’re planning to throw out because you’ve got new stuff and need to make room in your bag.

12. If you must have sex with that gorgeous guy with the irresistible foreign accent, please don’t do it on the bunk beneath me. These beds shake and squeak, and no matter how quiet you think you’re being, everyone can hear you.

13. If you’re coming back from partying all night and are cheerfully drunk, please shut up. We are not, and we don’t want to hear about how drunk you are. Also, don’t continue the conversation with your friends when you walk into the room, even if you’re whispering.

14. Do your laundry. Nobody wants to be stuck in a stuffy room that smells like old, sweaty clothes.

15. If you’re in the common room and the majority of people are watching a show or a movie, don’t waltz in and change the channel.

16. If there is a complimentary breakfast or anything else offered for free, please don’t take the entire box of pasta, jug of milk, or loaf of bread. Leave enough for others.

17. Clean up after yourself. Don’t leave your dirty dishes laying around or anything else dirty for that matter. Cleaning staff only comes around every so often and your mom isn’t here to clean up after you.

There it is. If you follow these rules then you’re likely to make more friends and have a more enjoyable time. If anyone has extra unspoken hostel rules to share, feel free to leave a comment!

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