We’ve all been there… sharing a hostel dorm room with ten or so backpackers, all the best of buddies during daylight hours, but when night rolls in there’s a small clique who decide that a 4am drinking session is just the ticket, or one who snores so loudly nobody else gets to sleep.
There are rules of etiquette when you check into a hostel, especially if you’re sharing a dorm room. Here are the dos and don’ts of hostel living – take heed or risk the wrath of your fellow travellers:
DO: suss out the vibe of the hostel before you book/rock up. If you like to sight-see at the crack of dawn, a party hostel is not going to be for you. Similarly, if boozing all night and sleeping all day is what floats your boat, you’ll definitely have less fun and/or annoy people if you pick somewhere quiet and out-of-town.
DO: label your food and drink if you’re storing it in the shared kitchen. Otherwise you’re just asking for it to be stolen (and believe me, it will be).
DO: shower. It is no fun sharing a dorm with a backpacker who thinks “travelling” equates “getting back to nature” – it doesn’t and there’s no excuse (unless you are jungle trekking, and if you’re sharing a dorm in a hostel, chances are you won’t be).
DO: pack up your stuff the evening before you leave. There is nothing more annoying that listening to the swearing, cursing and bumping of a traveller trying to locate their things in a darkened early-morning dorm room.
DON’T: leave you backpack/clothes/phone charger in the middle of the floor. Have you ever stepped onto a phone charger in the middle of the night? Take it from me, it hurts like hell (and didn’t enamour me to the guy who left it lying there) .
DON’T: have sex in a mixed dorm. Nobody else wants to hear it; no matter how quiet discreet you think you’re being.
DON’T: put the light on in the middle of the night, when everybody else is sleeping. Navigate with your phone light if you have to, better still a small wind-up torch.
DON’T: hog the internet (if the hostel you’re staying in has WiFi). Because other people want to keep in touch with home too, and you shouldn’t go travelling to spend a year updating your Facebook wall.
DON’T: assume everyone shares the same taste in music as you. Oh and on that note, playing “world music” on repeat because you think it makes you sound oh-so-well-travelled is just wrong.
Follow these basic rules, and making friends out of your fellow hostel dormers should be as easy as getting drunk during a Full Moon Party!
Do you have any more tips and advice for fellow backpackers and hostel dwellers? Post your comments below!