Hostels are an economical travel tactic that frequent travelers have become accustomed to. They allow travelers to afford more leisure by offering cheaper rates for their lodging rental space. This is done at the expense of sharing the hostel with other tourists. This can be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, you get to meet and bond with like-minded individuals. On the other, sharing a bedroom, a kitchen, and a bathroom with complete strangers can be uncomfortable and even a little unsettling.
It can be hard to trust people you don't know, especially in a foreign setting. Even if you get along well with your hostel mates, it's important to take precautions to ensure that you won't feel miserable under the worst circumstances. Here are ten hacks for staying in hostels that will help you survive your trip.
10 Bring Your Own Towel
Depending on how accommodating your host is, towels may not even be provided. It's recommended that you bring your own towels even to five-star establishments, purely under the notion that hundreds, if not thousands of people have shared the same towel before.
The same concept applies for hostel environments, plus you don't want to cause a feud in the house over the last unused towel. Bringing your own is just a sanitary essential you need while traveling.
9 Invest In A Padlock
Hostels are typically provided with lockers for the various guests to use for safekeeping. These lockers can be issued your own personal padlock, so it's best to invest in one (or two). Even if you trust your fellow bunkmates, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Try not to bring too many valuables with you on your travels, but make use of the hostel lockers for all of your money, technology, or jewelry that you don't want to end up missing.
8 Get Headphones
Headphone or earplugs will do the trick. Hostels are usually stationed in the highlight of the town, so the street noises are sure to float their way up into your room. This kind of distraction won't be welcomed after a full day of exploring, and you'll need to get some shut eye for your next day's adventures.
Invest in headphones or earplugs to block out the outside noises, as well as the inside noises. If you end up getting stuck next to a perpetual snorer, then you're in for one long vacation (and not the good kind).
7 And An Eyemask
An eye mask is a useful bedtime tool that can help you fall asleep in your own little world. Everyone has different sleeping habits, and it's important to remember this while sharing a room with your transient comrades.
Some people listen to the television to fall asleep, some read, and others even sleep with the light on. An eye mask can help you escape your surroundings so that you can fall asleep in a more serene environment.
6 You'll Need To Bring TP
Again, toliet paper isn't always supplied at these hostels, so you definitely need to pack a roll or two. Be sure to bring it in and out of the bathroom so that your roommates don't use it all up.
Everyone in your hostel should be responsible for their own supply, but if they're not, you're liable to become the sole source. Then, you'll end up spending more money on everyone else's toiletries which isn't something you should be responsible for.
5 Bring Shower Shoes
Hostels are not as orderly and unblemished as your standard hotel room. They're family-owned and run and these people only have so much time and money to spare on keeping up with it.
Cleaning will be done on a surface level, which means that you will want to invest in protection like shower shoes. It will save you from the germs on the bathroom floor that will definitely be there considering there is a multitude of people sharing the same unit.
4 Disperse Your Money
Cash is going to be the first thing that goes missing if you are stuck with untrustworthy hostel tenants. In order to ensure that you don't lose all of your savings, try dispersing your money in different places.
Make sure to keep in on you at all times and never leave your wallet off your person unless it's going straight to your locker. Even then, it's important to keep your cash in an obscure place or somewhere people wouldn't think to look should someone in the hostel decide to go snooping.
3 Travel In Groups
While out and about in your adopted country, always travel in groups. It's something we learn as children, but its something that a lot of people feel inclined to ignore.
Safety in numbers is a real concept, and you are less likely to be pick-pocketed or harassed if you are surrounded by a lively group of people.
2 Make Friends
Despite the precautions you have to take to ensure you and your belonging's safety, staying in a hostel is actually an ideal way to establish life-long friendships.
You are all on this journey together, and it's obvious that you have the aspirations in mind. Maybe you will even become permanent hostel partners and bunk with every time you stay in a foreign territory.
1 Plan Ahead
None of this will be useful if you're reading this in your hostel with your roommate snoring loudly next to you and your cash tucked haphazardly under your bedsheets. Which means you didn't plan ahead. Reading up on tips and tricks for hostels is a great start, but planning your actual stay is also a vital step in the process. Once you and on a travel destination, look up various local hostels. Be sure to read the reviews and figure out what is included so that you can pack accordingly.
It's also helpful to plan ahead once you get there. You may want to establish some sort of schedule for the TV or bathroom usage; or at the very least, have an open conversation with your hostel roommates about your preferences. You never know, they may like the fact that you've planned ahead and thought of a way to coordinate your small space so that everyone feels comfortable.