Backpacker Etiquette: Rules for the Road

Backpacker Etiquette: Rules for the Road

I'd say I've “been around the block.”

And by that I mean I've spent a lot of time with a lot of other backpackers. And, for the record I'll say this: backpackers can be annoying (I'm one myself and I'll still admit it!). They just don't have any etiquette! So, if you want to have the best backpacker etiquette, here's my Emily Post rendition:

In the Bedroom

  • Do NOT come into the hostel at 4am, turn the lights on and tell your cellmates to “calm down.”
  • Please avoid actually sleeping in my bed.
  • If you're 83 years old and smell like mothballs and Fixodent, you probably shouldn't be staying in a youth hostel.
  • If you're sleeping on the floor because you can't afford a room, please don't tell me to be quiet.
  • Take a shower. You stink.
  • Same goes for doing laundry. It stinks.

In the Bathroom

  • If you're a guy–lift the seat up. C'mon.
  • Flush. I shouldn't even have to say it.
  • We'd appreciate it if you cleaned the drain after shaving or manscaping.
  • …and the floor after puking.

In the Kitchen

  • Share the stove, feel the warmth, spread the love.
  • Don't steal my food or beer! I'm not taking your mom's homemade chicken tetrazzini so don't steal my instant noodles.
  • Prepare your food somewhere other than the exact same place where I'm preparing mine.
  • Don't fill the hotpot to the brim if you're making a cup of tea. There's a queue, people!

On the Bus

  • If you're weird, don't talk to me. Pretty simple.
  • Don't throw things at your mate in the front. You probably won't hit them.
  • Don't ask me to put my seat up. It's down now, just like yours should be.
  • FYI–they don't soundproof the toilets so take it easy in there.

Just follow those simple steps and you'll be on your way to backpacker success!


READ NEXT: The 10 Best Hostels in Australia

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17 Responses to Backpacker Etiquette: Rules for the Road

  1. Juno Kim May 10, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    haha.. sadly a lot of those things are actually they have to keep as a ‘human being who live in a society’. 🙂 Agree with a lot of those. And.. I want to add… please don’t occupy yourselves in 8-bed dorm room for just for your little “afternoon delight”.. there’s a separate room for that.

    • Anonymous May 10, 2011 at 12:40 am #

      A separate room!? Where!?!

  2. gaye emami May 10, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    “If you’re weird, don’t talk to me. Pretty simple.” – Hahaha!

    Such a fun read! My first time here and will definitely be back!

    • Anonymous May 10, 2011 at 7:48 am #

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Loved your photos (and writing) on Beach Therapy. Beautiful!

  3. Nick Laborde May 11, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    Whats this shower thing you speak of?

    • Anonymous May 11, 2011 at 4:34 am #

      It’s this little spouty thingy. Works like a charm!

  4. Alynu May 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Great love the tips… so true!

  5. Kenneth|Echoserang Lakwatsera April 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    “Flush. I shouldn’t even have to say it.”

    I have yet to stay in a hostel where I don’t have to tell my dorm mates repeatedly to flush the effin’ toilet. :/

  6. The CounterIntuitive June 2, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    ha ha, hadn’t seen this old post before. Love it.

    here’s one to contribute to the list…

    If you have to leave the dorm room early morning, don’t leave it to the last minute to pack. We don’t all want the light on, hear plastic bags rustling and be involved in what you keep and what you throw.

    • Jeremy Foster June 3, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      Oh gosh. I know that one too well (though I’ve been an offender, at times). It’s the worst!

  7. Tiana July 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Hilarious. And remarkably simple, yet we still have to keep reminding people… Also, I’d love to know where that separate afternoon delight room is (as stated below)???

    • Jeremy Foster July 19, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      I know, right? Still looking for it, myself 😉

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