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Hostel Etiquette: Essential Do’s and Don’ts of Staying at a Hostel

So, you’re heading off to get the experience of a lifetime when you travel the world. Part of the traveling thing means that you’ll probably be staying in a few hostels along the way.

The great thing about hostels is that they are loads of fun, they’re cheap, and they’re awesome for meeting new, like-minded people who you can often end up traveling with; what more could you want?!

With most things in life, it’s best to be aware of certain ‘hostel etiquette’ that can come in handy if you are clued-up on prior to jetting off to explore the world. Take a look at our six top tips…

1. Keep Your Respect Levels High

We’re kicking things off with arguably the most important rule; respect.

At ALL TIMES, you must maintain an adequate level of respect towards your fellow backpackers in the hostel, and that goes for the staff too. it’s fun to have a good time, but just remember to be a decent person.

  • Be thoughtful
  • Be respectful
  • Be considerate of the people around you

Bear the above in mind and you hostel experience and the experience of all the other travelers with you will be super enjoyable!

2. Don’t Ignore People

Hostels, as we touched on at the top of the article, open up a great way for you to meet and socialize with new people. Hostels can hold a large number of people typically, so you’re certain to make new friends – if you say hello to people that is.

In fact, if you’re shy, people are probably going to speak to you and ask you to have a drink with them, etc., but even if it seems daunting, if you make the effort to kick start the conversation and introduce yourself to someone you don’t know, you’re on to a winner.

Why? Well, because hostels are renowned for being populated with people who are open to meeting new friends and want to chat. It’s all rather friendly; you’ll love it!

3. Be Part of the Group

Now that point two has been taken on board – and you’re definitely going to run with it – why not go the whole hog and get stuck into some fun activities as a group?

Experience amazing places, go to bars and clubs, do yoga, swim in the sea; these are just a few examples of some of the things you can do together. What’s more, you’re likely to meet more new friends who come for the fun too if you do.

This is a wonderful way to make the most of growing as a person, particularly if you have ventured off as a solo traveler.

4. Do Everything You Can to Get the Bottom Bunk in the Dorm Room

The novelty and excitement of nabbing the top bunk as a kid do not apply when it comes to choosing a bed in your hostel dorm room. Everyone strives to get the bottom bunk if they can.

You might be wondering why, and Sarah Cummings of The Sleep Advisor has a few prime examples for you which can also help you sleep more soundly in the dorm too…

  • Climbing up on to the bed in the dark of the night, most probably after a few beers and shots is never graceful (or quiet)!
  • Bottom bunk privileges mean you’re right by all your stuff, which can help you sleep with more confidence.
  • Top bunks prevent you from nipping off to the loo a hassle-free experience as you’ll need to climb down the ladder and then climb back up again.

Basically, bottom is best, so do what you can do swerve the top bunk!

5. Got Food in the Kitchen? Label It

A quick heads up; if you leave food unlabeled in the hostel kitchen, you’re gambling with whether it’ll be there when you return!

It’s kind of an unwritten rule in hostels, so, if you’re intending on keeping your sustenance stored on the communal shelves and fridges, label it up to avoid losing your tasty dish.

6. Help by Cleaning Up After Yourself

You may have heard that hostels are known for their messy, dirty reputations, particularly in the washrooms and kitchen. Lead by example and make sure that if you use it you clean it and you store it away properly.

Also, if you take a shower, don’t leave you used shower gel bottles lying around and pull your hair out of the plug hole too.

It’s all about common courtesy at the end of the day, so if you make a mess then just clean-up to help everyone else enjoy their stay there.

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