Hostels are an almost inevitable accommodation option for most first-time and gap-year travellers. Although they can seem a little rough, we’ve got a couple of tips to help you make the most out of your stay.
Be Safety Smart
It’s essential that you are aware of your belongings the entire time you are in a hostel. With so many people in one room, you may not know where something could end up. Buying a good passcode lock for each piece of your luggage will ensure the safety of your belongings at all times. Don’t forget to pack your luggage yourself and don’t let anyone else do it for you. Know what is in your bag!
If you’re ultra-worried about leaving your valuables behind, consider buying a money pouch, which you can carry on your body at all times. These are great for carrying passports and money under your clothes so only you know where they are.
While you’re travelling, you’ll be using a lot of public bathrooms and showers – this is where it is vital to be switched on about your hygienic health whilst travelling. Pack a pair of thongs to wear in showers to protect your feet from nasty bacteria and other gross foot diseases. Bring your own towel to use and travel with, and always keep a bottle of hand sanitiser close. No need to be a total clean freak, but staying aware will always keep you safer against what is floating in the air. Whatever you do, DON’T leave your toothbrush lying around, because, gross.
Backpacks are your BFFs
If you’re staying in hostels during your travels, heed this warning: DON’T TAKE WHEELIE LUGGAGE. You will regret it, bad. Invest in a real travelling bag which has both options to be wheeled and carried as a backpack. Hostels can sometimes require climbing massive flights of stairs, and getting a heavy square wheelie bag up and down is a complete inconvenient nightmare.
If you’re wanting to get any sleep whatsoever during your hostel stays, then pay attention to the following. Bring a sleeping bag or sleeping liner. Some hostels may not provide linen, but you may also not feel comfortable using their linen, so a liner or bag will keep you sorted through the colder nights. The sleeping liner can also be used to sleep on top of, if you’re a little more paranoid about bed bugs and other little critters. If you’re noise sensitive, we 100% recommend bringing a couple pairs of ear buds – you’re going to need them. Four hundred screaming drunks in one hostel is bound to get the decibels rising.
The most important, unspoken rule of all the Hostel rules. Label your food. Guard it with your life. Communal kitchens are The Hunger Games cornucopias for food. Wave goodbye to your unlabelled food and money spent on groceries. If you’re not labelling your food, don’t be surprised when it’s gotten up and left the next day. Hostel food thieves are real and scary.
Wherever you’re travelling, it’s most important to be switched on and aware of your surroundings when doing hostel travel. These tips are a foolproof way to travel and will keep you happier, safer, and more well rested than your mates who didn’t read this article. Happy travelling!
Image Credit: Dreamworks