Whether you’re braving a South American adventure or you’re frolicking to and from lavish European cities, hostels are pretty unpredictable places anywhere in the world. Booking a room for yourself and your travel buddy can often be like entering into an involuntary lucky dip. You could be treated to a traveller’s paradise or you could just as likely end up in a grimy underground sleep dungeon that smells of damp bathroom towels and stale beer breath. Wherever you end up, keep to this list of hostel must-haves to make sure you’re prepared for whatever’s thrown at you.
#1 Trusty Thongs
If you’ve lived to tell the tale of a hostel shower experience minus the thongs then you know all too well the feeling of slimy bathroom tiles. If flooring could give you cancer then hostel bathrooms are the equivalent of tobacco and solariums. Remember to take a pair of thongs with you to any hostel you end up in. Trust me, they will save your life.
Because there’s bound to be one conniving thief among your fellow hostel-goers. Avoid a hostel robbery by securing your locker with a padlock. If you’re lucky, your hostel will have locks available to buy for $5 to $10 bucks but obviously this is a huge rip – take your own! (Another trusty tip: opt for a combination lock over one that needs a key because well, that’s one less thing to risk losing).
There’s nothing worse than returning to your dorm only to find your roomies are already knocked out cold and ferociously
growling snoring. Grab a pair of earplugs for less that 2 dollary doos and your well-rested self will be thanking me later.
#4 A Day Bag
Taking a canvas bag or backpack (smaller than your huge ass travel bag) will be your lifesaver as you sightsee throughout the day. With a day bag you can cart around the absolute essentials without causing yourself permanent spine damage.
#5 Fast Drying Towel
I haven’t come across a hostel that doesn’t offer towels to rent, however, there’s something about the stale air of a hostel that just doesn’t seem to be ideal towel-drying conditions. I guess I don’t need to explain why a fast dry towel is super necessary but I will highlight the fact that it’s way easier to pack in your bag, meaning you can look forward to spending that $2 on a bevvy.
#6 Compact Shower Essentials
We’re all guilty of pinching someone else’s shampoo they left in the shower, but we won’t get so lucky all the time. Pack all the essentials: shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and face wash in a clear, sealable bathroom bag.
Some new hostels now have charging stations with USB ports that don’t require an adapter but they’re definitely not mainstream yet. Ensure you have the right adapters and if you’re travelling to Europe get one that’s multi-country because (very annoyingly) the ports can vary from country to country.
#8 Sleeping Bag Liner
Ok here’s the truth: hostels don’t have the greatest rap when it comes to mattress cleanliness. We’ve all heard of at least one friend having a horrible bed-bug encounter and so to avoid such a disaster, sleeping bag liners can be super handy. They’re extremely compact and you may not end up using it but it’s good to have just in case…
Image Source: Bondi Backpackers Facebook