A hostel is a great choice for the budget-conscious traveler or for those who want a sense of camaraderie with their lodging choice. Most hostels are conveniently located and are staffed by friendly, knowledgeable locals.
However, hostels can have a few drawbacks. For instance, a hostel is not a good choice for the person who prefers to travel in splendid isolation.
Privacy is at a premium, and shared bathrooms are the rule rather than the exception. Travelers should be prepared to share sleeping space, which is a major consideration for the traveling companion who snores.
A hostel stay is a communal experience, but that doesn’t mean that we all don’t want to have a little space or even some quiet time. Be aware when your fellow travelers don’t want to engage in conversation or are focused on a task. If they are reading, working, attempting to sleep or just chilling, don’t interrupt.
Also, don’t hog spaces such as the bathroom, the bedroom, the kitchen or even a table or a computer.
You probably hated it when your kid brother borrowed your MP3 player without asking right? No matter how friendly you’ve gotten with your hostel roommates, resist the urge to borrow their stuff without asking.
Travel Etiquette Tips for Travel Newbies
A little common courtesy can go a long way in such close quarters. Same goes for items such as food, toothpaste, soap and other small items. Hostel life is all about sharing so if you’ve got something yummy at hand, offer it around. However, don’t expect your roommates to necessarily do the same. Most hostel guests are traveling on a budget, don’t take their food. Got the late night munchies? Don’t wake people up with your eating habits or bring stinky foods into the common sleeping area. Also, help out in the kitchen, don’t leave a mess after your eat and always do your own dishes.
We are all aware if we snore or not… or should be by now! If you know you snore, deal with it. Buy sleeping aids, pay for a separate room or at least be upfront with your mates.
Don’t ever expect others to switch rooms because of your snoring and be sympathetic if you’re making them spend a sleepless night.
As hard as it is to be organized when traveling, it’s important to do your best to be clean and tidy in a hostel. Don’t allow your personal belongings to spill off your bed or outside your locker. Common areas can sometimes be cramped, don’t lay your stuff out when working and keep your personal space organized. Do your best not to leave shoes, clothing, food, books or other items laying around, it’s rude to others and your belongings can easily disappear.
Most hostel “rules” are common sense, treat others the way you would treat family. Use the space as if it were your own, make your bed, keep the bathroom clean, pick up after yourself – be helpful, courteous and friendly. Travel is about exploring, learning, making new friends and memories, staying in a hostel can give you all of this and more, make sure it’s a pleasurable experience for you and your fellow travelers.