Ten things you shouldn't do in a hostel

December 08, 2015
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For travellers of all ages, hostels are cheap and accessible places to rest your head. That being said, it doesn’t mean you can treat it like a dump. There are a number of unspoken and unwritten rules everyone needs to be aware of before staying in a hostel to make sure your stay is smooth-sailing. You’re welcome.

Keep it in your pants, buddy!

All inhibitions are lost, and ‘love’ at first sight often takes hold when you’re travelling around the world. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should give in to your hormones and get it on in a crowded dorm. If you feel like getting down and dirty, hostels offer plenty of budget private rooms.

Keep the dance party outside the dorm

Dorms are places travellers go to escape the hustle and bustle of the city or the constant commotion of the common room. So it’s no wonder relaxing travellers become instantly hostile when someone starts pumping ‘I’m Sexy And I Know It’ through their crappy phone speakers in the middle of a dorm. Keep the dance music in the clubs and out of the dorms.

Don’t treat your dorm like your bedroom

All those things your mother taught you about cleaning up after yourself and not leaving rubbish on the floor will come in handy when you’re staying at a hostel. If you leave dirty socks and smelly undies on the floor of the dorm, you’ll soon become Public Enemy Number One. Don’t be a grub, and clean up after yourself.

Stealing someone’s food isn’t cool

Hostels are full of people looking for a budget holiday, so stealing their hard-earned food is a big no-no. This isn’t some Robin Hood “take from the rich, feed to the poor” game, because in a hostel, everyone is equal. 

Don’t take the top bunk if you’re a shortie

Attempting and failing to perform your Jedi ninja skills to get up onto the top bunk isn’t fun, and it’s potentially dangerous. If you can’t safely climb the bunks to the top, then do yourself (and your roommates) a favour and settle for something a little closer to the ground.

Pack up the night before

No one likes the person who wakes up early and rustles about packing their bags, so don’t be that guy. Pack your gear the day or night before so you can leave the dorm on good terms with all your sleeping comrades.

Don’t leave things on someone else’s bed

Unless you’ve received prior consent, don’t leave your crap on other travellers’ beds. People can be very finicky about their things, particularly the place they rest their head. Leaving rubbish or smelly clothes on someone else’s bed certainly isn’t the way to win friends.

Take it easy in the shower

Showers, bathrooms, toilets and laundries - they’re all places that attract gross stains, liquids and moulds. If everyone cleaned up after themselves and didn’t flood the bathrooms, these communal, humid and sometimes smelly places wouldn’t be such a disgrace. Also, don’t go back into the dorm room sopping wet and don’t leave a giant puddle in the middle of the dorm. No one wants their belongings to get wet.

Leave those lights off

If it is after 11 and before sunrise, then the dorm room’s light should be left off. God gifted us smartphones with built-in flashlights so we wouldn’t need to turn on the lights after a solid night on the drink. 

Use common sense

When we’re young we’re taught what is sensible, ethical and moral, and even though these skills have been etched into us from birth, sometimes they go AWOL. Don’t forget that a little bit of common sense will take you a long way. If you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it in the dorm. 

Keegan Thomson

Keegan is studying journalism at the University of Western Sydney. He’s an avid storyteller and global traveller whose likes include fresh bed sheets and Jeff Goldblum movies.

Image: Fred Postles, Flickr Creative Commons license