You’ll inevitably have some anxieties about what it’ll be like, but if you’ve picked a good hostel and take our tips into consideration, chances are you’ll have the time of your life.
1. Get to know the place
Put your stuff in your room and take a minute to take in your surroundings. Is the bed comfortable? Are there other people in your room? Walk around the hostel and get to know the common areas – you will likely find it to be a very relaxed and calm environment.
2. Choose your room wisely: Co-ed or single sex?
Female travelers, especially those traveling alone, will want to pick a hostel with female-only rooms. They’re usually cleaner and quieter. However Co-ed rooms tend to be a lot of fun and you will meet and bond with other people much faster.
3. Pick a bottom bunk
When you pick or are assigned a bed, try to get a bottom bunk. They’re much easier to get in and out of and provide a more comfortable space for you to settle into. Plus nobody wants to go up stairs after a few beers!
4. Take a sleep sheet
A sleep sheet is two sheets sewn together to make a self-contained sleep sack – most people have used a double sheet and simply sewed up the bottom. Most hostels provide bed linens and some will even rent you a sleep sheet, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
5. Bring the extras
Towels, soap and shampoo are usually not offered in hostels, so carry these things with you when traveling. Also, remember most bathroom facilities are shared – if you’ve ever showered in a dormitory, you’ll remember that flip flops for the shower are a must have. You’ll be happy you have them.
6. Bring earplugs
This doesn’t mean hostels are always going to be loud – but, when sharing rooms, it will never be completely noise-free, so bring some earplugs and you’ll be fine.
7. Dress in layers
Even though it may be cold when you go to bed, it’s amazing how much heat a room-full of people can generate just from their bodies, so dress in layers when you go to sleep.
Do you leave your money, passport and other valuables laying around in your private room? I didn’t think so. So, the same applies here – if the hostel offers a locker or a safe, use it.
9. Don’t be shy!
You will usually always find people talking, reading, or checking their emails. Most hostelers are more than happy to have a stranger join their conversation, so don’t be shy. Introduce yourself and share something about your travel plans. Hostels are the best places to meet other people, make friends and share valuable travel tips.
10. Relax and enjoy the ride!
In general, backpackers and budget travelers are a decent trustworthy bunch, so just relax, get to know people, have fun and enjoy the ride!