Top 5 Ways to Be A Hostel Pro
A hostel is a lot like a mini village. There is a sense of community amongst many hostel goers. The veteran travelers of the world have picked up on a certain code of conduct when it comes to shared living space. They are the “pros” of hostels. Many learned the hard way what it means to live in harmony with other strangers from all over the world. With that in mind, we wanted to create a simple beginners list on how to be a “Hostel Pro”. We spent some time researching and interviewing travelers on what makes the ideal hostel visitor. Below are the top 5 most common answers.
- Night Time is Quite Time (No matter how much fun you’ve had out there) – 7 p.m. to 8 a.m., a hostel should have the same vibe as a library. If you come back at a late hour and think you’re being quiet enough, be a little more quiet. There are a lot of light sleepers out there. Doors are a huge noise maker. Open them slowly and close them like there is an egg resting by the door frame and you have to close the door so the egg won’t break but hold the door open. Late at night in a dorm style room, all conversation should be done outside the room. No bedside chatting. Even whispering can wake up your bunk mate. If you have a private room, wait until you get to your room before you start chatting, and when you do start chatting, make sure its a light whisper. Sleep is key for traveling, so help make sure your fellow travelers get plenty of it by not waking them up.
- The Right Kind of Social Butterfly – The staff of a hostel can be your best advocate in a foreign land. They are their to help you . Since they most likely live in the city you are visiting, they can give great advice on whereto go and where not to go. So make it a point to introduce yourself and be comfortable with the staff. Making friends with fellow travelers is a fine art and takes a lot of social awareness to do it the right without bothering others and/or threatening your safety. Best advise we can give on making friends with fellow travelers is to be polite, smile, and look for social queues on whether someone is up for a chat or just wants to be left alone. Making friends with fellow travelers is a great way to learn about where to go in not only the current city you’re in but all around the world. Just be sure to not give to much personal information about yourself or where you’re going to strangers.
- Keep it in Your Pants – We’re all adults here and we understand grown ups tend to like certain grown up activities. There is a time and place for everything. Unfortunately for traveling lovers, a hostel dorm room is almost is never “the place” for sexy time. However, if you have your own private room, then by all means make the magic happen, but keep the symphony down so the neighbors can sleep. For those out on the prowl, be respectful. It’s totally normal to notice other attractive guests, however, it’s not ok to be pushy, aggressive or crude. Last but certainly not least, make sure you know your hostels guidelines on guests and sleep overs. For example, certain hostels do not allow guests to bring in other non paying guests. So when you’re out and found a new friend, know that it might not be ok for them to sleep over.
- Self Hygiene, Odors and Other Bodily Things – Warm showers are one of life’s simple pleasures and a lot of times we wish they would never end. In a hostel everybody (at least we hope!) needs some time to clean or primp themselves. There might be some debate on this next point, but anything over a 15 minute shower, is rude. Get in, get out is always best policy in a shared bathroom situation. Another good rule to follow is, unless you’re naked or using the toilet, you can probably do whatever needs to be done outside the bathroom. Now onto non body related odors. The fun stuff! Food is smelly. While you might think your fish covered in curry sauce with a side of Kimchi is delicious, others might not share your same taste in fine dining. If the hostel your staying has a fridge, keep your leftovers in there with your name on it. If there isn’t a fridge, then it’s probably best not to bring meals back to the hostel. Stick with the the dry snacks and make sure to close/ seal any bags, cans, tops, etc. after you’re done snacking.
- Be Prepared – This is a pretty general tip, but it kind of brings all the other “pro” tips together. If you’re a light sleeper and know that even a pin drop can wake you up, make sure you have a pair of ear buds. Also, the sun is a very bright and powerful star. It doesn’t care that you are sleeping. That being said, bring an eye mask. It will not only block out the inevitable dawn of a new day, but will prevent amateur hostel goers from waking you up when they turn on the lights at 2 a.m. Air Freshener – Remember the Self hygiene section of this article? Well air freshener can be used for a lot of unwanted smells. One or 2 sprays should be enough, don’t go crazy with it. We could go on and on about what things you should bring while staying at a hostel, but each traveler has their own needs and for many travelers it’s important to travel light. So next time you’re staying at a hostel and think to yourself “I wish I brought this” write it down for next time.