Deadly Travel Sins – What Not to Do When Staying at a Hostel

Hostels are a fantastic style of accommodation, especially for budget travellers. They offer very affordable dorm rooms with shared bathrooms and communal kitchen facilities, so that you can stay cheaply and cook your own meals. The main advantage of staying in a hostel is saving money, but the hostel environment also has the benefit of being very social and giving you the opportunity to make friends during your stay.

Of course, when you are staying at a hostel it is important to be considerate of the other people and to behave in a respectful way. Make sure that you avoid these terrible hostel sins, so that you won’t be the person in the hostel that everyone hates. Here are some useful tips for staying in hostels!

Tips for Staying in Hostels: The Don’ts

Taking Forever in the Shower

Many hostels have more guests than they have showers, so when everyone is getting ready in the morning some guests might have to wait. If you are getting ready in the peak time of the morning, make sure that you limit your shower time to less than 10 minutes so that other guests don’t have to wait so long. If you need to take a long shower and wash your hair, shave, etc. it is better to do it in the afternoons or evenings when fewer people are waiting for the shower.

Tips for Staying in Hostels: Shower Head
Shower Head: Photo credit Nicole-Koehler / CC 2.0

Packing Your Bags While Others Are Sleeping

Perhaps you have to leave at 5am to catch your train – and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, packing your bag at 4:30am while everyone else in your dorm room is trying to sleep is an absolute no-no. You should always pack your bag the evening before if you have an early departure. Or, if you forget you can simply take all of your items outside of the room and do the noisy packing in the hallway or the common room.

Stealing Food

This is one of my biggest pet peeves when staying at hostels – and it has happened to me many times. There is always the chance that someone in your hostel will eat your food, perhaps because they are on a tight budget or simply because they were drunk and hungry and too lazy to go out for their own food. Don’t be the person who does this – no matter what the reason. Its theft, plain and simple and incredibly rude.

Make a Mess

When you check into your dorm room you will be given a bed and a locker. Make sure that your personal items stay within your locker or a very small radius around your bed. When you let your stuff spread out all over the room it will be in the way of other people and it will make the entire room cluttered and messy.

Tips for Staying in Hostels: Messy Hostel Room
Messy hostel room: Photo Credit Katie Brady / CC 2.0

These are just a few tips for staying in hostels that you should remember, out of respect and kindness for your fellow travellers.

About Kelly Dunning


A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run, packed full with travel guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style for the last three years, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.

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