If its your first time staying at a hostel the experience may seem somewhat daunting, sleeping in the same room as a bunch of strangers with only one bathroom between 10 people! (If your lucky). Once you have stayed in a few you will wonder what you were ever worried about. hopefully in this post we can give you some tips on what to take with you and how to get the most of your stay.
It may also be worth taking a look at our post, 10 Tips To Make Sure You Don’t Annoy Others Staying At Your Hostel.
Keep an Eye on Your Belongings
There have been occasions when I have stayed in hostels and things have unfortunately been stolen, which has usually down to people leaving their valuables lying around. Its unfortunate but I would recommend keeping any electronics, money, passports and anything else of value in your locker when you are not in the room.
Most hostels worth their salt will organize activities of some kind for their guests, unless you are dead set against a certain activity I would always encourage you to take part. This can be anything from a walking tour, games night, pub crawl or cooking a meal, all of which are excellent ways to get to meet others staying in your hostel.
Choose the Right Room
There are a variety of rooms available in most hostels, anything from 4 to 24 beds, some single sex and others mixed. Its important to know where you would feel most comfortable, for example some female travelers may prefer a female only dorm. Regarding room size I would say that larger dorms are usually cheaper, although the more people in the room does increase the likelihood of there being someone who snores or decides to come back drunk at 5AM. The decision is yours!
Don’t Just Choose the Cheapest Hostel
Although many travelers simply choose to stay at the cheapest hostel they can find, this might not always be the thriftiest option. Although another hostel might be a little more expensive, it might include breakfast and also be close enough to all the major places you want to visit saving you money on food and transport costs. As well as this you should also check out what facilities what sort of reputation the hostel has as these can make or break your hostel stay.
Flip-Flops, Sandals or Thongs? Depending on where you are from in the world one of these should make sense! As you can imagine in a hostel there are a lot of different people coming and going you don’t want to see people walking round bare foot, especially in the bathroom as this can lead to the spread of a variety of fungal foot infections. I’d even recommend using them in the shower, just be sure not to wet the rest of the dorm on your way out.
Ask for Recommendations
The staff at your hostel may have lived in the city their entire lives or may have just worked at the hostel for a few weeks, either way they can have fantastic recommendations to help make your trip even more memorable. This could be about something specific such as where to go for dinner or more general questions on things to do, either way advise from locals are invaluable.
Take a Padlock
Almost every hostel I have ever stayed at provides lockers for you to secure your belongings, although most of these require a padlock. This is something cheap that you can easily pick up before your trip, i’d recommend a combination padlock (so there are no keys to lose) with a shackle no thicker than a pencil.
Most of All, Enjoy Your First Time Staying at a Hostel
Hopefully our tips for your first time staying at a hostel as given you an idea of what to expect, if there is anything you are still unsure about or perhaps you have a tip of your own then leave a message in the comments.