Because, we need them!
In all my stays, there is always that 1 person who is absolutely oblivious that they’re in a shared living space and I’m sure that at some point through all my stays, I’ve been that person too. So, here are some basics everyone must be aware of before starting their Hostelling journey. Keep these handy as you prep for your next travel adventure.
- Carry a small torch: I can’t stress how important this is. From looking for your last cookie in your bag at night to finding you way to your bed at 4am when everyone is asleep. This little torch will help you even when your phone battery dies!
- Don’t rummage through bags , especially plastic, at night: If you’ve ever meet a hosteller, they’ll tell you how annoying it is when someone decides to unravel all their stuff and organise it in the middle of the night. Those pesky plastic bags you store your slippers or toiletries in make noise louder than what most can ignore or tolerate. Move out of the room if you really need to organise at 2am!
- Don’t leave your reading light on if you don’t need it: Yes, it’s your personal little light but please turn it off when you’re out/not in need of it. It can still pierce through your curtain to that poor traveller across from you who just got in after a 30 hr flight.
- Don’t get your dirty shoes into the room, alternate them out with slippers. If you don’t have a clean pair, ask the hostel folks for help.
- Don’t dry your wet towel on someone else ledge. Coming back to your room to find a wet towel/swimsuit on your side of the ledge can be both annoying and just plain gross! Keep your towel drying limited to your side of the space if you really need to or ideally, find an alternative for that outside.
- Don’t be loud! Goes without saying, right? You’ll be surprised how loud some people are in shared dorms. Don’t be that person.
- Don’t be on the phone We love taking time to connect with loved ones back home in our downtime at the hostel, but doing that (loudly) from your bed may not be ideal for your fellow boarders. Pick the common area, kitchen or even right outside the room if you need to.
- Don’t be too intrusive Most people in hostels love to connect with others and are always happy to start a conversation or head out for drinks. But, there are many who like their space or just need a break. Pick up on cues and don’t be over bearing. Let others carry the conversation if they’re up for it. Knowing when to step back isn’t just a hostelling skill, but it sure is needed here.
- Day time = Night time : While rules are a little relaxed during the day and you can turn the lights on/mingle in the dorm; know that there is always someone in your room who hasn’t adjusted to the time zone or is recovering from a long hike or a middle seat plane ride. Be kind and keep the noise to a minimum inside the dorms. Take your mingling to the common area!
- Clean up after yourself!: Yup, it’s a hostel. Not a hotel. Used a cup, clean it. Ate a snack, throw the wrapper. Had a beer, discard the bottle (correctly). Read a book, keep it back.
Do be kind, generous, welcoming and warm. Hostelling is all about meeting new people, sharing the journey and finding new paths along your way!
Those are some of mine, what are your etiquette 101s?