15 hostel dos and don’ts

Last modified on February 19th, 2015 at 10:15 am

January 16, 2015

We gave you the chance to get some of your hostelling pet peeves off your chest, and give your fellow dorm guests a few handy tips for being the best room-mate.

  1. Don’t be the late night rustler

“DO get your PJs ready before you head out so if come in late you’re not rustling around waking everyone up”Yvonne Barber
  1. Do carry a little torch when you go out at night

With a flick of a light switch, you could begin the lights on lights off dorm war; a common source of hostel tension.
  1. Don’t take Skype calls in the dorm room

“Backpackers arrive at all hours of the day and night and the last thing they want to hear after an eighteen hour boat ride is you talking to your dog ten thousand kilometres away.”Jono Cusack


  1. Do remember to consider personal climate preferences

Not everyone enjoys relaxing in a freezing tundra:
“Don’t open the window if it’s below 50°. This happened a lot in Germany. It’s cold. It is in no way ‘refreshing’.” – Danielle Lynn


  1. Do be mindful of other peoples’ schedules

“Be mindful of your roomies working nights/early mornings, always good to check to see if anyone has an early or late start so you don’t annoy anyone by accident.” – Lucy Francesca
This also means packing up your stuff the evening before you leave to make sure you don’t become another famous hostel dorm foe… the late night/ early morning rustler.
  1. Do be considerate of all room-mates, human weaknesses and all

“No farting”Christofer Rippo Yngvesson
Agreed: serial snorers, those suffering with a sniffle, thunderous farts waking the entire room and then knocking everyone out again with a powerful odour, are all awkward dorm problems. Victims – remember we’re all human. Culprits – ‘excuse me’ goes a long way, as does remaining confined to the bathroom for a while, or laying off the late night refried beans.
  1. Do buy some earplugs

Just in case rule 6 gets that little bit too difficult.
  1. Don’t forget your manners

We don’t want to sound like your mum but a smile and polite acknowledgement never hurts, even if you are dying of jet lag.
  1. Do share experiences

If you’re the frustrated vegetarian, the one who got lost for an entire day trying to navigate your way round the back streets, or you stumbled across an amazing local eatery no one seems to have heard of – help out the newbie.
  1. Don’t hog the power points

“Why not use a multi plug point so that others can jump on?” – Lucy Francesca
  1. Do put your dishes away

‘The signs all say “Clean Up After Yourself. Your Mother Doesn’t Live Here”, but it would seem that the last step of cleaning up, putting away, is entirely neglected.’ – Jono Cusack


  1. Do leave the romance at the dorm room door

When travellers are on the road, sparks will inevitably fly, but remember that yes – everyone car hear the ‘shoosh’ing, the giggling, and any other noises. You can bet your room-mates will be reaching for the popcorn or getting super annoyed, so keep it classy and find another location. If you’re the victim of bunk love noises, maybe unleash a show stopper from rule number 6.
  1. Don’t be the dorm room slob

Leaving your bag exploded across the floor, dropping half-eaten food everywhere, leaving items on other peoples’ beds. We’re all a bit messy at times, but keeping your mess confined to one area is a must to make friends.
  1. Do reach out and introduce yourself

Whether you’re on your own, or travelling with friends, hostels are always a good time to branch out and meet new people. Stop only having eyes for your best mate or your significant other, push yourself out of your comfort zone and involve that guy who just arrived and looks a bit lost.
  1. Have fun!

Hostelling is all about being considerate but it doesn’t have to be a military operation – remember you’re there to get to know your roomies, bond with different people and embrace new experiences.


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