Five Hostel Rules You Don’t Need to Follow

Five Hostel Rules You Don't Need to Follow


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The best parts about hostels: the drinking, the people, the community.

The worst part about hostels: the hostel rules.

All hostels have them, those laminated sheets of paper taped up all over the common room, all over the bathroom, and all over the dorm rooms telling you what you can’t do. What you can’t do? We travel to get away from the rules of our society, so why let a hostel give us rules?

The truth is, you don’t actually have to follow most of the rules that are posted in your hostel. Here are five of the most common hostel rules that you don’t have to pay any attention to.

Check out by 10am.

Every hostel has a check out time: the time you have to crawl out of bed and frantically stuff all your stuff back into your bag and pay your bill by only to stick that bag in storage and take a nap in the common room until your overnight bus. But check out time is just a suggestion. Sure, if your hostel’s check out time is 11am you probably can’t check out at 11pm. But an hour or two late? Who cares. Most hostels pick an early check out time knowing that no one will check out until later anyways. So sleep in, you’ll be fine.


Hostel Quiet Hours
Do you really need to keep quiet?

Be quiet after midnight.

Most hostels have quiet hours for those lame travelers who go to bed early and don’t want to experience what traveling is all about. But those travelers are just going to wake you up at 6 in the morning when they wake up, turn on all the lights, and pack up to take some tour. So why should you be quiet for them? If you’re in the common area of the hostel, be as loud as you want, whenever you want. Who is going to stop you?


Don’t bring in your own alcohol.

Hostels tell you that you can’t bring in your own alcohol so they can up-charge and sell you their own. But why would you want to pay hostel prices when there is certainly going to be a 7-11 or bodega across the street selling it for much cheaper? Just sneak it in in a backpack (or use one of these clever flasks for hiding alcohol) and no one will ever notice.


Don't flush your toilet paper. But who will know if you do?
Don’t flush your toilet paper. But who will know if you do?

Don’t Flush the toilet paper.

What’s with all these hostels telling you not to flush your toilet paper? By the end of the day you just get a stinking, disgusting, can full of shit-smeared tissues. It’s rank and you can smell it from down the hall. Just flush your toilet paper. No one will know.


Don’t bring in drugs.

Hostels are usually insistent that you not bring in drugs (though there are a few exceptions, some actually encourage it). If you’re at one of the former, don’t worry. As long as you’re discreet, no one will care. And if you’re caught you’ll probably just get a slap on the wrist. Just find a quiet corner and you’re all good.


What hostel rules have you broken?

Hostel Rules You Don't Need to Follow


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Five Hostel Rules You Don't Need to Follow

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2 responses to “Five Hostel Rules You Don’t Need to Follow”

  1. As a hostel owner, I find this article seriously useless and disrespectful towards our work. We set rules so that we can keep our small businesses alive and let you and other travelers keep enjoying inexpensive stays around the world.
    We set a check out time so that the person for which we pay a monthly salary and social secutiry taxes has the time to clean and prepare for new check-ins. Usually there’s just 1 hour between check-out and check-ins and, believe me, changing sheets on bunk beds, cleaning bathrooms, kitchen, common rooms etc. is not that easy and fast, expecially if the hostel is overcrowded due to people that don’t feel like waking up on time just because they think they can rule the world.
    Same goes for the quite time. We do have “lame travelers” as you call them, who want to go to sleep early but, you know what, we get paid to give people a place to SLEEP! And those “lame travelers” tend to leave bad reviews on booking sites if the place they paid to SLEEP can’t guarantee a minimum sleeping quality, and bad reviews mean less guests, and less guests means having to shut down the business. I reccomend going to a party hostel if late parties are your thing.
    As for the alcohol and drugs, in our case it’s simply illegal. We have to make sure we can keep our guests safe, or do you like the idea of sharing a room with drunk or drugged people who don’t have control over their actions towards others?
    About flushing the toilet paper.. most of the times there are 2 reasons: 1) the pipes are too small to handle big amounts of waste, so you could end up having to deal with a flooded toilet as soon as you flush and 2) ecology. Depending on the area, drains bring the waste directly to the sea. If you’re on holiday and like the idea of diving into currents of toilet paper, wipes and tampons, then go for it!
    That being said, my last advice is, if you don’t agree with something, ask the hostel staff to explain the reasons behind those “stupid house rules”. If you still don’t want to accept them, maybe you chose the wrong hostel and it would be better to just pack up and go find a hostel where respect towards the guests is not a priority.

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