Hostel Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts For Being a Good Hostel Mate
No one likes a bad hostel roommate. You know the type: smelly, messy, rude. The guy that spreads his stuff out all over the room, the guy who doesn’t understand personal space, the guy who doesn’t understand personal hygiene. The guy who doesn’t understand hostel etiquette.
Don’t be that guy.
When staying in hostels, a little etiquette goes a long way towards being a good roommate. All it takes is a few manners, a bit of compromise, and a little common sense. But how do you know whether or not you’re being a good roommate or a bad roommate? While hostels often have rules and regulations, the rules of hostel etiquette are often unspoken.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are some of our dorm room etiquette tips for being a good hostel mate.
Hostel Etiquette — Dos and Don’ts For Being a Good Hostel Roommate:
DON’T Make Noise in the Middle of the Night
A bad hostel roommate will come back to the dorm in the middle of the night and make noise. He’ll turn on all of the lights, open his locker, rummage though his belongings, hold conversations, fart, and even masturbate if he thinks no one is listening. A bad hostel roommate will wake everyone up without any care.
DO Be Considerate When Your Roommates Are Asleep
If you come back to your dorm room and others are sleeping, be mindful not to make too much noise or do anything to disturb. Don’t turn on the lights. If you need to get into your locker to put your bag away or grab something do it as quietly as possible. Invest in a headlamp if you need light. Finish your conversations before entering the room. And, for the love of God, don’t masturbate in your dorm bed. Even if you’re confident no one can hear you, you’re wrong.
DON’T Hog the Hostel Amenities
Hostel amenities are for everyone, but a bad hostel roommate will claim them all as his own. He’ll spend all day on the one working hostel computer even though there’s a line of people waiting to use it. He’ll use every burner on the hostel stove to make his gourmet ramen dinner. He’ll spend all day in the bathroom, using up all of the hot water. He’ll fill his backpack up with all the free morning toast to save some for later.
Hostel amenities are for everyone! Limit your time on the hostel computer if someone else wants to use it. Don’t take up the entire kitchen or hog the bathroom. And please, leave some breakfast for the rest of us.
DON’T BORROW or STEAL
It should go without saying, but don’t borrow or steal from anyone else in your hostel. Just because someone left their phone charging under their pillow doesn’t make it fair game. It might be stupid of them to do, but it’s still wrong to steal. Don’t take someone’s guidebook without asking. And don’t use the shampoo or toothbrush someone is storing in the bathroom while staying there.
DO Leave People’s Things Alone
If you see someone’s phone or laptop laying out, suggest to them that it’s not safe to leave valuables out in a hostel. Make sure you pack everything you need, like toiletries and a hairbrush, so you won’t feel the need to take someone else’s. And if you’re desperate to check out your bunk-mate’s copy of Lonely Planet, just ask!
DON’T Have Sex in the Dorm Room
Bad backpackers will have sex in a dorm room.They’ll come back in the middle of the night (or middle of the day!) with some foreigner they met on a pub crawl and go at it on the top bunk. They’ll be noisy and awkward and wake everyone up trying to drunkenly orgasm.
DO Not Have Sex in the Dorm Room
Nobody wants to hear you have sex. And if you were sober you would probably realize how embarrassing it is for a dorm full of strangers to hear you prematurely ejaculate while she’s faking an orgasm. Just don’t have sex in a dorm room. (If you must, check out Zach’s tips on where else to have sex in a hostel.)
DON’T Leave a Mess
A bad hostel roommate will spread the fuck out. He’ll leave his backpack wide open on the floor for anyone to trip over. He’ll leave his dirty towel on YOUR bed. He’ll leave his garbage on the desk and his stinky shoes in the middle of the room. He’ll leave all of his toiletries and his gross shower flip flops in the bathroom and not in his locker where they belong.
DO Clean Up After Yourself
Hostel etiquette says that you should clean up after yourself in your dorm room. Keep all of your belongings locked away in your locker. Throw out your trash. Keep your stuff confined to your own bed. And don’t leave things in common areas.
Bad backpackers snore.
DO Not Snore
Good backpackers do not snore.
DON’T Wake Up Everyone to Pack
Bad hostel mates will wait until early morning to pack up their bags before an early flight or early checkout. They’ll rise up early while everyone is still asleep, turn on the lights, open their lockers and rummage through all of their things. They’re loud and noisy way too early for anyone to be loud and noisy.
DO Pack The Night Before
I know, 7am flights are a bitch. But that doesn’t mean you should wait until 6:59am to pack. Save your roommates the early wake up call and save yourself a little stress by packing the night before.
DON’T Use the Snooze Button
A bad backpacker will set his alarm for the time he thinks he should wake up. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button. And then hit the snooze button.
DO Set Your Alarm For the Time You Will Wake Up
No one in your dorm room wants to wake up to your German techno alarm clock even once, let alone once every ten minutes for three hours. Set your alarm for when you want to wake up and either wake up at that time or give up on the idea that you will ever leave bed.
DON’T Ignore Everyone in the Hostel
Don’t bury your face in your laptop all day, don’t wear headphones all around the dorm, don’t ignore the guy in the next bed because you can’t understand his accent, and don’t only talk to the people you’re traveling with.
DO Make Friends in the Hostel
You’re staying in a hostel. And hostel etiquette calls for you to be social when staying in a hostel. So put away your laptop, take out your headphones, and say, “hi.” Or at least nod at that dude you can’t understand.
There you have it, the unspoken rules of hostel etiquette. As long as you’re a bit conscientious you won’t have to worry about pissing of your fellow backpackers and, in turn won’t have to worry about them pissing in your shampoo for revenge…