Travel Tips: Top 5 Tips for Hostel Living

So, you’ve graduated! Or maybe you’re a little older, and you’ve decided that before you hop out into the wide world of adulthood, you want to spend a little time seeing the real world. There are tons of ways to do it, but in order to do it on the cheap, you’re going to want to stay in a hostel. That said, there are other ideas, of course, like Airbnb, but hostels are undoubtedly the best (read: cheapest) way to see the sights no matter where you’re going.

Hostels are no longer the grab bag they once were. With the introduction of Yelp and TripAdvisor, you’re basically going to know what you’re getting into before you get there. That takes us to our first tip!

  1. Check Out the Hostel Before You Book

Look, we’re all familiar with checking out Yelp before we go to a new restaurant, why wouldn’t you check out your hostel on Yelp! Reviews and pictures are the way to go here. If the hostel you’re interested in looks nice and has a ton of great reviews, go for it. Don’t get turned off by a bad review here and there; some people are picky. If you’re fairly easy-going, you’re probably going to have a great time.

  1. Come Shower Ready

Hostels are basically college dorms, and you wouldn’t get into your shared shower in college without flip-flops on would you? You never want to catch something off of a hostel floor, so just come prepared. Also remember that most hostels are fairly bare bones (they’re cheap for a reason), so bring or be prepared to purchase small bottles of toiletries. Nowadays, some hostels are very well stocked with their own bars and little shops, so don’t worry too much about it. That said, it never hurts to be prepared.

  1. For Goodness Sake, Just Use the Lockers.

If your hostel comes with lockers, use them. They often either cost nothing or are available for a small fee, and that fee is worth it to know that your passport and money won’t be stolen while you’re there, trust us. While people who are comfortable living the hostel life aren’t the kind to rob you blind, it certainly doesn’t hurt to be a little paranoid with the most important document of your life while abroad: your passport. Additionally, you can’t drink to lament the loss of said passport if your money gets stolen, too.


  1. Make Friends

Hostels are tailored made for meeting new people. We’ve met people we still talk to years after our hostel experience. You’re all there for some fun on the cheap, so be open to the possibility that you’ll meet some new friends along the way. Like we said before, hostel living is basically dorm living, and we’ve all made friends in the dorms. Plus, you’re going to meet all kinds of people. You might meet a German in Uraguay or a Spaniard in Prague, and these chance encounters give you the opportunity to craft new stories and experiences. Helpful hint: a smile goes a long way!


  1. Make Sure You Follow Basic Etiquette

Sorry for all the dorm comparisons, but they hold true. If you wouldn’t do it in a dorm, don’t do it in a hostel. Don’t use other people’s things. If it’s 2AM and you come back to your hostel (drunk), keep the noise down and try not to disturb your fellow guests. Everyone needs a break from the vacation at some point, so don’t interrupt theirs. Don’t turn on the lights, use a small reading light or the light from your smartphone. This is probably the easiest tip to follow; think about what you would hate in a roommate and don’t be that.

Image VIA: Monkey Nap Hostel