For a couple of you wondering, hostel living is something you have to do before you get old.
Before you have kids and you can’t survive without shoving them into a Best Western Chlorine pool only to get rewarded with “HES TOUCHING ME” and “STOP THAT” while they play with their siblings. You can’t do that shit in a hostel, so do it now while you’re young and you have the energy.
Here’s a few tips and tricks about hostel living, so you can enjoy your 20’s à la sans kiddos.
What are hostels?
Hostels are a basically a cheap hotel. Some of them REALLY cheap. It’s a way to spend less on accommodation and more on what you actually want to do: Travel.
There are a few different kinds however, so do your research first.
I tend to seek out hostels with a bar/pool/activity center. Trust me, this helps time go by in the evening if you are looking for something to do before bed that won’t cost you money.
The most common style for hostels are Dorm bedding, this means you can share a room with potentially up to 50 strangers. This is awesome if you want to save a ton of money (hostels vary from $5/night to $15/night usually) and if you want to meet some cool people. It isn’t so good if you want privacy, because you’ll be lucky is your bed comes with a privacy canopy. Sometimes dorms are co-ed and they almost always have shared bathrooms and showers, some of these are also co-ed.
Another option of hostel is private hostel rooms. These are the private rooms that are located separately in the hostel. This is probably the best option for couples because the room is private and usually comes with the option of a private bathroom. The downside of private rooms is that they usually range from $20/night to $60/night. It’s still a hell of a lot cheaper than a hotel though.
If you’re reading this, and still freaked out from the fact that I non-chelantly said co-ed bathrooms are pretty normal. Calm down. Most hostels have very clear rules about sexual harassment and most of them are zero tolerance. They take that shit seriously and will kick you out immediately when you cross the line to inappropriate. If you’re still concerned, stick to same sex dorms. They might just be a few bucks more a night.
What do I need to know before booking a hostel?
- Do your research. Honestly I’ve tried booking on other sites, but HostelWorld app is the easiest to use and have the best prices.
- If you are only booking for a few days and want to save a few bucks, I suggest getting a hostel with a freebie breakfast, this will save you lots of trouble in the morning! If you are staying a little longer, look for a hostel with a communal kitchen, that way you can shop for food and make your own meals. Just remember to write your name on your items. Unspoken rule is if you’re name isn’t on it, it’s communal. I hate this rule though, just don’t touch other people’s stuff, especially if you know it ain’t yours.
- No matter what, find a hostel with a locker available, it gives you peace of mind when you’re going about your day outside of the hostel. Sure, most people going to hostels are easy going people like you but there are assholes everywhere in the world.
- If you are in a humid country , please for your sanity, get a hostel with a pool or at least very easy access to some sort of ocean or lake.
What do I bring??
- Pack a backpack. Don’t get to a hostel with your $600 Kate Spade suite case. Be practical here.
- A towel! If you’re going somewhere with no AC or very humid, I suggest bringing a microfiber or fast drying towel.
- Toiletries. Hostels usually forgo the cheap shampoo my dad always steal. If you’re curious his collection is up to 300 mini bottles that he will never use.
- Earphones. Earphones. Earphones. Did I fucken mention earphones?
- You might be sleeping with up to 50 people in one room along with all of their snores. Enough said.
- I have stayed at open air hostels. This means you are on second floor and there are no walls. The breeze feels amazing at night, but you get all the sounds from outside. And the fucking rooster that will wake up at 4 am with his fucken roosterness.
- There is strong possibility that there might be a bar in your hostel, and there might be parties at night. I suggest you join, but if you want to be a prude… sleep with earphones. I say earphones because you should be listing to music, sometimes simple earbuds aren’t enough for the Sunday night bar crawls that just by luck happen to be in your hostel bar
- Flip flops. You’ve been to camp. You know what I mean
- Bedding, if you’re staying for a long time. Hostels aren’t like hotels, they usually won’t make your bed and they will only change sheets between guests, if you’re there for a while, bring a flat sheet, a mattress sheet and a pillow case. Unless you’re in a really cold country, don’t bring a comforter, most hostels don’t have A/C and you’ll die from your ass sticking to the sheet. Don’t bring the comforter, the poor thing will end up on the floor.
- A lock .No matter what you should lock your pack, so just use that same lock for your provided locker
- A water bottle .Most hostels will charge $00.20 to $2.00 to refill your water bottle with purified water. The last thing you want is to have a runny shit attack in the middle of the Mediterranean. Drink all purified water. TRUST ME ON THIS.
- A good book . Some hostels are cool enough to offer a book exchange so you can read books from all over the world, but if not, claim a hammock on a lazy sunset and read that John Green novel you’ve been wanting for a while. Little tip, a Kobo is a nice gift to ask your mom for Xmas and you can carry hundreds of books in your bag at once.
Whatever you decide, just remember to have fun. Life is short so make friends all over and keep an open mind. Hostels are like summer camp for big kids. Enjoy it while you can because soon enough you’ll be at Disney land with a three year old crying on the floor because her brother stepped on her foot and she’s going to die.
Go to a hostel for fucks sakes.