Hostel etiquette- how to make friends & not get kicked out
Hostels are the perfect place for students to rest their head while travelling. Cheap, sociable, and good fun- it’s no surprise we flock to them when on the move. Following Hostel Etiquette will ensure your stay is as fun and food-stealing free as possible!
Walking into a hostel is a little like walking into a student common room. There will be someone slobbed out in the middle of the room, sleeping like a baby. There will be a handful of people on various electronic devices frantically tweeting/Skyping. There will be at least one drunk person. Everyone will be wearing a hoody, for some reason.
To navigate your way through this minefield of awkward silences upon arrival- take the plunge and introduce yourself immediately. You may not see any of these people ever again, BUT, they may turn out to be those awesome strangers who invite you out on their barcrawl later- which will obviously be the best night of your life. Hostels are great for meeting great people you’d never have known otherwise, take the first chance to befriend everyone.
Make the most of all the free stuff. Free maps, free wifi, free showers. Travelling can be expensive- mostly because all the little things add up. Most hostels have a collection of things other guests have left behind over the years- so stop being squeamish and use up that toothpaste from 2009- it beats paying for your own.
In light of the previous nugget of advice, DON’T STEAL. Seriously, just don’t. Stuff lying around is not yours for the taking. Ask permission if you want to use someone’s Nutella. Don’t assume no one will mind if you help yourself to their shower gel. You’d be seriously annoyed to find that some light-fingered guest has made off with the orange juice you’ve been craving all morning. Don’t be That Guy.
On the flip-side, if you find yourself the victim of having your milk pinched, don’t be afraid to say something. Casually mentioning it to the receptionist/whoever doesn’t make you a snitch- it just makes you slightly less cool. But you’ll feel like you’ve done something, and the sulking session will last a lot longer otherwise. If you know 100% who’s taken something of yours, ask them about it. If not, keep schtum. Kicking off because you’ve lost some shampoo is an overreaction, so pop it into perspective and move on.
Stick to the hostel’s rules. If they say curfew is at midnight, you’re going to have to turn down that final cocktail at 23.56 and head home. Being locked out is not fun, and you risk having to bed down on a park bench instead. If they say you only have an hour on the communal computer each, abide. Finding yourself booted out, or even just on the bad side of the staff, could have a real negative impact on your trip. And make sure you clean up your own messes- only fair!
The golden rule in Hostel Etiquette is simple; Be. Quiet. There are people in the bunk next to you who are recovering from a 29-hour journey, and are more jetlagged than you could care to imagine. Let them get their sleep, or face their wrath. Some people have early trains to catch, and you drunkenly locking yourself out of the room at 4am is plain rude- so shut your faces and you’ll stay on the right side of their favour.
Really, it’s just about standard good manners. Being courteous to staff and other guests will ease your stay- and you could end up being best mates with these guys. Part of the fun of staying in hostels is the relaxed atmosphere, so enjoy it!