10 Hostel Etiquette Tips — Travel like a pro
1. Respect Your Hostel Mates
Personal space is a real thing, people. As hostels are generally pretty small community living spaces, it’s easy to find your personal stuff making its way into other people’s designated areas. Try to be mindful of your own property.
It’s pretty common for hostel guests to nab up small things that don’t belong to them, be it food items, cleaning products or otherwise. Don’t be the guy that steals or uses stuff unsolicited.
2. Introduce Yourself
Be social! Staying at a hostel with complete strangers doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience, and most people are willing to swap adventure stories.
Anyone who’s ever stayed in a European hostel knows that some of the coolest people you’ll ever meet in your life happen to be sleeping above you on the top bunk.
3. Pin Down Your Travel Plans Ahead of Time
Understand the Eurostar transportation system before you set foot. You don’t want to be the guy showing up at the hostel before the crack of dawn because you got lost on the rail.
It’s okay to ask your hostel mates for help navigating if they seem willing, just respect no one is sharing the room with you to act as your personal tour guide.
4. Keep Everything Spotless
If you’ve ever had roommates before you know how frustrating coming back to a trash heap can feel. If you don’t want to elicit the ire of your temporary roommate(s), keep your area of the room immaculate. Keeping your own stuff clean also sends a message to others that they should follow suit.
5. Limit Time in the Shower
There’s few things worse than having to wait to address your personal hygiene on account of someone else — make sure you extend the same courtesy to your hostel mates when it’s your time to shower. This isn’t a resort, it’s a shared living space!
6. Don’t Act Like a Cliché Tourist
It goes without saying that a certain percent of hostel guests are tourists, and while it’s encouraged to be social, don’t present yourself as a naïve tourist. Having stars in your eye can dangerously make you a target.
Overly excited tourists can easily irritate their hostel mates by asking too many questions and sharing personal adventures — remember, some people are here to take a break from their travels!
7. Abide By a Realistic Sleep Schedule
A pet peeve to most hostel regulars is mates who don’t respect a realistic sleeping schedule, fumbling their way into the room at all hours of the night. As a rule of thumb, don’t arrive to your hostel at an unreasonably late hour or depart exceptionally early if you can help it.
8. Pack Early
If you think you’re going to get much sleep in the early morning hours at the average hostel, you’re going to learn a valuable lesson. With so many people traveling, new guests are arriving early and recent guests are shuffling their way out the door.
While it’s unrealistic to expect everyone hanging back at the hostel to sleep in total peace, pack your stuff the night before as a common courtesy — especially if you’re toting any plastic bags. Plastic bags create a lot of noise that virtually no human could sleep through.
9. No Foul Odors, Including You
Hostels are small spaces and anything that smells bad — including you — is going to smell terrible. You might think you’re being thrifty by not washing your clothes or taking regular showers, but really you’re doing everyone around you a major disservice.
10. Keep Your Digital Addiction in Check
It might feel like a real thrill for you to use your social sites from a European hostel late at night, but we promise your mates will not share the same enthusiasm as they’re trying to sleep. Second to snoring, the clicking of keyboards and bright lights from computer screens are a chief complaint among hostel guests.