Being considerate of fellow travellers in hostels is one of the easiest things to do, and yet some people still manage to get it wrong. This is my take on how to be kind to your fellow travellers and also make some friends at the same time just by being an awesome human being and following these simple rules of etiquette.
These suggestions are by no means in any order, but each should be taken with equal importance.
Hostel Etiquette Rules
Observe quiet times.
Although not always possible try to ensure lights are off and noise is kept to a minimum between the hours of 11pm-9am. That means no conversations above the quietest whisper, the amount of people who have full volume conversations between these times is outrageous.
Be ready for bed.
If you’re arriving during this time make sure you’re ready for bed before you get into your dorm room, stash your bag, by all means have a shower but hit the sack as soon as you get in the room. I recently came back from a night out to find one backpacker unpacking they’re bag whilst using their laptop at 3am, they also had the main lights on, not only is this extremely disrespectful to your fellow travellers but honestly it just makes you a bit of arse! Yes you paid for the room but so did the 7 other people who are just trying to get a good nights sleep.
If leaving early ensure you’re packed with everything ready for a speedy and quiet departure first thing, no one likes the person who gets up at 5am zipping and unzipping a million bags whilst also rustling plastic bags.
Don’t be a dick.
If you know you’re going out partying or out all day and are going to be back in the middle of the night prepare your bunk and everything you need before you go out, that means chargers, night clothes the lot, no one wants to hear you rummaging through your bags or messing about with your padlock to your locker at 4am.
Clean up your shit.
Do not empty the entire contents of your bag in front of your bunk and leave it there for the duration of your stay, fine if there are certain items you need regularly but no one needs to have to climb over your shit to get to their bunk.
Keep the bathrooms clean.
Don’t leave your crap all over the bathroom, everyone else has to use it too and no one wants to look at your hairy bar of soap or dirty underwear.
Engage with solo travellers.
Solo travellers don’t all find it easy to meet new people, and some hostels don’t have the common areas to facilitate this, if you see someone on their own, invite them along to things you’re doing, the worst they’ll do is say no, but they may say yes and that could mean an even more interesting time for you.
Be aware of the people around you.
Conversely to number 7, by all means say hello and start a conversation but sometimes people don’t want to be disturbed, get better at reading body language, it’s not hard to spot when someone wants to be left alone for the day.
Don’t be selfish with AC.
Agree on an air con temperature during waking hours, 21 degrees is usually pretty good for everyone, most people don’t like it warmer, some like it colder, but if you arrive after the majority of the people are asleep and decide you want it warmer, tough, get under your covers and warm up that way, sleep in your clothes, do whatever you can to warm up personally, cooling down is no where near as easy, 25 degrees is not an acceptable temperature if everyone else in your room already has it set before you arrive.
This may have been a little curt, a little straight to the point, but I guess it’s a subject that I feel very passionately about, it literally takes no effort to be considerate of others and yet so many still have a problem with it. Don’t be that guy!
Do you have any etiquette rules you think I’ve missed? Have I been too harsh? Let me know in the comments below.