Budget travel would not be complete without the budget accommodation that we require to keep us in the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed.
The places we either love or hate, where we meet our new travelling mates, old friends from back home, clubbing buddies, future partners, flatmates and in some cases our future spouse.
By spending less on our beds we hope to spend more on experiencing the local culture. In the following paragraphs there are a Hostel Tips For First Timers to make that budget bed all the more bearable.
This post contains certain sets of Amazon / Booking.com Website links to help you in your planning. I am given a tracking link, that when a potential buyer clicks through on that link and makes the purchase, I am given a small percentage of the end cost.
I need you to know that if you click through my link, no extra cost will be added to your final price just because I get a kick back. In fact, in many cases, you’ll probably get a discount for clicking through my links.
First Important Hostel Tip - Open Your Mind
When it comes to first time hostel tips is always be prepared for anything.
The quality of a budget accommodation hostel is not necessarily measured by the creature comforts it provides, like high pressure hot showers or cable TV, but more by the people, the staff and fellow travellers that make your time there, however short, more memorable.
Anyone who has invested an extended amount of time living in close quarters with other human beings will understand the physical and mental adjustments that come with it.
You find out just how tolerant you really are and work out new ways to make it survivable with your budget accommodation.
Don't Be A Prude
You may have shared a bedroom with a sibling as a child but that does not really compare to sharing with possibly, for the first time, the opposite sex and from two or three people up to 20 or more.
Most travellers just beginning their travels would be shocked and horrified at the thought of dressing and undressing in front of an audience.Let alone putting up with all the assorted habits of a diverse range of roommates.
But after a few months on the road however it all becomes second nature when it comes to budget accommodation.
Hostels Have Changed Over The Years
Now, there has been a real renaissance in the European hostel industry recently with owners realising there is no longer a benefit in providing substandard type budget accommodation.
The backpackers will vote with their feet and now thanks to the internet with their fingers. Any traveler will now tell the rest of the world to avoid the place like the plague.
Occasionally though you will find a bunch of individuals willing to tough it out in cramped rooms, less than sanitary bathrooms and downright scary kitchens purely for the social atmosphere. They like who they are sharing with.
A single-sex dorm is usually the first choice for many first timers, but don’t be fooled. Even those you would consider to maintain a reasonable standard of communal etiquette can turn out practically feral.
Make Use Of The Safety Deposit Boxes
Ok, not every roommate is a thief. We would like to believe all our fellow travellers are just like us. Travellers out to see the world, make new friends, experience new cultures and customs, find new horizons and for the most that is correct.
Nearly everyone you will come into contact with will have a similar attitude to travel as you and would never cheat a fellow backpacker. However, there is a minority out there that can make it unpleasant for the rest of us.
If you are staying somewhere with a pretty transient clientele, people arriving and leaving every five minutes put all the valuable stuff behind reception for peace of mind. This hostel tips and tricks makes sense when going out.
Only take what you’re going to spend. Most places have safety boxes for free or a small fee.
Sharing is Caring
Small dorms are preferable over large ones even if they are more on the expensive side of budget accommodation.
You get to know who you are sharing with pretty quickly, and roommates are potential gold mines for additional travel information.
Sharing with partiers can also be a bonus. They usually know where all the fun is going on.
Bring A Large Towel
For those trying to maintain any kind of privacy hanging a sarong(ladies) or large towel(ladies or gents) from the bunk above as a curtain is one option, provided you are on the bottom. The sarong is definitely preferable as it is light to carry.
And if you only take a tiny travel towel that sprint to the bathroom for a shower is made a little easier if you can wear the sarong as a wraparound. It also doubles as shower curtain in some places. It is a very versatile piece of material.
This is one of the tips about hostel life that I like sharing to others that are worried about privacy.
Wearing Flip-Flops In The Shower
Most places will make sure the showers are cleaned at least once a day.
But when you consider the high numbers of people using them as well coming from all over the world there is a risk eventually of coming into contact with a foot fungus.
Not particularly fun nor easy to get rid of.The flip-flops keep your feet off the floor and hopefully farther away from any risk of catching some fungal nasty. There is fungus among us, so this hostel dorm tip is essential for those who will be on his/her feet all day exploring.
For those who are light sleepers or become homicidal axe wielding maniacs at the sound of ear drum splitting snorers ear plugs.
Brilliant on long haul flights as well these things may just save your sanity if the guy in the bunk above sounds like a chainsaw on full throttle at four in the morning.
This is a slight disadvantage in regards to hostel living.
Carry Some Kind Of A Pocket Knife
In this age of tightened airport security this may sound like the wrong advice but if it stored in your checked pack into the hold it should be ok.
Some hostels have kitchen facilities but may lack in some vital utensils. Tin openers invariably never work, sharp knives aren’t, and sometimes even something as simple as a teaspoon may be non-existent.
A pocket knife with a decent blade length and can opener is invaluable. One of the backpacking hostel tips that can save you in the time of hunger.
Take Your Own Padlock
Some places have lockers but rent out the padlocks.
You may also want to consider some kind of backpack chain to secure the pack to the bunk if there is no locker and you don’t trust where you are staying. This hostel security tip is a must even when you are in large touristy areas where thieves pray on the unexpected.
There are some fishing-net like chains specifically designed for packs available, fairly lightweight and they fit over your entire pack or case.
Just don’t lose the keys.
Not the one pictured above, I am talking about an elastic rope that can extend out to make a clothesline or curtain rail.
Great if you have to do hand washing and can’t get to a dryer. It only needs being about 1 metre long and preferably with clips or hooks at either end.
If you want budget accommodation, you need to keep in mind this handy tip.
Sleep Sheet & Pillow Case
Most budget accommodation hostels provide linen now for an additional charge. Linen can even be included in the price but where this isn’t available it is handy to have a sleep sheet.
Some stores sell sleep sheets already made that are treated to prevent bed bugs or you can easily make your own by stitching a double sheet down one side. This is one of those hostel tips to avoid bed bugs. Yuck!!!
Smaller and lighter than carrying a sleeping bag and easier to wash, it is ideal for travel in the summer through hot destinations. A pillowcase can be useful for making a pillow by stuffing it with clothes if there isn’t one and can even make do as an emergency towel.
Accept Those Differences
Hostels come in all shapes, sizes and styles. There can be good and bad hostels in large and small destinations.
A large and popular hostel in the city may have less atmosphere than a tiny pension in a remote village. You may find the bar, party crowd and DJ downstairs impossible to leave after a week.
You could also discover the cool Aussie, South African and Canadian friend you’ve been sharing a room with for a month want to go see the pyramids in September when you want to go and they have transport.
You may even learn your roommate has more questionable personal habits than your own. All of these experiences serve to teach us more about ourselves. This is the best hostel tips I can share with you, you never know unless you just let go.
Hostel Tips For First Timers - Bonus Tip
My last point is not a tip but the eleventh commandment, thou shalt not have any noisy plastic shopping bag of any sort in your backpack.
Even the most mild mannered, easy going and placid individual will be itching to heave a meat cleaver between the ears of someone rummaging inside their plastic bags, especially if it is at 5 am in the morning and all they can hear is the demented rustling of the plastic.
If you must insist on having, the wretched thing at least drag the pack into the hallway to find what you are looking for and leave your roommates to sleep in peace. They will thank you for it.
Rant Over. 🙂
Keep these in mind and whatever you discover through your hostelling experiences, about yourself and the rest of your fellow travellers, the good and the not so good, they will all remain an unforgettable part of your travelling adventures.
#hosteltips #hostellers #hostellife #hostellife😍
Airbnb / Uber
If you are looking for other ways to save money on accommodations on your next trip, I would suggest Airbnb.
If you are not an Airbnb member yet, join Airbnb with this link to accept Trent’s invite to join Airbnb and you’ll get $45 CAD off a home booking of $95 CAD or more and $17 off an experience of $63 or more.
Also, Join Uber with this link to $5 off the first ride.
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