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expatben 03-03-2008 12:25 AM

the unwritten rules of hostel life
For the benefit of people who have never stayed in a hostel before and are perhaps worried about the dos and don'ts I thought we could share some advice and give tips on how to stay in a hostel and not have your dorm mates through your clothes out the window and hate you ;)

Elizabeth 03-03-2008 12:39 AM

I can't think of a time when anyone did something that bothered me or was rude in a hostel. Really I think its just common courtesey.
I am a violator of this rule :hypocrite: ...DON'T hog the shower/bathroom, especially if there is a low bathroom-amount of people ratio.

Edit: One time this Irish stag party was sharing the dorm with some other people, myself included. So anyway when other people were sleeping (9-10 AMish) they were loudly discussing the drunken craic that occured the previous night. Such topics included: Birds and bowel movements; seriously we got treated to a story about how one of them couldn't make it to the toilet so he defacated outside the hostel on the pavement...nice! So yeah...DON'T act like you're part of a stag party.

freespiritz 03-03-2008 12:49 AM

First things that come to mind are...

DON'T be the plastic bag rustler at 5 a.m.!!

and DON'T TAKE A DUMP AND PISS in the middle of the dorm! (yes this has happened, no it's not cool)

Maybe I'll actually think of something more useful to say later. ;)

lauren313 03-03-2008 01:18 AM

Please DO NOT forget your dorm key, come back at 3am, and start tapping away at the door until someone (i.e. ME) gets up to let you in. And if someone does let you in, remember to say thank you (how rude!!!).

If you're gonna sit in your bunk at night playing on your laptop (which bugs me in itself, I hate the light), remember to make sure the volume is off before you turn the computer off... a massively loud "shutting down" tune has jolted me out of sleep on a few occasions.

MolsonGirl 03-03-2008 01:41 AM

Don't Sprawl out of your bunk area.... when your luggage looks like it's exploded all over the room you've gone too far. keep your stuff in a close proximity to your bunk.

And of course the classic hanging of the towel for sexy time situations.

expatben 03-03-2008 01:53 AM

Not keen on any sexy situations when you're in a dorm think of it like that noise a shutting down lap top makes only louder and longer. If you hook up get a private room or something like that. But thats just me.

MeTurk 03-03-2008 08:42 AM


Originally Posted by lizz (Post 180901)
Such topics included: Birds and bowel movements; seriously we got treated to a story about how one of them couldn't make it to the toilet so he defacated outside the hostel on the pavement...nice!

It's surprising how common that is in Ireland. :lol: I have a friend who thinks nothing of taking a shit whenever the mood hit's him (after drinking) and he has no shame when it comes to telling everyone about it (sober) and how he had to rip the jocks off to wipe his arse.

I take hostels as they come, I wouldn't really ever complain to much about noise because I've been responsible for it myself on occasion.

omisan 03-03-2008 09:03 AM

* Do NOT turn the lights on if the majority of people in your room are sleeping. If you need to get back really late or get up really early, please bring a small flashlight (torch).

* If you need to use an alarm to wake up in the morning, kill it immediately and do what you're supposed to do: GET UP! Don't keep hitting snooze for an hour.

* For fuck's sake, don't smoke in a non-smoking room, tobacco or otherwise. Also, don't eat if the hostel says no eating. Some places may be nice, but by geographic location attract bugs or mice. The rule's there for a reason!

freespiritz 03-03-2008 10:26 AM

Si, I usually pack a headlamp or little LED keychain for use when I need to find stuff at night without blinding the entire sleeping room by turning on the lights.

Dig 03-03-2008 10:27 AM

--Pack the night before if you are going to leave early in the morning.

--Don't yell in the hallway after the usual bedtime.

--Don't hog the computer if there is a line, unless you have paid for the time.

joe7f 03-03-2008 10:55 AM

Anyone catch that Hwei answered Si? Hehe ;)

Anyway, one thing I try to do is talk to everyone in the room to see when they are planning on getting up. Sometimes you will have an 8 bed dorm with a group of six planning on a 7a wake up. If you are flexible, try to get up with them.

If you are in a group, beware of the clique factor. It is tough for solo travelers to join a group that is somewhat large and that has been together for a few days.

LED flashlights/torches are best because of their ridiculous reliability.

All that said, bring ear plugs and sleep masks if you are a light sleeper.

Good thread Ben!


expatben 03-03-2008 12:46 PM

Thanks Joe!
These replies reminded me of my last night in this hostel in Berlin. Not sure what time it was but we are all sleeping and this dude comes in with a surf board and crashes a bit. He then turns on this light but it aint small and begins to look for his bunk. Now, he had just checked in meaning his bed was not made so he made more noises setting that up...yeah...:dry:

Ditto also on the clique factor. I was traveling alone in Berlin and I tell you, it made it a lot better because of the totally awesome people at my hostel. A group of friends on their way to Prague totally let me in on their fun and introduced themselves-even inviting me to join them!
Man, hostels can really rock hard!:cheers:

hurr111 03-03-2008 12:58 PM

The light late at night was a killer for me. I don't mind the 5 minute turn it on, get your stuff together turn it off deal...It is the 30 minute turn it on, unpack/pack make the bed, etc, etc.

Also, if you have a watch don't have it beeping every hour, lol. I forgot about that one.

Don't put your stuff on someone else's bunk.

LostFarmboy 03-03-2008 02:44 PM

Try to stick to all of the rules mentioned here, but expect most of them to be broken by others and some by yourself. If you want perfectly behaved room mates and dead silence at night - get a private room.

If you do choose to stay in a dorm, be realistic. Not everyone is perfect or even considerate, so be prepared for annoying sleep disrupting things to happen - pack ear plugs. At the end of the day you're on holidays, so just chill out and go with it. Tolerance is the key to a successful dorm life. Optimism is the key to a fun holiday.

BigE 03-03-2008 06:10 PM

Thank God I am Deaf and I don't mind the ladies walking around in their underwear. I do hate the lights turned on at night and remembering your keys or door code helps when coming in drunk at 3:30 AM.

I think the most important rule is to be nice and friendly. I can put-up with the most annoying habits of my dorm mates if they are friendly and considerate. I'll even loan my toothpaste if they ask. Life is hard enough and going on the road to backpack and see the world is an adventure we can all share, that is, if we enjoy ourselves.

Also, it does help to ask a shy and quiet travelor if he or she would like to join you or your group.

mollymore 03-03-2008 07:07 PM

I've never stayed in a hostel but expect to. Thanks for the tips =)


aliz 03-03-2008 11:06 PM

one rule I just thought of (that I thought was pretty frickin obvious):
if there is a towel, or a bag, or a sleeping bag, or a pillowcase or all of the above on a bunk in a dorm, it means it's taken. somebody slept there last night and they intend to sleep there again. don't just move all their stuff to the bunk right next to the door and get into their bed! I'm talking to you, spanish guy in Berlin!!! he actually took my pillowcase off the pillow and threw it on another bed. who the hell does that??!!

mish99 03-04-2008 12:25 AM

These are great tips!

spacedog 03-04-2008 07:44 AM

I stayed at the hostel in SF for a concept art workshop - two of the other girls in my room were also there for it, and so we had similar schedules... the third woman was a total nutbar though. I was a hostel newbie, and so hadn't brought earplugs.
She listened to U2 and The Police all night on headphones, turned way, way, way up... and stole my pillow every day... aaaaaa.

Learned my lesson, though. Earplugs, my own pillowcase, and rubberbands to shoot at misbehaving dorm mates. Maybe a watergun...?

expatben 03-04-2008 09:00 AM

I used an MP3 player myself loaded with TV shows on music files to sleep. I find that it creates a nice white noise and drowns out any snoring or other noises.

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