Hostel Etiquette: 13 Tips for Staying in Hostels

mazebackpackers - 13 Tips for Staying in Hostels

For most people, staying in a hostel is a great experience. Central location, easy on the wallet, and the chance to meet new people and have awesome adventures. However, it only takes one party pooper to spoil it for the bunch.

If you’re not particularly experienced in hostel travel, it’s essential you learn dorm room etiquette. Best of all, it doesn’t matter which corner of the globe you’re visiting, these hints are universal.

1. Clean your dishes

Hostel kitchens are shared spaces. It’s up to you to keep them tidy and clean up your mess. That means thoroughly washing and drying any plates, cutlery and kitchen items you use. Basically you want to leave the kitchen in the same condition you found it.

2. Leaving early? Go quietly

Got an early flight to make? Pack and shower the night before, that way you can slip out early without disrupting your bunkmates. Using an alarm is fine, just keep it close at hand so it’s not going off for too long. Even better, use vibrate mode or get a fitbit, these are great for waking you up naturally.

3. Getting in late? The same applies

There’s nothing wrong with partying to the early hours, and with so much to do in Sydney, you’ll probably stay out past bedtime on more than one occasion. Just be mindful of your roommates when you do return. Don’t turn on the lights (use your phone torch if you have to) and keep noise to a minimum.

4. And don’t expect a sleep in

A hostel is a space for rest and recuperation between exploring new horizons. Most folks are going to be up and at it before 8am, so don’t expect the blinds to be shut during the daylight hours. If you really need some extra winks, consider earplugs and a sleeping mask. They’re sure to come in handy on your travels. If you really want some privacy, ask reception about upgrading to a private room.

5. Take the party elsewhere

It’s basic etiquette not to have a party in someone’s bedroom. Hostel dorms are shared spaces where everyone is entitled to privacy and security. Throwing a party in the dorm room deprives your roommates of their space.

Remember, different cultures have different ways of handling conflict, so just because no one is complaining doesn’t mean you’re not infringing on their peace and enjoyment.

6. Be swift in the bathroom

Shared bathrooms aren’t the place to dilly-dally. Get clean and get out is usually the best policy. Make sure you wear flip flops in the bathroom for both your own health and that of others.

If you need extra incentive to get a move on, remember, there’s so much to see and do on your travels, you don’t want to look back on the trip and wish you spent less time in the bathroom.

7. Don’t eat food that’s not yours

It goes without saying that anything not clearly labeled complementary isn’t for sharing. Lots of hostel guests prefer to cook their own food, and for a number of very valid reasons:

  • Dietary reasons
  • Budget
  • To remind them of home
  • To enjoy a home cooked meal every now and then

We have lots of of FREE food events at the hostel to provide you with added value for money.

So be respectful of your fellow guests and don’t eat something that isn’t yours. Never take food from the dining area to rooms, as food on carpeted areas will attract cockroaches.

8. Branch out and be courteous

If you’re travelling in a large group try be mindful of guests that are on their own or in small groups. Try to live outside your comfort zone, talk to other people and make friends. It will add to the experience and open you up to new ideas.

9. Be open to diversity

Hostels are melting pots of cultures nationalities, religions and beliefs. Be open to both the opportunities and challenges that can bring. A good mindset for proper etiquette when dealing with diverse experiences is to recognise that you are all guests at the hostel, all in search of something similar – a great travel experience.

10. Keep it tidy

Sure sometimes you need to empty out your pack to find your passport or favourite pair of sunglasses, but general etiquette says to keep your belongings packed away neatly so it’s easy and safe for people to move around the room. This will also help housekeeping to clean your dorm.

11. Ditch the plastic bags

Try to avoid using plastic bags to hold your things. They are noisy and can distribute other roommates when they are sleeping. Swap the plastic out for cotton and hemp bags which are more reliable, environmentally friendly, and don’t rustle in the middle of the night.

12. Respect the complementary offerings

Most hostels have free food sections where other travellers have left some items to share and some have a complimentary food events. Just because something is free doesn’t mean to have to take it all. Just use what you need to ensure there is plenty left for everyone else.

13. Don’t ask to ‘borrow’ personal items

While it might seem harmless to you to ask a dorm mate if you can borrow a possession, like a comb or some sunscreen, it’s best practice to wait to be asked. Not every culture is comfortable with sharing personal items like toiletries, so remember to be mindful of this.

Choose the right hostel

For a top tier travelling experience you need to choose the right hostel. At Maze Backpackers we offer everything you need for a pleasant stay in Sydney, at a price you can afford. Check out our awesome hostel for the best budget accommodation in Sydney. We love our guests, and we know you’ll love Maze too.