Staying in a backpacker’s hostel for the first time can be quite an intimidating experience, particularly for those who treasure their privacy or are shy of diving into the social deep end. On the other hand, a great hostel can be an excellent place to socialize, share travel stories and meet new friends for a night out on the town. They’re not just for penny-pinching youth these days. All sorts of independent travelers, including students, couples, families and even retirees are booking budget bunks and rooms in these types of communal lodgings all over the world. You’ll want to come prepared though, so here are 10 hostel survival tips to help you preserve your sanity and enjoy your stay.
1. Bring Ear Plugs
A hostel dormitory can be a nightmare for anyone who’s a light sleeper. From loud snoring to bunkmates rustling through their packs to people going in and out of the room throughout the night (drunk or otherwise), the hostel life is rarely very conducive to a solid eight hour snooze. For this reason, ear plugs are an absolute must, unless you’re the kind of person who can sleep through almost anything. Eye shades can also give you a sense of privacy.
2. Pay for a Smaller Dorm
While a larger dorm with more beds is generally the cheaper option, it is often worth paying an extra couple of dollars to be in a room with just three or four beds. You’ll get a much better night’s sleep if you’re only sharing with a handful of other people. If you’re traveling in a group, it is also much better to have a room to yourselves while still paying hostel prices.