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Top 10 Tips for Surviving Hostel Life!

If you’re new to backpacking or even if you are a seasoned traveler it is always good to get some tips on how to survive hostel life. Backpacking and staying in hostels is one of the best ways to travel and meet new people. But there are definitely a few tricks to help your travels go smoothly. 

  1. Label your food! Clearly!

In every hostel you stay in don’t forget to write your name on your food! You may think that everyone will know what they have and haven’t bought. But if you leave you’re food unlabelled on a shelf or fridge- it WILL GET EATEN!! 

2. Keep an eye on the Free Food Shelf

You’d be surprised what people leave behind and what goodies you can find on the free food shelf! A full tub of honey, a tin of beans, so many spices, a whole jar of coffee…. Sure beats those pot noodles you’ve been eating for the last week! 

3. Have a shower bag/ shower cady! 

I appreciate that this may not be the coolest way to head to the shower. But I can guarantee you that if you take lose bottles into the shower you will at some point forget one. You’ll slip back into your homely habits of thinking you are the only one using the shower. But I can tell you now… when you go back 30 minutes later your shampoo will have magically disappeared… and ‘noone’ will know where it went! 

4. Keep your area clean

Keep your bag and bed clean and tidy! Not only is this nicer for your room mates, but it will make it harder for you to lose things! When a hostel has 20 new people in and out a day the last thing they want to hear is ‘I think I lost my charger at your hostel a week ago- I’m not sure where though!’ 

5. Don’t forget that you’re sharing a room

Try to be a courteous room mate and not annoy everyone in your room. This means no drying your hair at 6am in the dorm, because you have a bus to catch. Or trying to find your charger at the bottom of your super noisy plastic bag at 1am because you’re a little tipsy and forgot to charge your phone earlier. 

6. Take clothes to the shower 

Now this doesn’t have to be a full outfit, but ladies take a sarong or a dress to chuck on once your squeaky clean. And guys take some shorts and a singlet maybe. This will save you trying to tip toe across the hostel in your towel.. Or as I’ve seen some guys do run across the courtyard in their tightie-whities. You may think it’s an inconvenient extra thing to carry to the shower but this sure beats having to put your dirty clothes back on to keep your dignity. 

7. Have your own earplugs

When you’re sharing a room with several other people, you never know who you’ll be with. Some hostels will have earplugs for sale, but having your own will be a god send. This will save you from listening to the sleep talker have a conversation with their imaginary friend or from having to endure the snorer who sounds like they’re channeling a lion. 

8. Embrace the art of napping

Living with lots of people, all on different schedules is not always the best for your sleep pattern!  Some people want to party until a crazy hour of the morning, some want to go on an epic adventure and get up at 5am, some read with their light on until 1am…You get the picture. So nap away! Early afternoon is always the best time as this is when everyone else is out and about and the hostel is nice a quiet! 

9. Take an empty pillow case!

This is the perfect (quiet) solution in the mornings. When you’re in a rush and for some reason, even though you got everything into your bag the day before, it now does not fit! You can throw the few little bits into the pillow case and then tie it to the outside of your bag! Ta- dah! Instant extra space.

10. Socialize!

After all this is the reason you pick a hostel over a hotel or apartment. It can sometimes be daunting to walk up to a group of people, but everyone is here for the same reason. So even if it’s the icebreaker of ‘what is the WIFI code,’ or ‘what do you recommend doing around here,’ jump in and meet some new humans- there are some amazing people out there! They may just be your friend for one day or you may find a life long friend!

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