How to have the Best Hostel Experience

It’s not always the most attractive option, but staying in a hostel can be great on the wallet and for meeting new people.  It can be very good value if you are travelling alone since there is no one to split the room with and it is often a good deal in larger cities where a downtown location can run upwards of 200$ a night.  However, hostels can also leave a lot to be desired depending on where you are staying.  After staying at hostels across Canada, USA, and Europe here are my tips to surviving and thriving in a hostel.

 RESEARCH: Just because an accommodation is cheap doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be clean and safe.  Make sure your check what reviews say and if it seems to good to be true, it often is.  Clean and basic is what you should expect, and hope that your expectations are surpassed.
EAR PLUGS & EYE MASK:  If you are a light sleeper than these are a must.  You are sharing a room when people will be coming in and out at all hours of the night and they will be tempted to open the main light.
HEADLAMP: To avoid being one of those people who open the main light for 20 minutes when I get in late and most people are sleeping, I always bring my trusty head lamp.  I love it because I can easily get around the room without tripping over anything, I can search through my locker for my pjs and I know my fellow roommates are thankful that I am discreet.
ZIPLOCS: The great advantage of a hostel is that they will generally have a full kitchen and fridges where you can store and prepare food.  While you will fine plenty of dishes, food storage of left overs and staples is more difficult.  I love Ziploc because they take little space in my bag, are light weight, and are great to put left overs in and bring as a snack or meal
FLIP FLOPS: Shared showers, enough said.
LOCK: Since the room is shared, each individual has a locker (bigger than those from high school!) where you can store your personal items, bring a sturdy lock to make sure you keep things safe.
GOOD ATTITUDE: It sounds silly, but being friendly and open-minded can make everything so much better.
BOOK SMALLER DORMS:  Most hostels offer anywhere from 4 to 24 beds in a room.  Usually the smaller the room, the more expensive it is.  In my experience, 4 to 6 beds for room is a better experience unless you are travelling in a large group.  While more intimate, I find it so much less disruptive and chaotic.

Do you have any tips for staying at hostels?  Is there a hostel that you would recommend? Share in the comments below!


Do you want more travel tips?  Check out these posts:

An Introduction to Haggling

Money Tips to save up for Travelling

5 Common Travel Mistakes


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