I came to the realisation not long ago that the travel content on my blog was rather limited and there is a reason for this. I have not travelled anywhere in far too long. University commitments and lack of funds just keep getting in the way. None the less, I thought I’d create some travel advice content whilst I wait for that day when someone will just pay me to travel the world and not look back. Any takers? I’m PR friendly… I promise! Anyway I thought I’d start the advice with 10 things you should never do when staying in a hostel. I haven’t seen all of these happen but you’ll soon gather why I don’t see them to be hostel appropriate!

Number 1 – Do NOT leave the lights on

Do not be that annoying somebody who is the last one in at night and then forgets to turn the lights off before getting into bed. No one wants to have to get up and turn it off, especially when you’re half asleep and laying on the top bunk! This also goes for turning the lights on in the middle of the night. FUN FACT: in most dorm rooms you will have a personal light that is more than enough for when you decide to stay up all night reading a book. This also goes for turning the lights on at an appropriate time. If you have to be up at 5 am to catch a flight, how about having your stuff ready the night before so you can go change in the bathroom, gather your stuff and leave? That’s a smart idea you heard first from EarthtoConnie. Believe me, this is revolutionary to some!

Number 2 – Pack your bags the night before

Following on from my last point, if you know you have to be up at a ridiculous time in the morning to leave the hostel -please, please, please pack the night before. Being woken up with the rustling of bags in the morning is not fun for anyone. I will curse under my breathe if you do this to me. You are allowed a reasonable amount of rustling in the morning however if I roll over and spot you with your whole case unzipped and you’re reorganising the contents, then you may also get some eye rolls too!  You probably are thinking I must be a nightmare to share a dorm room with, but I promise I’m not. I’m only passive aggressive, you’ll barely know I’m there.

Number 3 – Keep the music to a minimal

Travelling and staying in hostels are so much fun. You will meet so many people and to some extent it’s perfectly acceptable to play music in a hostel. The social area is perfect for this and perhaps during the day in your dorm room too. But… you do need to be considerate of other people when you decide to play music. Are they sleeping? Reading a book and minding their own business? Remember they may be staying in a hostel and visiting the city for different reasons to you. They’ve probably paid the same amount of money as you and so just be respectful.

Number 4 – Do not demand anything

This is a bit of a weird one, but I’ll explain. I’ve stayed in a hostel and was sleeping on a bottom bunk (because who really enjoys sleeping top bunk?) It was possibly my third night in the hostel and so I was settled and had a place for all my stuff. We had a new roomy that day and within five minutes of entering the room and introducing herself she essentially demanded that she have my bed and I take the top. I felt so uncomfortable and avoiding confrontation I just agreed to it. I know every culture can be different but with no please and thank yous, this is particularly rude and inconsiderate. We didn’t speak since this incident and what annoyed me the most was that she was only there for one night only. Could she not have roughed it on top bunk for one night?

Number 5 – Find an appropriate place to leave your stuff

There is an unwritten rule as to where you leave your stuff when you’re staying in a hostel. For the most part, it is common sense. Top bunkers have the priority of the space underneath their ladder, there is a reason for this. If they’re going to accidentally jump down then at least it’s only their stuff there that might get damaged. Also, it makes sense for the bottom bunkers to have their stuff laid next to them on the floor. When you sleep it will be right next to them, I dunno about you but I wouldn’t want to be climbing over someone else’s stuff to get out of the bed in the morning. I hope this makes sense, I’m far too lazy to draw a diagram of what I mean for you.

Number 6 – Do not leave your laundry in the washing machine

If you are travelling for extensive periods of time, you will have to do laundry. Most hostels have laundry facilities however chances are they will only have one or two machines. Therefore, when you do your laundry you need to know when it’s ending so you can get it out of the machine asap. There’s nothing worse than an overly polite person avoiding doing their laundry because there’s some wet clothes left in there. No one wants to leave the clean clothes to smell damp on top of the washer, but no one wants to be waiting for your return. If you’re travelling the last thing you want to do is wait by a washing machine all day.

Number 7 – Have some personal boundaries!

This shouldn’t need to be a thing that is written in this post but unfortunately it needs saying. This hasn’t happened to me but it’s happened to people I know. It’s been the middle of the night and they’ve been woken up by two people having sex in the same room. I mean, why would anyone do this is beyond me. So yeah, I think there’s nothing more to be said on this…

Number 8 – Do wear clothes… Please?

Again, another odd one but there are people out there who aren’t ashamed to sleep naked. I’ve not experienced sharing a room with someone like this, but yet again I’ve heard these people are out there. I’m all for embracing the human body, but there are just some things you do not want to see first thing in the morning – or ever at all!

Number 9 – Sleep on the floor and then scare someone

Okay, this one is from a personal experience and I cannot explain just how odd waking up to this experience was. I have actually written a separate blog post all about this bizarre experience which you can read here. It is the second episode in my travel seriesThis one time…‘ and I can honestly say it was one of the most bizarre things to have happened to me… This is probably not a common occurrence (I hope anyway) but I thought I would include it just in case you feel the urge to do this.

Number 10 – Be the know it all

We’ve all met that person in a hostel who proceeds to tell you how they left there home town decades ago to find themselves and has no intention on returning anytime soon. They know everything about everything, and even though you didn’t ask them too they decide to give you a complete history lesson of the city you’re currently staying in. Did you just find all that on Wikipedia? Honestly, everyone is just going about their travels and no one needs their trip judged to be a holiday and not ‘real’ travelling. These people are the worst. Do not be these people!

Apologies that this post has become rather long – I didn’t know just how passionate about this topic. Perhaps I have a lot of built up aggression to all these annoying people I’ve experienced in hostels. I promise you I will write something more positive about hostels soon, I didn’t realise how pessimistic I was being. Staying in hostels are fun above everything else and I hope this hasn’t discouraged you from budget travel. Comment below if you have had any horrible hostel experiences that are actually quite comical! 

Want to write a travel story for my blog, contact me and I’ll be in touch with more details! 




  1. Love this post! As someone who has stayed at many a hostel I can relate a lot to all of these, except the someone sleeping on the floor! I have yet to experience that one!!

  2. I haven’t stayed in a hostel in years since I last travelled! I love the balance of info and humour in this haha x

  3. Love this post! I have not stayed in a hostel (yet), but I’ve been looking into some! It seems like common sense but sometimes we all need a little reminder!

  4. I’ve stayed in a few hostels and can relate to a lot of these. People coming in late and making a lot of noise was another bug bare of mine. Great post.

  5. Great list, fully agree on each item. I would also add: do not spend an inane amount of time in the bathroom, especially if the hostel has just a handful of showers/wc for dozens of people. There are people who are leaving soon or need to catch a tour and can’t wait for you spending half an hour in the bathroom (emergencies excluded of course).

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