This post is brought to you by Sleep Advisor.
Are you joining the waves of people from around the world who are flying the nest, breaking free from their hometown, and heading off to experience the trip of a lifetime when you travel the world? If you, like most, want to soak in all that is authentic about a backpacker’s travels, then living it up in some hostels is a staple part of this path.
Hostels are a melting pot of cultures, backgrounds, activities, and most of all; fun! It doesn’t hurt that they happen to be good for your wallet in terms of cost, as well as opening many chances to meet new, like-minded people.
As with staying in any multi-occupancy place you book to stay in there will be rules, and understanding hostel etiquette may be a new thing for you.
But it’s never too late to learn! Here are some tips on hostel etiquette to stay away from the title of ‘most annoying person in the dorm’ during your stay:
#1: Be respectful
Respect is paramount as part of your entire trip in a foreign place and you must keep up at least a minimum level of respect by adhering to the ground rules when you stay in a hostel. Ask your hosts if they have certain rules that you must follow and make sure to stick to them so that your stay is never in jeopardy.
Even when following the rules, you can definitely still have a good time — just don’t let yourself down and be the person everyone wishes would just leave.
#2: If the food’s not yours, don’t touch it
Most hostels have shared kitchens which inevitably means that there will be food stored in them. An easy way to annoy people is to take other people’s food and then eat it in the dorm.
There’s a two-pronged issue here. First of all, don’t take food that isn’t yours. Second of all, you’re better off eating in places where people aren’t trying to sleep. You don’t want to be waking anyone up when they could be trying to rest up before long trips or early starts.
Also, crumbs tend to attract bugs, so do everyone a favor and keep your sleeping area food-free!
#3: Be sure to clean up after yourself
If you don’t want to be cheered out of a hostel when you leave, remember to keep your things tidy and clean up after yourself.
Basic hostel etiquette dictates that this isn’t your own personal bedroom, and you need to respect the fact that you can’t leave your belongings strewn out across the dorm room. Lead by example and make sure that if you are getting stuff out to use, that you put it away again when you’re done. People will generally follow suit, or at the very least, practicing this basic level of hostel etiquette means that won’t be ‘that’ person!
It essentially boils down to common courtesy. If you make any mess, just clean-up to help everyone else enjoy their stay; you’ll make more friends that way.
#4: Be quiet
Speaking of things that are common, common sense prevails here, and while no one expects you to be tip-toeing about the place in the daytime (this includes when people are napping), there is an unwritten acceptance that during the day, dorms are fair game. Nonetheless, as soon as the clock chimes around 10/11pm, it’s time to take the noise levels down a notch, because, well, people are trying to sleep!
Sleep is essential for rest, recovery, mood, and general well-being, sleepadvisor.org states, and these are just a handful of the reasons why we all love sleep. Who are you to refuse someone of their ability to sleep? You wouldn’t like it if someone disturbed you, so don’t inflict this annoyance on others.
It’s not going to make you any friends if you wake others up in the middle of the night when you fall through the door drunk and start chattering. Dorms are for sleeping, and there are other rooms you can use for talking.
In the bigger-occupancy dorms, you’re never really going to get pin-drop-type silence, which everyone will (should) have a fair understanding of. But if you’re still disturbing those wearing earplugs to sleep well, then you’re just being selfish.
#5: Please, no plastic bags!
Having to hear people pack their stuff up before they leave is annoying enough, but is still part of hostel life. However, if you want to stay off the annoying list and follow proper hostel etiquette, don’t go rustling plastic bags that you have with you to carry your belongings around.
These bags make so much noise and are a massive pet peeve for weary travelers. Don’t be surprised to hear someone shout over to you if you don’t take this advice to heart!
Ideally, you want to think about packing your plastic bags up the night prior to leaving your hostel as, quite simply, there is not one single way you can make a plastic bag quiet!
#6: The no sex rule
Lastly, don’t fornicate in the dorm rooms. It’s just gross. No one is there to listen to that kind of thing go down, so take it elsewhere so that your dorm-mates don’t have to hear anything they shouldn’t have to.
Final Thoughts: Hostel Etiquette: How to Be the Least Annoying Person in the Dorm
Hostels make for wonderfully cheap accommodations that make travel more affordable for the average person. It’s important to realize that in a shared space, it’s not just about you — you need to be conscious of everyone else around you.
What would you add to our list of hostel etiquette tips? Let us know in the comments!