Budget Travel How to surive in a hostel Living

Published on December 1st, 2012 | by admin

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How to Survive in a Hostel Living


A hostel is essentially a college dorm with rows of high bunk beds and shared bathrooms. At hostel, you share rooms with travelers you don’t know. But the enjoyable thing is that you are staying in a friendly and brightly painted hostel in the middle of a major foreign city for just $20 a night. However, to get that cheap rate you have to share a dorm with two to thirty strangers. That is definitely not a fun thing to do, but with a little preparation and the right attitude, survive in a hostel living can be achievable and the benefits of huge savings can far outweigh the hassle.

Hostel from Mullingar

Hostel from Mullingar, ©paulhami

The benefit of staying in a hostel is the low cost. Usually it’s a fraction of the price of a hostel’s private room and a lot less than the cost of a standard hotel room nearby. The downside is the noise. The fact is that people may snore, talk, turn the lights on all night, arrive at the room very late, get up at the midnight to catch a 3 a.m. train, or even have sex in the bunk above you. All of these things could keep you awake all night, driving you nuts and depriving you of rest.

You may ask how you can survive in a hostel to save some money. The best tool you can bring to survive in a hostel dorm room is a good attitude. Anyway, it’s not your space. People don’t live on your schedule. It’s not fair, but you have to accommodate and endure it.

A hostel in Bangkok

Inside a hostel, ©Felix Triller

Considering the noise and the large community you probably will face in your dorm, you should always prepare an eye mask and ear plugs so you can fall asleep even as the light and madness shine on. If you really want a quite space to back up, when you book your hostel room, you should ask whether the hostel has a “chill” room. Lots of hostels now offer such a place where you can temporarily escape. They’ll have a dedicated space with hammocks, bean bags, couches, etc. It looks like a regular resting area, but the difference is that no talking is allowed in the “chill” room.

Good hostels have lockers or lockable drawers for you to store your belongings, but most hostels only give you a locker or drawer space with no lock available, and the cheapest hostels only have beds. Hence, you’d better bring a standard size combo lock to lock your suitcase to the bed frame and several small luggage locks to secure your bag’s zippered pockets.

Hostels also offer rooms with four to eight beds, or even a semi-dorm. Hence, the final way to survive in a hostel dorm life is to book a room with less shared people. You can also travel with your friends, so you will share a smaller dorm room with your friends. You’ll at least be on the same schedule as your roommates, and you’ll also know with whom you are sharing a room.

For the ultimate comfort, hostels also have private rooms, which are much more expensive, but still cheaper than a regular hotel. As private hostel rooms are often occupied quickly, make sure to book it well in advance.

So despite the restless night and annoying noises you may face, if you can understand the downsides of the hostel and prepare yourself well for them, hostel dorm rooms are definitely an alternative way of accommodation for a budget traveler.

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