After over 8 months on the road and hundreds of hostel stays, I thought it might be time to put down my thoughts on proper hostel etiquette. (Read, I was so annoyed after being woken up 5 times in a dorm room that I needed to vent). These basic ‘how to be behave in a hostel’ tips, or hostel etiquette, should be pretty straight forward. However apparently not, as I see them broken just about every day. Every hostel has a dickhead. Here’s how to make sure it isn’t you.
 

1. PACK YOUR BAG THE NIGHT BEFORE

There is nothing worse than waking up at 6am to the sound of zips and plastic bags rustling. Be considerate to your roommates and if you have an early departure make sure you’re as packed as possible the night before. You’re on holiday, you’ve got plenty of time. So just make sure you spend 10 minutes getting yourself organized the night before
 

2. IF IT’S AFTER 10PM OR BEFORE 9AM AND PEOPLE ARE ASLEEP, DON’T TURN ON THE LIGHTS

I’ve literally been asleep in dorms and had people storm into the room at 3am and flick on the lights. Ummm what? If you do need to find your way to your bed or change your clothes, use your phone or a torch. Just make sure you don’t shine them in someone’s eyes.
 

3. SAME GOES FOR TALKING LOUDLY

After 10 I dorms are for sleeping. Common areas are for talking. Girl, I don’t want to hear about how bad your bus journey just was when you get in at 12am. Again it’s just about being considerate and thinking a little about your dorm mates. Maybe they’ve got a really early hike or bus. Put yourself in their hiking shoes!
 

4. IF YOU KNOW YOU’RE A SNORER. TRY AND SORT IT OUT

Ok, so I totally understand that snoring is not something that people can control. But have you ever tried to sleep in a room where the walls are vibrating due to someone who’s having the best sleep ever while you’re lying there getting more and more annoyed? If you snore try and sleep on your side, or warn your dorm mates and let them know it’s totally fine for them to roll you over if you’re snoring.
 

5. KEEP YOUR SHIT CLEAN

Now, I am not a clean person. But I am a tidy one. Hostels in themselves aren’t the cleanest. So it’s nice to try and keep your room in some sort of order. If only for our sanity. I just try and keep all my things within the area of my bed or within the confines of my bag. It might not be actually be clean, but it feels so much neater. If your stuff is so messy I can’t get to my bed, you’re doing it wrong.
 

6. DON’T HAVE SEX IN THE ROOM

Ok do I sound old for saying this? But gross? I don’t want to hear the bed creaking or even worse feel movement from the bunk above me. Getting it on in a room full of people you’d don’t know is just plain disrespect. If you’ve really can’t wait. The bathroom is always a good option.
 

7. DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR ALARM

Setting an alarm for an early wake up is totally acceptable and nessecary. Setting alarm, getting up to shower only to leave it going is deplorable. Just double check it’s off before you get out of bed.
 

8. DON’T EAT OTHER PEOPLE’S FOOD

So I had an incident where I had used some of my precious Vegemite to make a Vegemite and cream cheese sandwich to take on a hike. Can you say sandwich goals? I jumped out of bed at 5am to leave for the hike looking forward to tucking into the world’s best sandwich only to find out someone had stolen my sandwich… my sandwich?? MY SANDWICH!!???? I don’t think I really need to say much more. Don’t eat other people’s food. Especially if it’s a Vegemite and cream cheese sandwich.
 

9. DON’T SMOKE OUTSIDE DORM ROOMS

The smell of cigarette smoke wafting through a window and stinking out a room has got to be one of my least fabsourite things. And because you seem to be able to smoke everywhere in South America people become really inconsiderate when it comes to smoking around people. Basic rules apply. Don’t smoke around people who are eating. And before you light up, just check to make sure you’re not sitting outside someone’s dorm room.

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2 Comments

  1. In 11 years travelling I’ve never once stayed in a dorm room because I value my sleep and sanity! I don’t travel long term, and it of course means holidays are far more expensive, but for me I think it’s worth it.
    I am loving your blog by the way. I’ve never considered traveling to South/Latin America as I love Asia too much, but I’m really enjoying your writing style.

    • Emma Reply

      Hey Jess,

      Thanks so much for getting in touch. I’m kinda with you on dorms. But after 8 months I’ve finally gotten used to it.

      I love Asia too! I think Cambodia must be one of my favourite countries in the world. But I think I’m loving South and Central a little more. There’s just such a broad scope of activities to do here. Cheers re the writing style 🙂 it’s basically just what falls out of my brain onto the page hahaha.

      Cheers,
      Em
      xx

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