How To Survive In A Hostel

I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a snotty person when it comes to places to stay but I do like the essentials to be clean and looked after if you know what I mean. I hate staying in a place if the toilets aren’t clean or with no running hot and cold water etc. So I decided to write up a few tips for people if they’ve never stayed in a hostel before. I have stayed in a few hostels throughout my travels – some have been better than I expected and others I would never stay there again. 

I stayed in a very disappointing hostel in Iceland which I wouldn’t recommend it as it was very grotty and the staff were very unhelpful. With only meat on option for their meals it was very hard for me as a vegetarian to find something appropriate to eat and having to pick the meat out of the chinese noodles we had for dinner that night, the showers were very unclean and not fit for any use when there was no where to hang your clothes without them getting wet and the floor would be flooded in a seconds without anywhere to dry your feet. Compare that to the hostel where we stayed on our Where’s Mollie Global Travelers trip to Snowdon in Wales where we received a wash bag filled with a sleeping mask, mini shampoo conditioner and shower gel, a razor, mini toothpaste etc and a choice of vegetarian meals on offer for breakfast and dinner. The beds were comfy within reason and the showers were clean and functional. 

BRING TRAVEL FRIENDLY TOILETRIES 
Don’t be silly and bring your massive bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Whittle down what you have into smaller more travel friendly bottles as this will save space in your travel bag whether it is a suitcase, duffle bag or a hiking rucksack. This is essential for any type of travelling you are doing depending on how long you are going for as you can always buy more toiletries out there if you run out quicker than you expected. 

HAVE SEPARATE BAGS FOR DIFFERENT THINGS 
What I mean by this is is having your makeup in one makeup bag, shower products in another bag and keep your other things sectioned off so you know where everything is and you can grab the things you want quickly without rifling through your whole bag to find something. 

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PORTABLE CHARGER FOR ALL YOUR ELECTRONICS 
This is probably a luxury for some people but if you use lots of electronics either for your work or social life, make sure you bring a portable charger that can charge different electronics especially if there is limited plugs for everyone to use when they need them. Some hostel rooms may only have one plug in the entire room and with everyone fighting over it it can get a little stressful so make sure you cover all possible outcomes with this by having your own charger so you don’t miss out on charging all your electronics. No one likes a flat battery! 

IF THERE IS NO BEDDING AVAILABLE IN THE HOSTEL 
Some hostels may be cheeky and not provide bedding so make sure you come prepared for this to happen if they don’t tell you prior to your stay. When me and two girl friends booked a stay in a hostel in Llanberris after our Snowdon hike we were sent an email after booking to say they didn’t provide any bedding so I made sure we all knew about the situation and bought myself a blow up pillow and a sleeping bag which will come in handy for other trips but was perfect to use as a duvet and the blow up pillow didn’t take up loads of space in my bag as I can deflate it when I’m not using it. Also another tip with sleeping in a hostel, if you share a room with snorers make sure you have ear plugs so pack those just in case you don’t know if they do snore. 

BRING SNACKS OR EASY COOK MEALS WITH YOU 
If your hostel doesn’t cater for your dietary needs, always email and find out before you travel if their website doesn’t specify but all hotels etc should! Make sure you bring food with you that is easy to cook with minimal cooking appliances as most hostels don’t have much cooking stuff or snacks you can eat throughout the day to fill yourself up on. I found it quite hard in Iceland when the hostel we stayed in had a oriental buffet night when we were there but didn’t cater for any vegetarians which was annoying and I had to pick the chicken out of the noodles. 

MAKE FRIENDS WITH WHO YOU ARE STAYING WITH 
If you suffer from anxiety like me it would make your stay a whole lot easier if you are familiar with who you are sharing the hostel room with. If you know who you are staying with ahead of your journey, try getting to know them before you meet up so you know what to expect when sharing a room i.e. Do they snore? What they look like and also a few other details about them so you get on well with each other without conflicts etc if it can be helped.

Other than that it’s like a huge sleepover so enjoy it as well! 🙂

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Have you stayed in a hostel before? Do you have any hostel tips for fellow travelers?

photo credit: Lydia Collins

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