While you might pay a few extra dollars a night, tired and grumpy backpackers will appreciate one less snorer in their 16-bed dorm.
“If you snore, take a private room. If you really snore, just don’t stay in a hostel! Or, look for boutique hostels rather than the mega-bunk places." – Mark Seldon, World Nomads
When it comes to staying in a hostel, your belongings are your responsibility. If you choose not to lock your bags when you leave the room, that's your fault.
It's a lot easier to keep your bags safe when you only have one bag. Travel light, and always padlock your bags when you're in transit, or not in the hostel.
"Simply put, just don’t travel with valuables to minimize that stress. Otherwise, padlock your bag to the frame of your bunk bed or the sink plumbing. When it comes to shared fridges, if you can’t cope with, or afford, to have your food eaten – don’t leave it in there!” – Christina Tunnah, World Nomads
If you're a clean-freak, pack for the worst conditions, and be pleasantly surprised when you manage to find clean bathroom facilities.
"Bring your flip-flops with you to the shower. It may feel a little weird, but it’s better to be safe than itchy. " – Martin Hong, World Nomads
Nomad Jane Scaife says you should never forget to bring your own towel, “I hate paying two quid to rent a mangey towel." – Jane Scaife, via Facebook
Never get complacent when it comes to booking into a new room. No matter how nice the linen looks, bed bugs could be anywhere.
“I was staying in a cheap bungalow on Koh Tao, Thailand with my boyfriend at the time, and little did we know that the bed we slept on was infested with bedbugs.
The whole next day, I developed a terrible rash all over my body and we had no idea why. We got home that night, I ripped off the sheets, and saw tons of bed bugs crawling around.
It scarred us for the whole rest of our trip, and when we left a negative review of the bungalow, they accused us of bringing the bedbugs." – Amy Stringer, via Facebook
"Checked into a hostel in a very rural part of Lombok, Indonesia. I was exhausted, and didn't think I’d need to put up mosquito netting for the night.
Not only did I wake up to mosquitos, but giant spiders were all around me eating those mosquitos." – Kane Molleo, via Facebook
Your new hostel mates might agree that you've got a great taste in music, but playing your music out loud isn't always welcome – headphones were invented for a reason.
“When someone plays their music for the broader listening pleasure (or frustration) of others, put your earplugs on or pipe up and ask them to put on headphones. Don’t simmer in irritation – speak up!" – Christina Tunnah, World Nomads
If you want to keep your belongings sorted inside your bag, use packing cubes. They won’t rustle when you’re searching for your pyjamas at 2:30am, and they aren’t bad for the environment.
"I’ve heard people say that traveling with spare plastic bags is a great idea to help you store your stuff. No, it’s a terrible idea. Plastic bags are noisy.” – Claire Taylor, World Nomads
“Unfortunately, some hostel-dwellers are disrespectful – especially if they’re getting up early to catch a flight. If you're sensitive to noise, bring earplugs. If there's a group leaving from your room, they won’t care that it's 6am and you're still trying to sleep.” – Jess Grey, World Nomads
Never ignore the reviews of travelers online. This Nomad ignored previous bad reviews and chose to stay in this hostel, as it was the only place available in a small town. Big mistake:
"I booked a place in Italy that 'forgot to pick me up' with their hostel bus in the middle of the night, after I got off a midnight train. The hostel managers were all stoned when I got there!
There were no doors on female toilets or showers which led straight out into reception, and there was a sign on the door that read ‘Not to be shut under any circumstances.’ Creepy as hell.” – Angie Smith, Facebook
But not only that, if you're looking for atmosphere, reviews can help you get a feel for the vibe of the place:
"Not checking the fun rating on the website – why else would you stay in a hostel?!" – Meridee Walter, via Facebook
In some countries, planning ahead is essential. Instead of scoring a cheap room in a hostel, this Nomad wound up with a costly affair:
"I arrived late at a train station in Italy and couldn't find the hostel (found out the next day it was out of town). No one spoke English, my attempt at Italian was poor, and I had no phrase book – this was pre-mobile phones. I eventually found a hotel, where I got a shoebox with no view for the price of five nights at a hostel.” – April Bayley, via Facebook
"I left my money in a little bag hidden in the sheets while going to the bathroom early in the morning. Apparently, someone was faking being asleep. I was only gone 5 minutes, and it was gone by the time I got back." – Lilu Minai, via Facebook
On the flip side, some Nomads are just plain lucky…
"I dropped a coin purse by accident, and I didn't realize until I went for a 5-day tour. I didn't know where I lost it, so I tried to think about the places I had visited that day. Fortunately, after finishing the tour I went back to the hostel to stay for a night before flying back home, I found it on the shelf in the luggage room unexpectedly!" – Chompoonut Nutsathapana, via Facebook
The most unforgivable mistake is choosing to stay somewhere that doesn't suit your travel style.
“These days, there are many cheap alternatives to hostels like AirB&B or Couchsurfing.
Why get head lice, contract foot fungus, and have to listen to people get-it-on in the bunk bed next to you all night, when you can get a comfortable room and pay a few dollars extra?
Seriously – pay now or pay later. If you have to see a doctor and get a prescription after staying at a hostel, you have to factor in that cost." – Jennifer Ann, Facebook
Travel agent & Nomad Matt Castell reveals the secrets to booking accommodation for long-term travel like a seasoned pro.
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