Hostel etiquette: 9 unwritten rules

If you’re traveling on a budget then you’re going to be staying in alot of hostels.

For the most part, the people you meet will be amazing or, at the very least, respectful of the other people staying there.  Of course, every once in awhile you come across an ass who thinks they own the place and the world revolves around them.

Don’t be that person!

Here are 9 unwritten rules of hostel etiquette that will keep people from peppering your name with swear words.

1. Late night etiquette

guide-hostel-etiquette-unwritten-rules-1-late-night

Dorm rooms are for sleeping so if it’s after 10pm and people want to sleep, let them.  Don’t sit there on your phone lighting up the dark room with your ominous blue screen light or have a hush-hush whisper conversation with someone – head out to the common room instead.

If you’re coming back to the hostel late at night then expect to wander around the dorm quietly and in the dark.  There is nothing more annoying than someone waking you up at 3am as they stumble in loudly and flick on the light.

2. Getting up early

guide-hostel-etiquette-unwritten-rules-2-getting-up-early

If you have to get up really early like at 5 or 6am then you should be tiptoeing around so as to not wake anyone.

Also, if you’ve set the alarm on your phone remember to have the phone easily accessible to turn the alarm off.  Oh, and for God’s sake, don’t keep pressing the snooze button!

The 8am rule

If it’s after 8am you should be able to move around freely in the room without incurring the wrath of someone.

3. Packing up

guide-hostel-etiquette-unwritten-rules-3-packing-up

Talking about early mornings – if you’re checking out in the early morning hours have your stuff packed and ready to go the night before.  Don’t spend a half hour rummaging around your bag waking everyone up as you pack.  If you didn’t pack the night before then at least take all your stuff out to the hallway and pack out there instead.

4. Don’t use plastic bags

guide-hostel-etiquette-unwritten-rules-4-dont-use-plastic-bags

Avoid death glares and never use plastic bags to pack your things in.  Not your dirty laundry.  Not your toiletries.  Nothing!

The scratching sound from plastic bags is as bad as nails on a chalkboard and is sure to annoy your fellow dorm mates.

5. Clean up after yourself

guide-hostel-etiquette-unwritten-rules-5-clean-up-after-yourself

Kitchen  Mom’s not here to wash your dishes so do it yourself.  When you’re done with your dish, wash it (with soap, don’t just run it under warm water)

Bathroom  Alot of people use this room so be respectful and clean up after yourself.  Wipe down the sink after you splash water everywhere and put paper in the bin.  Don’t leave towels lying around and don’t pee on the toilet seat.

Dorm room  Remember you’re sharing that room with other people.  Pick up after yourself – don’t leave your things all scattered across the room.  Keep things tidy and respect other people’s areas.

Don't forget about you  Nobody likes a smelly roommate.  Shower every day and wash your dirty clothes.  If your feet are smelly keep them covered up.

6. Sex etiquette

guide-hostel-etiquette-unwritten-rules-6-sex

Hooking up while traveling is natural.  Everyone’s out on an adventure exploring new places and meeting new people.  New people who are hot.  Throw some alcohol in the mix and you have a firepot of raging hormones.

Whether it’s one of many hostel love stories, a short lived fling or just a one night stand – don’t bring it to the dorm room.  Even if you think you’re being secretive and quiet, trust me, you’re not.

7. Snoring

guide-hostel-etiquette-unwritten-rules-7-snoring

Snoring isn’t really something you can control.  You can try sleeping on your side but even that doesn’t really work.  If you’re a snorer let people know in advance so they can put in earplugs.  If you sound like a buzzsaw you might want to consider getting a private room.

8. Dorm room etiquette

guide-hostel-etiquette-unwritten-rules-8-dorm-room

Talking on the phone  Nobody in the room wants to hear your conversation.  Take the call out of the room.  There are plenty of private areas in the hostel.

Smelly food  Honestly you shouldn’t be eating any food in the dorm room.  Please don’t stink up the room with that exotic local delicacy.

Don't hog the heater  The radiator comes in really handy on damp, dreary days.  It’s a great place to dry off your wet clothes but you’re not the only one with wet clothes.  Let other people use it too.

Parties  The dorm room is meant as a quiet space to relax and sleep.  There are so many places in hostels to have a good time so keep it out of the dorm and go party somewhere else.

9. Bathroom etiquette

guide-hostel-etiquette-unwritten-rules-9-bathroom

Some hostels are better than others but bathroom space is always limited.  In the morning hours especially there’s usually a queue to use the bathroom.  Try to be in and out so the next person can get in there.  As for showers, while a nice long hot shower may be amazing, keep in mind there are other people waiting too.

hostel life
Share This