Until we reached Australia we had actually avoided staying in any dorm rooms. In Asia there is little difference in price between private rooms or dorms so we decided to enjoy our own space before we would have no other option. Before arriving in Sydney I will admit I was absolutely bricking it to stay in a dorm room. I couldn’t imagine sleeping in a room with absolute strangers and feeling comfortable, especially large mixed dorms!
In a weird twist of fate I now actually prefer staying in hostels and will always choose to be in the largest dorm available (usually as it is cheaper!). I have found, especially since travelling alone, that hostels are by far the best way to meet people and providing you make a good group of friends you’re rarely alone. Obviously there may be those of you who prefer to have your own space from time to time, but I prefer being around people as much as possible and being in a hostel you pretty much always are.
Although I am very much used to staying in hostels and dorm rooms there are a few little tips and tricks I find can make the whole experience a little smoother. I have only listed a few that I have found useful but I’m sure there are plenty more ideas out there.
- - If you’re lucky enough to grab a bottom bunk you can hang either a towel or blanket across the front of your bed. Obviously you’re never going to be entirely covered but it’s a good way of getting that little bit of extra privacy and making yourself feel all cosy and concealed.
- - Make sure your food bags are labelled! I have had my food thrown away so many times simply because I forget to either update or put a tag on my food bags so definitely try and remember this one to avoid having to buy the whole lot again. Also keep an eye on the free food shelf, people often leave pretty good stuff just before check out time so it’s a good way to save a few pennies.
- - Make the most of the freebies or backpacker deals. Most hostels will have some form of discounts or free stuff available so it is definitely worth checking these out. More often than not there will be some kind of meal deal available which is brilliant if you’re not staying for long and don’t fancy doing a food shop.
- - Depending on how deep of a sleeper you are you will have to come to terms with the fact that you will be woken up throughout the night. This can be annoying but unfortunately this is inevitable so I would recommend napping whenever possible! I love my naps regardless but if you’re struggling to sleep at night try napping in the day when most people are out to catch up.
- - Try and avoid showering at peak times! If you want to avoid an icy shower try to miss out showering after people get back from work or early evening when people are getting ready for nights out. Not all hostels have this issue and if your lucky it wont matter, but if this is the case do your best to shower earlier and make the most of the hot water.
- - Make use of the lockers available for some peace of mind. Most hostels will have lockers in the rooms big enough for you to keep your valuables in, some even have lockers big enough to fit your whole bag inside! Odds are you’ll be sharing your room with complete strangers so its nice to know your valuables are safe when you leave the room, its better to be safe than sorry after all.
- - Finally spend some time in the common areas in the hostel. Most hostels will have either a lounge or seated area where anyone can hang out and it’s a great way to make friends. Getting to know people is the main benefit of staying in hostels so get chatting to people, you never know who you might meet!
I hope these tips have helped some of you guys and if anyone has any other suggestions for surviving hostel life, please feel free to comment below.