Tips for living inside of a hostel … my experience!

hostel in london

Hello traveling guys and gals! The solo vagabond is currently still staying at one of the cheapest hostels in London, in the northern part of the city! Ill be staying in London hostels for a few weeks time. I’ve been around the world now about 2.5 years so I’ve got a lot of experience living in hostels, here are a few tips to keep your journey safe and avoid any problems at hostels…

#1 Passport. When I check into a hostel most of the hostels dont really ask too many questions about my stay there or who I am. They seem most concerned about my passport, so dont lose yours! It seems as though if you dont have it, you wont be able to sleep anywhere. In most countries, like England, Morocco, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Thailand, they all ask for it. I keep it inside my backpack in a packing cube and always keep my backpack with me and locked just to make sure.

#2. Cash or Credit? Make sure to have your passport and the required method of payment. Over at most of the hostels require a down payment via credit card on their site while then paying in cash the remainder of the balance. Make sure to have this available upon arrival or before. One of the hostels required me to pay the entire balance a few days after booking and not at my check in. I prefer to pay in cash, just in case I should have some problem with the CC payment or my transportation. I usually do some research just to see which ATM locally does not charge an ATM fee. also make sure there are no hidden charges from the hostel, some will list that taxes are separate or they charge for a locker etc.

#3. Secure your valuables!! Here’s a big one. In most hostels I go to I hear stories about people losing stuff and missing possessions. When I was over in Valencia, Spain, I had left two items in plain site on my bed, granted they were not expensive things. The items were a can of spray deodorant and a mini carton of orange juice. Perhaps whoever was in the room thought I was leaving them behind, but they were as gone as a ghost upon my return to the room a few hours later. Whenever I go to the shower I lock my backpack or take it with me, or take the keys with me. its my Pacsafe lockable and slash proof bag. Heres the link of my description, a great bag! most hostels have lockers that you can put a lock on. I bring a lightweight Titanium lock by Abus with me to my hostel.

#4. Stay away from the dorm… let me explain… I personally wake up early …. this morning i was up at 6am and by 630am in the shower. I was out the door by 650am even though at present I’m not working, i just had enough of sleep, but most people might sleep for later, especially young travelers. So try not to make noise inside the dorm. That is what most other guests would expect. One of the things i do is to move my stuff in my backpack outside of the sleeping room and even my clothes so that im not banging it around for too long to wake my fellow roomies.

#5 Stay away part #2. This is just another point from #4. if you have a doubt about who is staying in a hostel or they seem shady or dangerous or unfriendly, its best just to sleep there and get out in the AM, go to a coffee shop or to a park, these types of locations are where I spend most of my time during the day just to avoid any issues with any other hostel-goers, granted you could also meet some interesting people there, but if they aren’t interesting or friendly just stay away and mind your own business. This is especially true of the cheapest hostels you may find in a city. Come back around 9pm or 10pm to sleep. Enjoy the city.

#6 Tidy up your bed and the sink… Some of your roomies might become annoyed if you leave food wrappers, trash, Kleenexes, or your possessions scattered around the bed. I usually make a point to pack up whatever I’m leaving in the room in my locker or my backpack and toss anything else in the trash, then i leave. One time I used my beard trimmer over the sink, and the guy after me said hey are you going to clean this up? Well i did of course, i just washed my hair down the sink and that was it, but some people can get a bit more perturbed. Just make sure to be more polite with the trash and it should go smoothly.

#7 Ask to change rooms… If all else fails and you have a problem, you can ask the manager for a switch. This happened to me one time over in Barcelona. Later one night a shady person showed up in the bed next to my bed at the hostel, it was a sex worker, and I’m not even sure if it was a man or a woman. She or he was kind of a ghetto person and didn’t say hello, granted she didn’t bother me either, but I was a bit freaked out. I asked the manager if i could switch rooms but he refused, so i just left at 530am. Whoever this was didn’t come back to the hostel by 530am, and i was checking out the next day anyway. Some hostels will allow you to switch others will not, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Good luck and enjoy travel!