Hostels are budget-friendly, social accommodations that provide travelers with options of renting out a dorm-style bunk bed with shared bathrooms and kitchens, or private rooms usually good for 2 people. It usually caters to backpackers or travelers on a shoe-string budget, as the rates are cheaper than regular hotels.
As a solo traveler, I highly recommend staying at hostels. The whole set-up — dorm-style rooms, common areas and a shared kitchen, paired with their arranged parties and events, make for a great place to meet other like-minded travelers. While this may sound almost perfect, hostels aren’t for everyone. So before you book that next bunk, read on a bit further so you can manage your expectations when it comes to hostels.
Always, always, always ask for the bottom bunk. Save yourself the trouble of having to climb up to the top and having to deal with weird “bumps” in the night.
NOTE: If you’re not keen on sharing your room with rowdy boys, pick an all-female dorm room.
Earplugs and eye masks are a must! Let’s face it, there are other people in the room with you and not everyone’s on the same sleep schedule or have the same agenda. While you’re trying to get a good night’s rest, others may still be out having fun. Some may even be packing for their early morning flight. Others, well, they may just be loud snorers. So, to make sure you sleep like a baby, plug those ears and cover those pretty peepers.
Bring flip flops
Because you’ll be sharing a bathroom with a bunch of other people, it’s best to not go in there barefoot. Lord knows what the person before you has been doing. Observe proper hygiene and make sure to never let your bare skin touch that bathroom floor.
Bring a headlamp
Catching early morning flights or coming in at midnight is inevitable. If you’re one of those people leaving or coming at odd hours, make sure to have a headlamp so you won’t have to wake everyone up with the bright room light as you try to get your stuff together.
Pot pourri, not Pepe le P.U!
There’s nothing more nauseating than foot/body odor. So if you’re like me who gets a major headache when exposed to such smells for a long period of time, then it’d be in your best interest to bring a travel-sized room spray.
No one likes a Negative Nancy, so come into the hostel with a friendly, open attitude. A smile and a bit of small talk goes a long way. You never know, your next travel buddy could just be across the room.