Hostel 101: Managing Expectations

My first hostel experience. Barcelona, Spain (2010)

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. 

Sleep tight

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.

Be friendly!

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.

About morenabeachbum

i love the beach--sand--sun--waves--tan lines--the sound of the waves--the feeling of sand slipping through my toes--i love the OCEAN!--i am an island girl through and through--i LOVE the PHILIPPINES--i am a FILIPINA--i love the smell of fresh cut grass--i love being outdoors--sitting or lying down on the grass is fun--soaking up the sun is even better--i love FOOTBALL--best sport in the world!--i like to think about the good times and smile about them--i wonder a lot about the could have beens in my life but i DONT REGRET--im secure with myself--i say what i wanna say--i'm liberated--i hate people who are "fake"--i'm very straight forward--i am vain--i love taking pictures of myself #selfie--im MORENA (Spanish for tanned/dark (dark hair, eyes, skin)) & i love my skin color! #notowhhiteningproducts #blech--i love love LOVE to shop--i'm actually an impulsive buyer *cringe*--i love learning about other people's cultures--i love traveling--wanderlust--i love learning new languages--im thirsty for adventure--i also love gummy bears, almond snickers and gushers--cheerios is the best breakfast cereal ever--i love green apples dipped in peanut butter or cookie butter from Trader Joe's--i also love peanut butter sandwiches with slices of banana in them--random... very random I am--i love looking for the best bargain places--i never hold back when it comes to love--i love with both my heart & my soul (take it, just take it all! LOL)--im a hopeless romantic--i can be pretty moody at times so i suggest you steer clear of me when i'm at that point (just sayin... you have been warned)--i miss playing football (aka soccer) regularly--i miss my college football team and my teammates (hey guys!)--i am enjoying my life--i'm crazy--hyper--im short--im talkative--i'm real--i'm a bit of a neat freak--bossy, too at times (oh well, just keepin' it real)--i am ME-- xoxo, morenabeachbum
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2 Responses to Hostel 101: Managing Expectations

  1. misssmartin says:

    There’s nothing quite like your first hostel experience is there? Personally, I love them (but I’m a really heavy sleeper). Good points, especially the head lamp! Nothing worse than someone flicking on the light because they can’t find their toothbrush late at night. But I would have to say a big no to the room spray – a lot of people get headaches when exposed to perfumes or other fragrances in the air too.

    And oh goodness, the flip flops are so essential!


    • Thanks for dropping by! Yes, you make a good point with the headaches associated to different fragrances. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of a discreet “Lysol” if that even exist. Something that takes the odor out but doesn’t completely overpower the room with something floral or citrusy. 🙂 And yes, flip flops are an ESSENTIAL!


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