Budget Travel

Tips for Your First Time Staying in a Hostel

Disclosure: Your support helps keep our site running. We may get a referral fee at no cost to you if you click on our links and make a purchase. Thank you for your support.


Staying in hostels can be a great experience, you may have heaps of fun, make new friends and hopefully add lots of new experiences to your travels. But if it’s your first time staying in a hostel then there are various things to know. Here are tips for first-timers staying in a hostel.

Bring earplugs

Dorm rooms can be great and provide some of the cheapest prices making hostels perfect when travelling on a budget. However, sometimes you can get snorers or people that are a bit inconsiderate of others and make a lot of noise. To avoid a bad night sleeps one of the first things to remember is to bring earplugs so you can hopefully drown out as much unwanted noise as possible.

Bring an eye mask

Next, if you’re a light sleeper then also consider bringing an eye mask. This will help as people may arrive quite late to the hostel and need to turn on the lights to see what they’re doing, such as when making their bed. Or some people may turn on the main light or their bed light and forget to turn it off. An eye mask isn’t 100% needed but definitely helps if you can’t sleep with any light around.

Don’t forget a padlock

A padlock is a must when staying in a hostel. Although hostels are partly about trusting each other and there’s a good chance nothing would ever go missing, you never know if you have someone who will have other ideas. Sometimes padlocks can be hired from the hostel but this can be hit and miss so it’s best to always bring your own just in case.

Remember flip flops

Hostel showers can be somewhat grim, and it’s quite unpleasant to go somewhere hoping to get nice and clean but find hair etc at the bottom of the shower. You also don’t know if people have foot sores or other such things. To make your shower experience more comfortable at hostels then remember to bring flip-flops.

Bring a towel

Many hostels will provide the option to loan a towel. This isn’t always the best way to travel as it can be considered an unnecessary cost and the towels are often cheap and you could probably buy your own for the same price as loaning one. To save money you could bring your own, or even buy one once you arrive at your destination that you can then re-use as you travel.

Bring shower gel

Hostels sometimes provide shower gel in the bathrooms, but you can never guarantee it. They may also provide the option of buying some from reception. However, save yourself some money and ensure you definitely smell fresh by bringing some shower gel with you.

Silk liner and pillowcase

Although you will be provided with bedding sometimes it’s a bit nicer to take your own stuff with you. Such as a pillowcase and silk liner. Although many hostels are pretty good and provide nice bedding you may stay in a few over time where the bedding conditions is something to be desired.

Room Types

Hostels provide various room types including mixed dorms, same-sex dorms through to private rooms. The dorms will almost always be the cheapest accommodation options and the private rooms the most expensive. Dorms can range in size having four beds up to over 20. If you decided on a private room then these can sometimes be a similar price to a hotel, so unless you’re after the social atmosphere of a hostel then look around when picking your accommodation.

Be friendly and introduce yourself

When checking into your room if it’s not too late and people are lounging then try and introduce yourself. It’s best to do this as soon as possible and will make the atmosphere in your dorm more comfortable. You may also make some friends who you could explore the travel destination with or stay in contact with long-term.

Bring PJs

If you’re the kind of person that likes to air your body and feel free at night then remember the other people in your room. To make yourself and everyone in the room more comfortable then bring PJs for sleeping in and lounging in at night.

Prep clothes early if you’re leaving early

If you’re a travel photographer, or you just need to get up early for another reason then prep your clothes the night before so that once your alarm goes off you can jump into your clothes and provide minimal disruption to the other people in your room.

Room etiquette/ Be considerate

Finally, remember it’s important whenever you stay in a hostel to be considerate of others. Such as not leaving the room with your mess. Cleaning up after yourself in the bathrooms, trying not to make too much noise when people are sleeping, playing around with others and various other things that I’ll leave to your imagination.

Click on the image below to go to hostelworld.com to start your search.


Written by

Mike Clegg

Mike is a traveller, photographer, WordPress developer and the creator of TravelAndDestinations.com. He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website.

Read full bio | More articles by Mike

Noticed a mistake? Let us know.

Related Articles

See more articles in the Budget Travel category