Travelling Welshman
Instagram @tompj
General Travel,  Guides

A Guide to Hostel Etiquette – What to Do and Not to Do!

Hostels have been the safe haven for global travellers for decades! This budget-friendly style of accommodation may lack luxury, but it more than makes up for it with cheap prices, simple pleasures and good times all around!

As you will more than likely be sharing a living space with a multitude of perfect strangers, there are certain unspoken rules and general etiquette that must be followed to help ensure a positive and respectful environment for everyone. But what are those rules?

Fret not fellow traveller – here is your guide to what you should or should not do during your time in hostels.

This article may contain affiliate links which I may receive compensation for at no extra cost to you dear readers!

In the daylight hours, many guests go about their business cooking, hanging out in their rooms or just chilling out in common areas. During this time the noise is as free-flowing as the alcohol that’s drunk by the guests.

As the evening progresses, some guests call it a night and try to get some much-needed rest. Therefore it’s important to respect when other people are trying to sleep!

Hostels may point out an exact time when quiet hours should be respected. If not, around 9-10 pm is typically the norm.

As you’re sharing a living space with numerous other individuals, it’s important to maintain a respectable level of cleanliness throughout the hostel – particularly if you’re the one responsible for the mess!

From ensuring that your possessions are not strewn across the floor to cleaning up any spills you made in the kitchen, keep it clean!

Hostel Etiquette
Keep your kitchen space clean

Despite the compact nature of hostels, that doesn’t stop people from having a little bit of privacy. Guests are still able to carve out their own little bubble, even if it is just their own bed!

Whether it be their possessions, their bed, or themselves in general, keep out of people’s spaces and respect their privacy. For hostels, such an invasion would be the equivalent of entering their private hotel room or even their house in some cases!

Speaking about respecting people’s privacy, it should go without saying that you should absolutely, categorically never put your hands on another guest… unless you’re given permission of course.

As simple as that may seem, a surprising number of individuals, typically perverted guys, find that hard to understand. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of unwanted guests trying to sneak their way into bed for a quick snuggle… among other things.

Even without considering the blatant sexual assault aspect of it all, it’s just not acceptable behaviour.

Hostel Etiquette
Keep your hands off

You may be a scruffy bastard in your own home, but that sort of behaviour will not be tolerated in a hostel environment. You may have learned to deal with your powerful odour but others have not, and nobody wants to be breathing in your days long stench of sweat.

Hostels are the lifeblood of backpackers around the world, but plenty of people don’t want to stay in them.

So what are the pros and cons?

Click Here!

Holiday romances are certainly a thing. As much as we’d all love to be able to take a romantic partner back to a private room for a little bit of hanky panky, alas, it just isn’t in the budget.

Despite the power of an erection being stronger than any other force known to mankind, people don’t appreciate listening to flirtatious whispers, the gentle sound of kisses or having their bunk rocked by some rhythmic humping while they’re trying to sleep.

Much like how the late evening is the accepted quiet hour, the same goes for lights too. Many of us might unwind with an hour or two of scrolling before we’re off to bed, however, those bright screens become blinding fog lights for those trying to sleep!

On top of that, don’t be that guy who comes back at 1 am and turns on the bedroom light, that’s not cool. If you must, rely on your phone light to navigate the room. At the very least, try to make sure your activities don’t affect others.

Going on from the last point, your vision isn’t the only sense that can be severely aggravated. Feel free to scroll through reels or relax on your dad’s Netflix account, just make sure nobody else has to listen to it!

Of course, that goes double for when any of your roommates are sleeping, but even general common areas should be respected too. Isn’t it a bit selfish to play your own content full-volume whether others like it or not? Bose QuietComfort headphones have always been my personal choice.

Keep them plugged in

I can’t believe I even have to point this out but DON’T-TOUCH-OTHER-PEOPLE’S-FOOD! Something that should be blatantly obvious for everyone, but something that happens shockingly often.

Food is typically left in public fridges or individual cupboards, but that does not give you the right to take them.

How long has that milk been in the fridge? Good question! How exactly are we supposed to know that unless we know who it belongs to?

Food could be sitting around for a long time as nobody knows who the food belongs to and neither do you wants to throw out someone’s food by mistake! The best way to avoid any miscommunication is to label your products or keep them separate.

Despite the bare basic nature of hostel life, there are still many things in place for all guests to use. Be it clean drinking water, sockets on the wall, bathroom areas or free tea and coffee, these are things for each and every guest, not just you.

Don’t be greedy, don’t hog everything and only take your fair share. Greed and inconsideration are not good traits for a hostel guest.

Though some of you might like to have a cheeky little nibble when relaxing in bed, its frowned upon in hostel dorms. in fact, in most places, its an outright rule!

Not only is it annoying listening to wrappers being crinkled or crisps being crunched but there’s also a chance of creating a less appealing odour given the wrong kind of snack (bringing in durian might get you kicked out!)

More importantly, food scraps bring insects and mice, and nobody wants to have to sleep next to them!

Hostel Etiquette
Don’t eat in your room!

In a hostel, your personal safety shouldn’t be your only concern. A simple misstep could put both other guests and their possessions at risk.

Following guidelines and ensuring every door is secure is imperative. Any potential disaster that could occur to another guest could fall on your hands.

This is a tricky one to contend with, and sadly, its a problem that everyone has to deal with at one point or another. Like nails on a chalkboard, there is no sound more likely to drive you to insanity than an unrelenting snore. But how can it be prevented?

If you’re a snorer (god damn you people), the least you can do is try to sleep on your side. We get you deserve to sleep comfortably… but so do we.

A good rule of thumb when dealing with anyone in the service industry is to show them some common courtesy. Despite what many sharp-tongued Karens might have you believe, they are not your servants, more often than not they are travellers just like you.

They’re just doing their job, so don’t blow your lid over a £5 a night hostel.

Explore our comprehensive article and the latest insights to answer the burning question…

How can I stay safe when I travel?

Click Here!

We all have our own set of morals and ideals. They could be simple cultural differences to complex religious individuality. As strong as those beliefs may be, you have no place to cast judgement or exhibit any form of intolerance in hostels.

Consider these places to be the United Nations of accomodation –  a place where one and all are to be respected, tolerated and given equal rights. Take your unnecesary political debates and agenda setting someplace else.

Every morning, each guest in that room will use their phone alarm. This is a standard part of hostel life and something that you’ll certainly get used to, nobody can change that. However, what is unacceptable is that one person who ALWAYS takes half a century to turn the thing off!

There is no reason an alarm needs to be blaring for a full 10 minutes before it’s turned off!

It’s not just your own body you’ll need to keep stink-free, as your laundry will likely be far worse! Keep it clean when possible, and if not, try to keep any filthy clothes wrapped up and away from the sensitive noses of your fellow roommates.

Living life on the road, you might have a little drinky-poo or two, who doesn’t? You might even have a few too many, that’s fine too! Though as much as you may have lost control of your body and inhibitions, you must be in enough control to come home quietly.

You better do so to, as you should your roommates return the favour and be quiet in the morning for you too!

Last but certainly not least, we come to the most important rule of them all, don’t-be-an-asshole.

Its a simple mantra to live by and one that shouldnt be that hard to live by. Everyone is in that hsotel for the same reasons – to travel, meet new people, and have a great time. Go with the flow, have yourself some fun and respects others while you do so.

Thank You for Reading! Check Out These Other Helpful Links!

Thank you so much for reading A Guide to Hostel Etiquette – What to Do and Not to Do! Check out these other helpful articles!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.