by Erin Elaine
I love hostels. They’re an extremely affordable way to travel, and a great way to meet friends. I’ve had a lot of fun times in hostels, but I’ve also had some not-so-great roommates. It’s not all sunshine and roses. Here is a guide for how to be a good hostel roommate. Some people haven’t traveled much and have some things to learn. Better to learn them here rather than having one of your roommates get mad at you. 😉
Be quiet in the morning. This means setting your alarm to a low volume and then turning it off quickly. If you can only wake up with a loud alarm blasting for 30 seconds, you need a private room. Aside from the alarm, whisper if you need to talk, and be as quiet as possible when packing your suitcase. You don’t need to throw things into it, c’mon. You’re sharing this space with other people, and they’re trying to sleep. Be considerate.
Be quiet when coming in at night. Again, whisper! If you forget to whisper when you’re drunk, you need a private room. Also, put your pajamas and toothbrush on top of your bed before you leave in the morning, so you don’t have to dig through your suitcase after everyone is already asleep! This shouldn’t have to be said, but some people just don’t get it.
Don’t turn on the light at night or early in the morning! Use the led light on your cell phone! If you’ve lost something and you need light to find it, take your suitcase out into the hallway and use that light, not the light in the room. Some people find it extremely hard to sleep with the light on. Is what you’re doing so important that you want to wake up 4, 6, 8 other people?
Keep your things in your own area. If there are 6 coathooks and 6 beds, logic would say you get 1 coathook for yourself. Don’t take 2. That makes you a selfish asshole.
Don’t hog the outlets. Some hostels provide 1 outlet per bed, but in some hostels it’s only 2 per room. In those cases, be conscientious that other people want to use the outlet too. Your phone doesn’t need to be charged all the way to 100%. And maybe try charging your phone before bed and then unplugging it and bringing it with you to bed, so you don’t need to cross the room while everyone is waiting for you to turn off the alarm in the morning.
Keep the bathrooms clean. Dry yourself off inside the shower stall before stepping out. I’ve seen bathroom floors that were covered in water from 5 girls taking showers and then stepping out before being dry. I know it’s not the funnest thing in the world to dry off inside the stall, but having to stand in a puddle just to use the sink is disgusting.
Don’t steal! Need I say more?
How to go above and beyond being a good roommate and actually make friends? Hang out in the common room. Ask someone to play a board game or ask them about their day. Offer to share the cheese or the wine you bought at a local market. Ask someone if they’d like to come along to a castle tour or to a restaurant. It’s really not difficult to make friends. They might not be people to keep in touch with after, but you can share a fun night of talking and laughing and singing and it will make your travels that much more memorable and special.