- Be nice! Okay so this one seems like it should be a given but I think people need to be reminded that smiling at someone, especially if you’ll be sharing a room, is the simplest way to start off a good relationship. This is especially helpful if you end up having to share a room with people who do not speak the same language as you. Be courteous with your actions and hey, maybe you’ll end up becoming friends even with a language barrier. If you don’t exactly click with your roommates, being nice and respectful anyway will help ensure that when you come back from exploring your stuff will still be in the room rather than thrown out the window and on the floor outside.
- Lock your things up. Let’s be honest, you can be the sweetest person in the world and still get your stuff stolen. Inside every hostel room their should be a least a small safe that you can put valuables in while you are out and about. I would encourage people to take advantage of this if you have jewelry or other electronics. Although I am a true believer that in general people are good, it’s better to be safe than sorry with things you truly care about. Also, it’s important to not forget your things are in the safe for when you are leaving. Some hostels may not care and if you’re lucky enough to have stayed in one that is willing to ship your things, that were thankfully not stolen, you’ll end up having to pay a good amount of money for shipping (but that story is for another post).
- Remember, they’re not meant to be fancy. Hostels are great because they’re cheap! We all know that. Yes part of the reason is because you’re sharing a room with about 4 other strangers but amenities and other features are something to be cautious with as well. For example sure they might include free wifi, but it may or may not suck. I was lucky enough to stay in a hostel with really nice staff and beds/comforters that were actually quite comfy and warm to sleep in but I’ve also heard and read horror stories about beds that were hard as a rock and blankets that were as thin as paper.
So my best advice is to just go in with an open mind and make the best of what is handed to you. After all, you’re (probably) in a country you’ve never been to before and 80 percent of your day will be out exploring new and amazing places and things you’ve never seen before. That reason alone is enough for me to stay in a hostel again if I’m on a tight budget.