34 Things No One Tells You About Staying In A Hostel

There is something very humbling about staying in a hostel for the first time, or for an extended period of time. You think, sure it's going to be like an overnight school trip when you were in school, have the chats before going to bed at 11pm. Hahahaha... no. Here are the 34 no one tells about staying in a hostel.

34) That You Are Going To Spend A Lot Of The Time Socialising

Unless you're a bit of a hermit, you'll find yourself at least chatting with your dorm mates. This always leads to us hanging out, having drinks and even having a couch to sleep on if you ever find yourself in Oslo.

33) The Staff Are Awful Good Craic

Hostel staff are the most easy going people there are in the hospitality business. Make sure you get on their good side, this way they give you best tips on what visit, where to eat and where to drink!


32) How To Be Discreet.... Kind Of.

Tip-toeing into any dorm size dorm at 4am without waking anyone up is always tricky. You notice every single noise you make and hope to God no one hears. It's worse if you bring a, em, "friend" back. Fingers crossed everyone has their ear plugs in.

31) To Bring A Sleeping Bag If Your Uncomfortable With Suspicious Stains

Most people new to hostels don't really think about the sheets that's in store for them. Always bring a sleeping bag if you're very concerned about germs or bed bugs. Most of the time you'll be too pissed to care anyway.


30) You Leave Privacy At The Door

It's very rarely you'll have the dorm to yourself, let alone the bathroom. Learn the tricks of the trade, dress yourself under the sheets, wash your hair before bed and it will be dry in the morning, don't look anyone in the eye if you want some peace, because small talk will occur.

29) HAHAHAHAHA Two Pillows

Just cos it's rating is 98% on doesn't mean it has two pillows.


28) The Hostel Staff Are Like A Big Happy Family

Most Hostel Staff live on a board and bed basis. So they work for their accommodation, which means they share the same dorm and have done for a while. So they see each other as a big happy family as they're so naturally easy going.

27) You Never Watch A Single DVD On Offer

Plenty of hostels will have some sort of DVD collection, and you may think "Oh! I might watch Die Hard.". You will never watch Die Hard. Hostels have their magical way of getting you involved in activities and tours you had no intention of doing. But it's always worth it.


26) Shampoo Is Also Body Wash

And who needs conditioner? And you always need to bring your own, if you forget however, most hostels with sell soap and shampoo at reception. But shampoo is just as good as any bar of soap, save your money for happy hour at the bar.

25) You Will Perfect The Art Of Small Talk

After awhile you'll notice yourself finding it really easy to talk about everything, from the weather, to your trip to the Eiffel Tower and how to tell stories really really well.


24) AC Is Vital

With the amount of people sleeping in one room it can get sooooo hot. So make sure you always book a hostel with air conditioning. If you simply can't afford it, buy a small electronic fan, you'll be the most popular person in your room.

23) Shower In Flip-Flops

Trust me, you don't want to know how many germs are on the floor of a hostel bathroom.


22) Australians, Australians Everywhere

You probably know that Australia is a pretty big country, but after staying in a hostel you'll find that they are everywhere. Most Australians are fantastic, but groups of lads can mean trouble.

21) There Is always, ALWAYS A Creepy Guy

He's always easy to spot. He has weird, dirty hair, wears a maxi skirt and stares at you even when you stare back. Don't talk to this guy, some people think being is prejudice is wrong. Tip: If the hostel staff don't interact with him, then you don't either.


20) Wardrobes, lol

Again, not the Hilton. Bring clothes that don't easily crease.

19) Ear Plugs & Eye Masks Are Essential

Block your senses, you could have someone who snores really badly in your dorm, and if you don't know them, then you can't wake them up. Eye masks are great for blocking out the sunlight and pretending you're in your comfy bed at home.


18) Dorm Sex

There are two things you can do to get through this experience; firstly, you can use your ear plugs and eye mask to help bring you to your happy place and hope for sleep, alternatively you can get hammered enough so you'll pass out and forget about it the next morning.

17) You Roomies Will Get You Drunk

If not, you'll get them drunk. Either way interaction will always led to drinking. Just go with it, remember they're travelling as well and probably have some great stories and tips. Good craic always happens on these nights out, plus you don't have to worry about being quiet when you all come in.


16) Being Irish Is The Ultimate Pass To Everyone Being Your Friend

Because Irish people have a reputation for going out and getting twisted, every other culture will assume you're an alcoholic, but also know how to party. People will flock to you to listen to your sexy Irish accent, and will be astonished at how you're able to go out 7 nights a week. Being Irish is awesome travelling, trust me.

15) The Terms & Conditions Of Wifi

"Free Wifi"  unfortunately means only in certain parts of the hostel. So there may be wifi, but it may not make an appearance that often and when it does, it has 100+ users, so it's really slow.


14) You Have The Exact Same Conversation With Every New Person

"I'm Irish. I go to *insert college*. I live in *certain town*. I want to be a *career* someday." As annoying as it is to constantly state your primary details it often does lead into more deep and meaningful conversations. You'll find yourself chatting to some German blokes about astrology, philosophy or different kinds of beer.

13) Falling In Love For A Day, And Being Heartbroken For A Week

People don't tend to stay in hostels for long. So you may meet a someone special, and have the most incredible time, but they have to catch a train to Warsaw in the morning and you're heading to Prague in two days. You learn to make the most of your time together before never seeing each other again... Except on your Facebook newsfeed.


12) The Hottest Member Of Staff Has Probably Slept With 1000+ People

This may be more for the ladies. Either way, just keep in mind that these people have a lot of experience with nice folk such as yourself and they know all the right things to say. You really don't know who you're sleeping with and the end of the day, just remember to use a johnny - you don't want to be leaving Munich with a nasty STI or get a letter attached with a photo from Brazil of your beautiful child.

11) That Pub Crawls Are ALWAYS Worth Going On

Even if you're not in the mood for going out at all, throw that feeling out the f*cking window and get your Captain Morgans on! Pub crawls are always great craic! It's such a good way to met other travellers and make hilarious memories. Plus there's a huge chance you'll never see these people again, you can act the complete ejjit and never have it bite you in the arse. Awesome.


10) Walk Of Shame = Breakfast Of Shame

There's nothing more obvious than going to breakfast, looking like you've had 3 hours sleep with a special someone who is clearly not part of your group. People won't care, just congratulate you.

9) You Will Get Sick Of Your Obligation To Socialise

It's gets tiring constantly talking to people. Whether it's the receptionist asking how your day was? Where did you eat? What local delicacy you should try. You're bunk buddy asking you if that attraction was worth seeing? How much it was? How did you get there? Having your dorm mates all talk to each other. You will get sick of talking to other people at times...remember the eye mask.


8) You'll Make International Connections

You probably never thought that when you arrived at the hostel, that you would leave with soul mates from all over the globe. This is a great thing as you never expected it to happen. You'll learn that no matter culture people come from there are always common interests that will make friendships bloom almost instantly.

7) Playing Pool Is One Of The Best Ways To Start Talking To Other Back Packers

If you and your group are a bit timid than ask to play some pool in the common room. Other travellers will challenge you to games and you'll get talking from then on.


6) Free Breakfast Becomes Your Best Friend

If you're staying in a hostel it means that you're probably on a budget, so naturally free breakfast is always a great way to save some money. A continental breakfast generally means cereal, porridge, and bread with ham & cheese and nutella as toppings.

5) Free Tea & Coffee Becomes You Other Best Friend

Also available at breakfast. Again, this is a good way to save money. Breakfast tea is considered the same sort of tea as Lyons and Barrys.


4) Bathroom Sex

For when you really don't want to bother your roomies. This is also why you don't use the bathroom past 3am on a weekend. You shall be scarred for life.

3) Bring A Lock

Not all backpackers are thiefs, obviously, but still the hostel is never responsible for any loss so bring a padlock for your bag or locker in the room. Just having a padlock means that if someone is planning on robbing a bag, it's less likely that it will be yours.


2) You Will Learn To Go To Bed At 5am And Get Up In Time For Breakfast

And still have energy for sightseeing. I don't know how everyone is able to do this, but it becomes something you adapt to pretty quickly.

1) That Hostels Are Actually A Lot Of Fun

Once you've been to a hostel you'll see that they're not all nitty gritty, germ infested places. Hostels are a fantastic way of travelling on a budget and meeting loads of other young party folk. You make way more memories at a hostel than staying in a hotel.

Catherine Munnelly
Article written by
Catherine Munnelly is a colourfully-haired UCD graduate with a degree in reading books. A pint-sized bundle of wisdom, she has mastered the game of Flip-Cup, enjoys the company of bearded-men and despises rude people. When she's not writing or talking about her dog, you'll find her wandering around Europe telling folk that Leprechauns exist and Bono's her uncle.

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