Feature image taken at St Christopher’s at the Bauhaus Hostel.
In order to provide such fantastic social environments for you at such a great budget price, hostels have to sacrifice some amenities. Would you rather have a hairdryer and TV in every room or cheaper beers at the bar?
But then again, you really don’t want to be carrying round a hairdryer in your backpack for four months in Europe! You might think you need it, but you really don’t. Instead, here are 10 essentials you definitely want to include in your hostel packing list!
P.s. if you click the banner below you can download a free hostel packing list with the ten essentials listed below and more!
The Essential Hostel Packing List
Note: the links in this article are affiliate links which means I’ll receives a few pennies (maybe enough for a Freddo?) if you purchase anything through them – at no extra cost to you!
1. Travel Towel
Packing a travel towel should be at the top of your list for two main reason:
- They are much smaller and take up less space than a regular towel
- Most hostels charge guests to hire towels which will eventually show in your budget
My recommendation: Large Bodhi Microfibre Towel – £9.99
2. Various Padlocks
I carry a a couple of combination padlocks plus one small key-lock padlock that have been super useful when trying to navigate the variety of different lockers across different hostels.
I’d suggest carrying at least two, one smaller and larger. But make sure to purchase brass or metal combination locks as I have found these so much more robust and secure than any lock with a plastic body.
My recommendation: ABUS 165/40 Combination Padlock – £11.30
3. Sleeping Bag Liner
Bedbugs are without a doubt the worst thing you can ever come across in a hostel!! You hate them, hostel owners hate them…why do they exist?!
But unfortunately they do and they best way to protect against them is to use a sleeping bag liner. My top suggestion is to get a silk one, but these are pretty pricey so I’ve listed a budget alternative below.
My recommendation: Yellowstone Envelope Sleeping Bag Liner – £8.21
4. First Aid Kit
Back in Morocco I was always the go-to girl for plasters. Why? Because no one else carried them with them! In my opinion, plasters (including blister plasters!) should be at the top of every hostel packing list and yet they’re often forgotten until desperately needed.
If travelling carry-on you may have to leave behind a few items like the safety pins, but with so many different kits on offer to service your own personal needs you can usually find a budget kit to suit you!
My recommendation: 36 Piece First Aid Kit – £7.99
5. Packing Cubes
No one wants to spend extra time searching to the depths of their backpack for their underwear. Which is where packing cubes come in. An alternative is to use a number of different coloured canvas shopping totes which I find you can squeeze really tight and then can use as day bags in the city.
My recommendation: Bago 4 Piece Packing Cubes – £22.50
6. Universal Plug Adaptor
If you’re visiting countries that provide different plug outlets this will be a lifesaver. Coming from the UK, I need an adapter for almost all of my electrical chargers and yet not every country is the same. So a universal plug adapter means I only have to pack one (or two depending on how many electrical items I need to charge per night!) rather than one of each type!
To figure out if you’ll need more than one type of adapter, this is a great resource of different socket types across the world.
My recommendation: Skross World Travel Adapter – £17.99
7. Mesh Laundry Bag
I don’t know about you, but every time I do laundry anywhere in the world I lose a sock. Or a couple of socks from different pairs. It drives me crazy!
But imagine being able to throw all your laundry into any washer or dryer whilst keeping it all together? Let me introduce the mesh laundry bag. You jut throw in the whole bag and the mesh material enables a clean wash whilst also keeping all your clothes together!
P.s. I have seen people also use pillow cases for the same reason but I’m not sure how well the items inside the case will clean without direct water contact.
My recommendation: H & L Russel Ltd Wash Bag – £3.45
8. Multi-Charging Cables
Similar to the universal plug adapter, carrying a multi-charging cable alongside my portable charger means a lot less space taken up in my luggage by endless cables for different items. Especially now that so many modern hostels have USB chargers in their bunks.
I got this cute mini multi-charging cable from Pylon, a trinket store that sells all sorts of funky designs! But if you want something more reliable I’d take the recommendation below.
My recommendation: Multi Charging Cable – £4.49
9. Torch or Headlamp
No one wants to be that person who arrives late at night or has to pack early in the morning and switches on the dorm room light with no consideration for anyone else asleep in the room!
Ticking a torch or headlamp off your hostel packing list, whilst also tiptoeing around the room at whatever ungodly hour you need to, will definitely make sure you stay friends with your dorm buddies!
My torch recommendation: Adjustable Focus Flashlight – £7.50
My headlamp recommendation: Pathfinder 21 LED Headlamp – £7.77
10. Deck of Cards or UNO
Something for fun! Some of the funniest nights I’ve spent in hostels have been shared in the common room with beers and UNO. It’s true, UNO can often break friendships as quickly as it can make them but you will definitely laugh doing so!
Or maybe I’m just a big kid…
My recommendation: Uno H20 Waterproof Clear Cards – £12.12
So there you go! Those are my top ten hostel packing essentials but don’t forget to also download the Essential Hostel Packing List for free to print off and check off the items as you pack!
Have I forgotten any of your top ten essential packing items?! Let me know in the comments below!