Whether you’re new to hostel travel in Europe, or just need reminding of those hostel tips that will make you more prepared for your upcoming summer abroad, I’ve listed my top 10 tips and tricks for hostel travel below.
For the newbies out there, don’t let yourself be put off by the myths and rumours that surround travelling in hostels – here are 47 facts about hostel life to set the record straight. Hostels in Europe are no way near the dirty cheap hostels of the past!
And they’re even better when you’re well prepared…
Tips and Tricks for Hostel Travel
1. Know what’s important to you when you book
Every search for the perfect hostel begins with the combination of two factors. The dates you will be in a destination and where that destination is.
But once you’ve searched for available dates in the city, you need to already be thinking about what type of atmosphere you want to stay in and what’s important to you when travelling. If you aren’t comfortable with drunk guests, you probably want to avoid a party hostel; and if you’re happiest on a mountain bike perhaps you want a hostel with bike storage.
To help you, I’ve put together a list of the different types of hostels you can find in Europe.
If you’re not sure how to find and book a great hostel, watch the video below:
2. Pick a room size to suit you
Don’t just go for the cheapest bed if you won’t be comfortable in a 30-bed dorm – yes they exist.
I tend to choose between 4- bed and 10-bed dorms depending on how sociable I’m feeling. The smaller the dorm the higher the bed price but at some point comfort has to come above budget.
3. Will it be cheaper to book a private room?
If you’re not travelling solo but going away with a group of friends, it’s definitely worth checking the prices of the private rooms!
For example, some hostels may charge €20 per bed per night in an 8-bed dorm but their private rooms only cost €60 and hold four people. For four of you to stay in a dorm room it would cost €80 a night – which is €20 more than the dorm!
4. Have different lock sizes
This is my go-to hostel travel tip! Lockers in hostels (if they have them) are not universal and some even operate on a password system!
To be on the safe side it’s best to carry at least one small key lock (like the ones you’d use for your suitcase) and one larger combination padlock as these fit most lockers I’ve come across.
5. Prepare pyjamas before a night out
You’ve just arrived at a new hostel in time for the nightly pub crawl. Woooooo! And good on you for getting stuck in straight away!
But do yourself and your roommates a favour. Before you head out to down tequila shots and cocktails, grab your pyjamas from your pack and lay them ready on your bed. As a girl I also get my face wipes out and put them with my pyjamas.
It’s a lot easier than arriving back at 2am and having to dig through your pack in the dark with a belly full of vodka just so you don’t have to go through the embarrassment of waking up naked.
6. Prepare clothes for the morning if you’re getting up early
Early risers can be a pain in the arse in hostels for two reasons: they make a lot of noise getting ready and they set alarms at ridiculous hours. I know this because quite often I am the early riser.
A great way not to p*ss off your roommates is to lay out your clothes and toiletries for the morning ready to grab and go. Quickly get changed in the communal showers (if your dorm has en en-suite you’ll still have to be quiet) then dump your pjs, grab your day bag and go!
7. Take your own towel
Whilst some hostels give free towels as part of the package with their private rooms, this is rare and you definitely won’t be getting free towels with your dorm bed. So to save money on renting one everywhere you stay take your own travel towel.
Rare occurrence: free towels at the Hans Brinker Amsterdam – Read the full hostel review!
8. Have a larger toiletry bag
Most people keep all their toiletries in one small bag, but if you carry a slightly larger waterproof bag with you then you can fit your toiletries and your change of clothes in the shower with you.
Most of us don’t want to walk from the showers back to the room in a towel, or leave our clothes outside the stall, and you definitely don’t want to makeshift a changing bag from your noisy plastic bag from the supermarket.
9. Take Flip Flops
This is one of the unwritten laws of hostel travel. It’s just clean, okay?
10. Earplugs and/or earphones
I feel bad for people that snore. The more beds in a dorm the more hate the snorer receives – but they can’t help it! Of course, some say that snorers should never stay in dorms.
However, after a few beers and with a cold brought on by the unpredictable European weather I’ve been known to snore. So rather than hate on those people, pack a pair of earplugs or sleep with music.
Of course if you can hear the snorer over music then perhaps they deserve a quick shove…
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So those are just a few of my tricks and tips for hostel travel! If you have any more hostel tips let me know!
Lots of love,
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