Great Hostel Manners for Backpack Travelers (GUEST POST)

8:26:00 PM

On my trips around the world, I’ve seen a common ground among all backpackers who stay in hostels. Wherever they go, they assume that a shelter means the occupants can behave like they’re the only people who will ever stay there. Just because you’re taking one or two rooms in a hostel doesn’t mean you can use your room, the facilities, or the common areas as you please. The big difference between a hostel and a hotel is that you have to exercise good manners. One of the most important is that you must clean up after yourself. According to cleaning experts like clean-smarter.net, one of the most common reasons why people dislike hostels is that their dorm-mates have bad etiquette.

Don’t Make Noise Like It’s a War Zone
Now, you don’t need to treat your hostel like a library all day. This notion is impractical and silly. However, you are expected to show some respect after hours for the people trying to get some sleep. Typical “lights out” time are about 10PM. If you’re up and about after this time, keep it down. Don’t be that person who keeps the entire dorm up all night. If you are going out to get drunk and know you're loud, figure out other sleeping arrangements.
Lights Out Means Exactly That

When you’re in a cheap hotel, your room lights need to be off if the sun isn’t in the sky. It's typical good manners. If you wake up at night, and want to find your flip-flops to go to the bathroom, don’t turn the dorm lights on. You’ll wake everyone up. If you’re with an unforgiving crowd, you might find yourself sleeping outside for the rest of the night. Always pack a flashlight or use your phone to give you enough light to find what you want without waking everyone up.

Keep the Kitchen and Bathrooms Clean
These are the common areas most likely to be messy due to bad etiquette. Clean up after yoursaelf, if you’re going to use the kitchen to cook something, clean up after yourself. Wash your plates and dishes as you are done using them. Don’t leave them to sit and grow moldy. Wash them thoroughly with soap and warm water. Scrub them down and rinse them too! If you can see a sheen of oil on your saucepan, you haven’t cleaned it right. The same goes for the bathrooms – if you make a mess, clean it up. Don’t make it look like a CIA black site after a few hundred prisoners have been in it for six days without reprieve. Nobody wants to have to wade through your waste to brush their teeth.


Hostel etiquette isn’t that hard to find and maintain. Common sense comes from most of these manners. Think about it this way – don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want  to be done to you. Remember that this isn’t a hotel. There are other people at a hostel, many of whom are there to rest and relax before exploring the next day.

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