Backpacking and living in a hostel can be very easy and create great memories if you are armed with simple hacks. We at WeGoRo made a list of the hacks you need to know to make your stay in a hostel as pleasant as possible. All the hacks are based on our personal experiences and other people’s experiences. There is one particular hack that you should be aware of — find it below.
Booking ahead is essential but not crucial. What is most important is that you get the bed you wanted. Turning up at a hostel at the exact time of check-in will help you get that bed. Aim for the lower level of a bunk bed. If possible, choose a single-sex room with fewer beds to avoid any inconveniences when changing clothes and so on.
Bring a good lock, and make sure you don’t lose the key (put it on a wristband). Locks will save your belongings as there is always a chance of theft.
Earplugs are the most necessary thing if you want to have a good night’s sleep before your morning flight or train. We suggest you get a pair of moldable earplugs that will mimic your ear and make it easy to sleep well.
Most hostels nowadays provide sheets, but they might not be as fresh as you think. So invest in a good pair of travel sleep sheets. Trust us, bedbugs are the last thing you want to meet in a hostel.
Hangers can be very useful in a hostel, especially if there is little room to dry your things. They can also serve as a tablet PC holder, etc.
If you cook your food in a hostel, then a plastic container is what you need. One or 2 small containers will save your leftovers and help you save money on buying fresh ingredients.
Some hostels in France provide cheap and nice breakfasts: baguettes with butter and jam. But most of the hosteling world does not, and so you need to be prepared in advance.
Taking a shower in a shared bathroom has its drawbacks, and so you ought to have a pair of flip-flops that will save your feet from getting a fungus or any other skin disease. Plus, they do not weigh much.
Waiting for the bathroom or shower can be really difficult in a hostel. From our experience, you have to figure out when most people do their hygienic routine...and then do yours 15 minutes before or after.
If you have to leave at dawn, then packing the night before will save you time and nerves. Also, prepare all necessary documents and have them ready to show at the airport or train station.
Most hostels have rules for when the doors are locked for the night and whether you can bring a friend inside. It will also save you from truly embarrassing situations if you know the rules. It’s always a good idea to either read the rules on their website or learn them from a receptionist.
If you want a cup of hot tea but there is no electric kettle, this handmade boiling device can save your day. Simply stick 2 open wires (with a plug!) to each of the razors, then put them together using matches. And now you can enjoy your tea. CAUTION: this must be done with prior extensive research on how to make such a device.
This is probably the most important hack: get familiar with people who are staying in the hostel. They might enjoy hanging out with you inside and outside. One instance — arriving back late to the hostel will feel safer if you have a fellow dweller next to you. You never know, you might find friends for life.
Some of us have traveled through different countries and continents with a backpack, staying in hostels and B&Bs. Share with us your tips on how to make a hostel stay more enjoyable.