For those who have never stayed in a hostel before it might seem a little bit scary or downright crazy. Thinking about the fact that our parents taught us to not talk to strangers, but now we are paying money, to share a room with 12 strangers.
What are the rooms really like? Will I meet friends quickly? Will the bathrooms be gross? The truth is that you can know this stuff in advance if you do your research, reads reviews of each hostel and know what to look for when looking at booking a hostel.
Once you know what to look for in a hostel the next step is to know what you need to bring. There are a few key items that you should make sure you have before embarking on your trip. Hostels, though they can sometimes be as nice as hotels, usually aren’t and require extra but easy security measures, and sometimes a bit more comfort.
With these few of items you’ll seem like a hostel pro and won’t have to worry about anything, just like a hotel. For booking hostels, I highly recommend using booking.com for your hostel search (I do!) as it’s easy to navigate, has plenty of choices and has a ton of info! It’s the best hostel finder in my opinion.
#1: A Lock
Whether it be for your bag or for a locker, a lock is always a necessity. Some hostels will provide lockers with locks and keys, but you don’t want to risk not having one and not being able to secure your important belongings. I bring 3 locks with me, one for each bag plus one for the locker.
#2: A Towel
Not a necessity as many hostels do include towels in their price or you can rent one from the front desk. But it is nice to have your own towel. I recommend a quick drying towel that can also double as a beach towel. They’re very lightweight and come in multiple sizes. I bring a small towel for my hair and a bigger body towel, both microfiber.
#3: Noise Cancelling headphones
If you haven’t already used these on a long flight, then you will most certainly be using them for sleep in a dorm room. In dorm rooms people will be coming in and leaving at all hours from drinking or catching early transportation to new locations. You will not regret packing these. I have wireless noise cancelling Beats by dre and they are incredible, I highly recommend you spending a bit of extra music for them.
#4: Flip Flops
Showers are a breeding ground for bacteria. When you’re sharing a shower with a lot of other people it’s a good idea to use flip flops to avoid getting warts or other fungi. I hate to say it, but you don’t know how often showers in hostels are cleaned or what your roommates may have. They’re also great to have when walking to bathrooms that aren’t connected to your dorm room in the middle of the night when you don’t want to put shoes on.
#5: Toiletry Bag
Some dorm rooms may have private bathrooms that you share with your roommates, but the majority don’t. For hostel travel it’s a great idea to have a toiletry bag to carry things to the bathroom. It’s a good idea to have one that is waterproof so you can bring it into the shower with you. Also, a very handy thing to look for in a toiletry bag is finding one with a hook attached so you can hang it anywhere.
For those times that you’re the person getting up at 5AM to catch a flight. Don’t be that annoying person that turns on the light and wakes everyone in the room up. Have your stuff organized the night before and then use a small flashlight or the light on your phone to quickly pack up what’s left of your bag and leave.
#7: A travel adapter
Depending on where you’re traveling, you may need to change plugs. Don’t get stuck with all the stuff to charge your electronics but no way to plug them in! The easiest thing to do is go out to your local Walmart or really any store and buy a Universal power adapter, then it’s good for wherever you end up during your travels.
#8: Extension cord
This item isn’t a must, but it sure makes life so much easier in hostels but also at airports.
Extra tip: find one with a few USB ports plus regular plugs.
#9: AN OPEN MIND
You never know what you might get and that’s part of the adventure staying in hostels!