How to be the Best Hostel Roommate Ever

30 April 2015

Staying in hostels is a great way to meet other travelers while keeping trip costs low. But it can also come with its challenges if you find yourself in a room full of difficult roommate or new hostel-goers. To be the best bunkmate ever, follow these eight, simple rules!


1. Treat others how you yourself would want to be treated. 
Ah, the golden rule. No words spoken could be truer when it comes to hostel living. The best way to be a good roommate is to simply be considerate and aware of others. Try to avoid behaving in ways that would be bothersome to you.

2. Respect quiet and lights off hours. 
Not all hostelers want to stay up late and party hard. Some of your bunkmates might have had a trying day, or maybe they need to get up early to catch a flight out of town. Whatever their reason for sleeping, try to be respectful of it. If you enter a dark room, try your best to make it safely to bed without turning the lights on. I keep a small flashlight on my keyring in case I need it. Leave your sleeping garments out on your pillow to change quickly. These small gestures will go a long way! Sleep on the road is precious!


3. If you need to be up late, stick to common areas. 
Sometimes we are halfway around the world and just want to catch up with our loved ones back home. That's ok! Just try to make those calls from the lounge or kitchen area. The same rule applies if you need to use electronics that generate a lot of light, just in case not all of your roommates have sleeping masks.

4. Keep it clean.
After a while, living out of a top-loading pack for days on end gets hard. It can be a pain to pack and repack your belongings, but at least try to keep them on your bed or in your locker. This will help prevent them from accidentally getting lost or stolen, anyway!

5. Late-night guests are an absolute no-no.
You might not shower every day. You might accidentally trip over some unknown object and wake up the entire room. These things can be forgiven. But an absolute taboo for hostel living is bumping uglies while your bunkmates are just an arm's length away and definitely within earshot. Of course they boisterously chuckle about stories from your lustful escapades the next morning at breakfast, but they certainly don't want to participate in them first-hand. 

6. Turn your cell phone on silent. 
Ok, I'm a jerk. I totally slept with earplugs in and felt my phone buzzing on alarm next to me at 6:15am this weekend. And then I proceeded to hit snooze approximately three more times, not realizing the volume was actually on. Don't be like me, people. 

Here's a tip: You can purchase a vibrating ringtone from iTunes for about $1.29 and set this as your alarm ringtone. I've had success with this waking me up, too!


7. Pack the night before. 
We totally get it. You took the first flight out of here because hey, it's a long journey, and you just want to get to your next destination as quickly as possible. But trying to pack in the middle of the night isn't the best way to bid your roommates goodbye. Try to pack up as many of your belongings as possible the night before to avoid waking up light sleepers. 

8. Just be friendly and kind!
Typically, people stay in hostels to be social, but some people just need a cheap place to crash, and that's ok too! Either way, if you're kind and considerate of those around you, you're on the right track.

Have you ever had a challenging hostel roommate? How do you think the situation could have been improved?

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