Hostel Etiquette Tips

Staying in a hostel requires sharing spaces with anywhere between three and 24 other guests, so being aware of other guests’ needs and being considerate towards all those around is paramount.

Noisily conversing in your bedroom during quiet hours is never acceptable, while packing up at 4 AM in a dormitory full of sleeping people is unforgivable.

1. Turn off the light

If you’re staying in a dorm room, please switch off the lights when it’s time for sleep – no one wants to be kept awake by bright lights illuminating their room! Also keep in mind that any disruption from light may wake others.

At night and early morning, hostels can become noisy; any conversation or Netflix binging that interferes with sleep could waken other travellers trying to rest.

Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs can be essential when visiting hostels. Sounds from other people’s conversations, phones and tablets, music etc can bleed through walls of dorm rooms to affect bunkmates and guests who reside there.

Another frequent mistake made when staying at hostels is failing to turn off lights in shared areas such as bathrooms and kitchens, including bathrooms and kitchens. Doing this would allow other users to enjoy using that space without walking into your mess for cooking or showering, and keeping a light or fridge running when other people are using that room would also be unfair.

Keep an eye out for items left out on tables in the kitchen that might obstruct other guests from cooking or eating at once, leading to chaos and unnecessary stress for everyone involved. Don’t leave items blocking stairs to bunks either as this could impede someone else’s movement and cause major inconvenience for others.

2. Don’t snore

Snoring can be an enormous nuisance in hostel rooms. Dorm rooms tend to be shared, so any time your freight train breathing disrupts other guests it may result in silence (or worse, loud protest). Although earplugs and sleeping in a private room are options available to travellers staying in hostels for cheap accommodation options it’s wiser to be the best guest possible so as to prevent an unwanted meltdown due to your breathing habits.

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Reusing someone else’s bed as storage space is another no-no in hostel etiquette, since beds are assigned according to personal preferences and available space. Switching beds without permission may cause confusion among hostel staff members and lead to an untidy room.

Avoid disturbing other guests in shared bathrooms and communal kitchens by talking, eating and keeping noise to a minimum in common areas such as dining halls. Morning is one of the busiest times at hostels as guests leave for their day trips; talking or cooking could easily wake some people up! Furthermore, communal kitchen etiquette dictates wiping down surfaces after each use and keeping tables free; to save money consider bringing snacks from home if purchasing can become costly at the hostel itself.

3. Keep your room clean

Hostels often offer limited space, making it up to those staying there to ensure their room remains organized and free from clutter. Cluttered tables, beds, cupboards and bookhelves can lead to an uncomfortable and disorganized experience for fellow travellers staying there.

Sanitizing hostel rooms is also crucial, particularly kitchens and dining areas. This requires regularly washing and storing dishes, wiping down counters and surfaces, disposing of food waste properly, as well as keeping all kitchen utensils hygienic. Doing this will create a healthier kitchen environment while helping prevent germs or insects from spreading further.

As part of good hostel etiquette, travellers should always sleep in the bed they are assigned. Most hostels offer mixed dorm rooms that accommodate anywhere from two to 15 or more guests at one time; it is essential for travellers to respect others by sleeping only in their assigned beds – otherwise it can become very upsetting for hostel staff and other guests when someone switches beds without notifying them first.

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Attentive travellers know it is impolite to drape wet clothing or towels around the room, especially when drying is possible in a dryer or on an outdoor washing line provided. Draping them may annoy other travellers who must navigate their way past wet items on their way to their bunks.

4. Don’t chat loudly

Though chatting is fine in hostels, you should keep it quiet if you are sharing a room. No one wants their bunkmates woken up at 4 a.m. by your loud Netflix drama; and it would simply be rude for you to talk in your room when others are sleeping!

Be respectful of other travellers and their belongings when staying in a dormitory, since you’re sharing such a small space with up to 19 other individuals. Don’t create chaos on the bed by disorganizing it or scattering belongings all over the floor – this opens you up for theft or someone tripping over something you own! Additionally, pack up before lights out unless staying late & planning to sleep longer!

If there will be noise, make sure that earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones are worn to guarantee a restful night’s rest. This is the only sure way of guaranteeing you have a quality restful slumber.

As the kitchen is a common space, its cleanliness should be prioritized. One unwritten rule for every backpacker to abide by is keeping their kitchen hygienic; staff may typically clean it themselves; it’s our duty as guests to maintain its orderliness and ensure it remains sanitary.

5. Don’t hog the kitchen

Staying in a room full of people from various walks of life and sharing cooking and living spaces together isn’t commonplace, yet can provide an incredible opportunity to gain a broader perspective of world affairs while creating some unexpected situations.

Hostels provide an opportunity to meet a diverse mix of people from across the globe. Because of this, hostels can sometimes attract those living by different rules than everyone else – be they loud, filthy, or simply irritating – who make the overall experience less than optimal.

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One of the main hostel rules is not hogging kitchen space or any other communal areas. This rule should be taken as a matter of courtesy, and most hostels include it as part of their official rules. While leaving out pots and pans temporarily while you eat is acceptable, any more could give other guests a bad impression of you and cause disruption in their experience at that hostel.

Keep in mind that your dorm rooms and common spaces shouldn’t be used for partying or drinking alcohol; most hostels provide quiet hours so people who need sleep can actually rest! Don’t disrupt sleep with drunken antics that disturb roommates!

6. Don’t bring smelly food

Hostels often cram many travelers into one room with limited space available for storage. Spreading out your belongings across the floor not only annoys other travelers but it puts your possessions at risk of theft or accidental stepping on by other guests. If your hostel provides lockers large enough for all of your possessions, use them!

If your hostel provides kitchen or refrigerator access for all guests, make sure that food is stored appropriately to prevent other people from becoming ill from eating spoiled or expired meals. Always store meals in sealed containers with clear labels stating the date and name, in order to protect their integrity and prevent making others in your room sick.

Avoid bringing smelly food into the dorm as this will not only annoy other guests in your room but may also contaminate their food supply. If necessary, bring smelly items into a public area instead to ensure minimum disruption to others.

Here are just a few rules you should abide by while staying at a hostel. By following these suggestions, you’ll ensure a positive stay!

About the author


I love to travel and explore new places around the world. Meeting different people from various intercultural background and spending time with locals is something that makes me feel great. You can connect with me at Google+ or follow me on Twitter.