There is no doubt in my mind that this post is going to be negative.
During my European trip, I stayed in six hostels for varying amounts of time. All in all, I didn’t have any issues with the rooms or the people sleeping in them. HOWEVER, when you have a bad experience it not only puts you off the hostel, but the city/town in general.
Yes, there is a hostel etiquette and no, not everyone follows it, so I’m about to lay down the law for how you should be behaving when sharing a room with strangers.
1. Thou shalt not turn on the lights before 9 am
Being woken up before 8 am four nights in a row can make even the best ‘morning person’ cranky. No, it isn’t acceptable to open the curtains at 7 am when there are another seven sleeping girls in the room. After 9 am is fair game (ish), but please, don’t be THAT guy.
2. Thou shall turn off the lights after 10 pm
The same goes for the evening. The dorm room is a place to sleep, not to party or gossip. People are in and out of rooms at all manner of hours so respect those who have early flights. There are common rooms for socialising. Use them.
3. Thou shalt not have a shower at 4 am
Common sense right? Apparently not. Trust me when I tell you that this honestly happened, more than once. If you have an early flight/train, shower and pack the night before. I don’t understand why people think it’s acceptable. It isn’t. Don’t do it.
4. Thou shalt not have sex with someone in the room
No one wants to listen to your orgasm. Literally no one. Communal bedrooms are not sexy and therefore sex should not happen in them. Find a private shower or broom cupboard or something, not my bedroom. Thanks.
5. Thou shalt not speak on the phone for a prolonged amount of time
Being woken up at 7 am to the sound of someone chatting away to their friends back home isn’t quite as soothing as it might sound. Make use of the communal spaces, it’s just polite.
6. Thou shalt not make too much noise when coming in
I don’t care how many shots you’ve done, you’re being an arsehole. Come in, get your clothes off and get into bed.
7. Thou shall use headphones
I’m a bit guilty of this, but only when one or two people were in the room, but if you’re going to be watching some Netflix on your laptop, use headphones because not everyone wants to hear what happened in OITNB.
8. Thou shalt not leave your shit everywhere.
This is not your bedroom and therefore you shouldn’t treat it as such. Use the lockers provided and keep your belongs neat and tidy. Not only will people appreciate it but you’re less likely to lose things or have them stolen.
9. Thou shall keep the party to the common room
The dorms are meant for sleeping, not for drinking. There are plenty of places to crack open a beer and your bed is not one of them. Unless, of course, the whole dorm is down, in which case, carry on.