10 Unwritten Hostel Rules

Love them or hate them, hostels are an integral part of the life of any traveler. Whether you’re a young backpacker just starting out on your journey, or a seasoned traveler; hostels offer something for everyone.

An excellent place to meet other travelers from around the globe when going solo. Some choose them to save money and others do it for the atmosphere and social aspect.

Whatever the reason you’re staying at a hostel, there are a few unspeakable rules we can all agree upon. They are rarely spoken about, but most of the time is observed by respectful travelers.

However, we’ve all met the newbies or selfish assholes who simply ignore these unspeakable rules. The following are the Ten Hostel Commandments as outlined by His Holiness.

1. Thou shall not turn the lights on after 11.

Coming back to the hostel loud & obnoxious after having one too many, turning on the lights, and having zero awareness of your surroundings is just plain rude. You have a flashlight on your phone, use it!

2. Thou shalt never pack at 3 am.

This is one of our biggest pet peeves about staying in hostels. Either you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep for a long trip the next day, or you’re nursing a very bad hangover.

We all know those travelers who decide to pack EVERYTHING a few hours before their 6 am flight, waking everyone up in the process. Thou shalt not ruffle a plastic bag at 3 am in the morning! Have some respect.

3. Thou shalt always smile and say “hi” to fellow backpackers.

You’re either at a hostel to meet other travelers or you’re there to save money. If it’s any of the two, smile, be nice and initiate conversations; you’d be surprised who you’ll meet and where a simple conversation will take you. Perhaps you’ll make a new friend or end up traveling to a new country together.

4. Thou shalt bring earplugs.

These squishy little lifesavers will be your best friend when half the dorm decides to have a snoring contest. Also helpful if someone chooses to bring a girl back at 3 am or have a wank in the middle of the night.

5. Thou shalt not steal from the communal fridge.

Especially our last beer! This is why we like to lick our food or the rim of the beer cans before putting them in the fridge, also labeling sometimes helps.

It’s not worth it, we’ll catch you, or the food could be several months old. Ask first before borrowing food or condiments, you piece of shit.

6. Thou shalt never have sex in the dorm.

This is pretty obvious. Get a private room for god’s sake, unless everyone in the dorm is in on it and decides to have a giant orgy. But think of the cleaning staff, don’t be selfish; they may want in on the action too.

7. Thou shalt set your alarm to vibrate, not a ringtone.

Nothing worse than a hungover backpacker from the night before who set his alarm for 6 am to make it to the free hostel tour the next day, ringing nonstop. Put the phone in your socks and set it to VIBRATE! Don’t wake the rest of us up.

8. Thou shalt share your alcohol.

If you’re gonna break the rules and sneak a bottle of rum into the dorm, please share it. If you don’t you’ll look like an alcoholic drinking all alone. If they get cups and a mixer, you share. Period.

9. Thou shall not play thou’s guitar for us.

Unless you’re John Mayer or an amazing guitar player, please don’t bother us. Especially early in the morning or late at night if I hear a guitar in the common room while I’m trying to sleep I’ll lose my shit.

10. Thou shalt not hang and dry your dirty clothes over the side of the top bunk.

This is self-explanatory. It happens more often than you’d think. Some backpackers are so cheap they’d rather half-ass wash their clothes in the sink than spend $3 at the local laundromat.

So sayeth The LORD of Travel.

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