For my firstTravel Tip Thursday, I’d like to offer some hostelling tips from the hostel man himself: Peter Edwards, manager of the Samesun Backpacker Lodge in Vancouver. Not only does Pete have many years of hostel experience from an insider’s perspective, but he is also quite an accomplished traveller, having stayed in many hostels himself. Pete became my go-to man for my own hostelling needs, so now I’d like to share his list of tips with you so he can help you out as well. Pete’s born and raised in Victoria, but with his dry sense of humour you’d think he was British. Keep that in mind when you’re reading…
- When you come home hammered, try to be quiet, and don’t turn the light on. Your final challenge is often the hardest.
- Try not to let your bag explode in your room.
- If your hostel breakfast looks chaotic or boring, odds are pretty good that the awesome looking cafe around the corner is worth the few extra bucks.
- Don’t download movies or TV shows on the hostel wifi. It kills it for everyone.
- Don’t be a dick.
- It’s always worth doing a quick little check for bed bugs or other critters. It’s very rare you find anything but it’s good to do your homework for what to look for and expect. This isn’t limited to hostels by any means — I do it in 4 star hotels too.
- A good hostel is made on recommendations for stuff to do from the front desk staff. A hostel with a local desk crew is better than that with a backpackers only staff. You can’t compete with local knowledge.
- Travel light. If you can’t carry your stuff up a small staircase or are struggling with it down the street, you’ve overpacked. It’s worth doing a test run if you are unsure before you leave.
- Hostel bars are often the most social places anywhere. If you want to meet people, go there.
- It’s common courtesy to pick up after yourself. This goes double for bathrooms. Don’t leave brushed hair, dental floss, empty toothpaste containers, etc. behind. It takes two seconds to clean up after yourself and leave it decent for the next traveller.
There you have it! I hope these tips will aid you in being a better hosteller. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up with a dormmate that could use some etiquette lessons themselves. If that happens, feel free to pull out this list and enlighten them 😉