Life in a Hostel

21 December 2019

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Life in a Hostel

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Why hostel life is funny for me?

When I suggest it to my friends, I always receive disappointed faces, but before doing the interrail and how this has changed the way I travelled, I also had prejudices.

Traveling helps in this, to overcome mental and physical limits and it teaches you to adapt to circumstances, like a Shinobi in a mission.

Before considering the idea of sharing my personal spaces with unknown people, for me, it was a habit to book a room in a hotel or a house with Airbnb.

After for economic reasons and in full interrail spirit, I had to adapt to optimize the travel costs. 

I have to admit that, as an experience, life in a hostel paired with a travel in train was useful when I decided to live in Malta during my internship.

How life at the hostel opened me a world?

Life in hostel allowed me to discover the pleasure of socializing with people around the world.

The concentration of people from everywhere I think is high if compared to other staying alternatives.

The hostel represents a small world and it has not different features from a hotel.

It has a reception, many bathrooms with showers, it has single rooms and the ones for couples, a laundry and a kitchen if you want to prepare a meal.

The only difference with respect to a hotel is that there are fewer services, as a traveler, you won’t care if there is a TV or if there is a fridge in your room.

 What I appreciated a lot from the hostel and from its cultural life.

Depending on the hostel, you can have access to some socializing activities and to go sightseeing.

Typical customs in the hostel.

Pub crawling:the night tour around pubs 

Life in a Hostel
Tour with the guests’ group of the hostel

When you in a hostel for the first time, if you didn’t do it before, a typical custom is the Pub crawl, a night tour around pubs.

A common custom to many hostels because among youth, it helps socializing without inhibitions. 😉 

There might be a small fee or the activities can be free.

Generally, these activities are organized on the moment, during the evening a person working at the building or a planner checks if someone is interested.

Generally, there is a note in the reception with dates and places of the meeting or you can expect to go out with the group in the hostel. 

Walking tour the discovery of the city walking with the group

walking tour
Tour with the group working in the hostel

Some hostels offer bike rentals if you prefer to visit the city biking, for half a day or for the entire day. 

Also, some offer the possibility, after the payment for participation, of a guided tour with the bike.

I actually participated in the biking tour when I was visiting Prague during my interrail trip.

Board games or night quizzes

Life in a Hostel

n the small hostel it is a tradition to organise board games.

Since I have started to travel abroad, I have seen weird and different games and the one I often played was Dixit.

This card game is based on fantasy images, where you have to guess some words and these are used for introspection exercises.

Each hostel has its traditions and people can understand the games differently, using other rules.

You should live the situation in order to understand it, but it is more of curiosity if you have a nerdy spirit.

Generally, there is a note in the reception with dates and places of the meeting or you can expect to go out with the group in the hostel.

Then there are games based on drinking alcohol like the Beer Pong, where you throw a Ping-Pong ball throw in an empty and try making a score glass to receive another full of beer or the Roulette of Shots, but I was not really interested in this kind of games.

Objections to living in the hostel

How can I sleep if people get drunk?

Life in a Hostel

Don’t worry, you won’t have this risk, they normally aren’t able to reach your room.

You will find them around the corridor sleeping, watching TV series on Netflix or video calling their friends.

In any case, earplugs are the right solution, but honestly, I didn’t have this kind of problems.

If I need to use the bathroom and then I am not able to use it?

I firmly suggest you to change your habits, starting your trip in the afternoon at 11 or before 6 if you want to be well-prepared.

In my case, I chose to start my trip around 16.30-19.30 and then I am ready for the night events.

Then, it depends on the yearly period when you book your hostel, in the hostel you only sleep.

Rooms are shared between eight people, but normally you will find four people.

Is there any risk that somebody steals my belongings?

Life in a Hostel
There are lockers with electronic locks or with Padlocks.

In theory, you won’t have this problem, but it is important to be ready.

Each room has electronic locks that can be opened through a badge, in this case, it is easy to find out if somebody attempts a theft and it is also the key with which you open your room.

In some hostels there are lockers with a lock called Padlock and these can be sold after a payment or you can rent them after paying a deposit at the reception.

I recommend you to bring your own lock.

Cleaning ladies are the only ones that can access the room, but it won’t be a problem because you will have your personal belongings.

I keep the keys and my mobile phone in the beauty case when I need to use the bathroom.

Do not use the locks in the common areas in the waiting hall.

If I leave after half a day, do I have to pay one more day?

No, every hostel has a storage room for the luggage called also cloakroom or luggage room where you can leave your suitcases once you got your room or when you are waiting for the airplane to go back home.

Is the hostel dirty?

It depends where you book, this is why it is important to read reviews, but sincerely nothing that is too bad.

In the hostels, bed sheets are changed daily or every three days within the week.

In some places, you will find close to the mirror in the bathroom a board with the time the person that cleaned and more soap and toilet paper.

Moreover, almost all hostels provide you with towels and you shouldn’t bring them from home.

And now, let the journey begins.

Once your doubts are solved, I hope you got curious and that you are open to try living in a hostel for your next trip.

The experience will give you a new point of view and an excellent occasion to improve your English.

It is a good point of reference when you arrive in a place where you don’t know anybody.

It has happened to me that I felt abroad even if I was in La Spezia, in Italy and that was a good do it yourself full immersion.

The most important thing is to try it once in your life.

Have fun and have a good trip!


Translated by: Dora Gharbi

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