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7 Tips On How NOT To Be The Hostel Asshole

7 Tips On How NOT To Be The Hostel Asshole

Staying in Hostels is one of the best things you can do while traveling on a budget. It's cheap as fuck, it’s a great way to meet people from all over the world, a good place to get travel advice, get discounts on tours, and if you’re lucky free breakfast that’s not just stale bread and dry cereal.

By staying in hostels I have been fortunate enough to form some life long friendships, create some unforgettable memories, and of course some hard to remember ones as well. ( Bar Crawls are lit)

A few friends we made at the Journey Hostel in Colombia

A few friends we made at the Journey Hostel in Colombia

However, if it's your first time staying in a hostel there are some unwritten rules that you should be aware of so you don’t become the Hostel Asshole.

1. Be Friendly!


Unless you have booked a private dorm you could be potentially sharing a room with anywhere between 3 and 12 other people.

Be polite, say hello, and engage in a bit of small talk.

No one likes a Crabby Patty…well unless you’re Sponge Bob.

I’m usually not a big fan of small talk but you’ll be surprised where a conversation can lead if you put in a little effort.

Chatting it up with your bunkmates allows you to exchange travel stories, get travel tips, and if the chemistry is right you might end up with a new travel buddy, or even better, a new boo.  

2. Snooze and Lose!


Nothing is worse than being awakened from the depths of a drunken slumber to the sound of an alarm clock being put on snooze 50x in a row at the ass crack of dawn.

You have an early flight to catch, your tour group has to leave early so you can witness that epic sunrise, or you just want to get a head start to beat the crowds.

We get it and we’ve been there.

However, be mindful of your roommates and don't hit that snooze button more than twice.

And do NOT be that person who sets 20 million alarms and sleeps through EVERY.SINGLE.FUCKING.ONE.OF.THEM.

Unless you want death stares for the remainder of your stay, avoid doing this at all cost.

3. Sharing is caring


Most of us budget travelers enjoy a good pregame before going out, to save a little money before hitting the town.

Hostels typically have a common area for you to hang out, so you aren’t forced to lounge in the confines of your room.

However, if there is no common room and you are planning to pregame in your dorm room do the neighborly thing and invite your roommates to join in on the festivities.

Offering someone alcohol or any other “special” party favors is one of the best ways to make an instant friends

Plus it will be very difficult for them to be mad that you’re drunk if they are drunk too.

4. Lights out after 10 pm


Some hostels will have this written as rule and some won’t. Even if it’s not been written, it’s a rule you should always abide by.

Not everyone who stays at hostels is a party animal all the time.

There will come a time when you’ve had an exhausting day of exploring and all you want to do is curl up in your bunk, read a good book, and get a good night sleep.

Be respectful of that and keep the noise down to a minimum after 10 pm.

That being said, midnight is NOT the ideal time to rummage through or pack your bags. Zippers and plastic bags make 100x more noise than you realize, especially in the middle of the night, and not to mention it is annoying as fuck.

If the lights are off in the room when you return from your night out keep them off. Use your headlamp or flashlight if you need to find something.

5. Don’t have sex in the room… but if you absolutely must, use the bottom bunk


Hostels are all about the communal vibe. There a lot of people in a tiny space and there is a real sense of community.

That being so, it’s not cool to have sex in a room with 6 other people.

It happens though and more often than you would think.

So if you are unbothered by all the bystanders and are feeling , PLEASE use the bottom bunk.

I have been the victim of top bunk sex in a hostel and it is one of my most unpleasant hostel experiences.

I woke up in the middle of the night terrified because I thought it was an earthquake. All of the earthquake training that I got in middle school came flooding back to me and I was ready to jump out of the bed and find the nearest table to hide under.

After a few seconds of assessing my situation, I began to recognize the familiar sounds of heavy breathing, moaning, and the soft sound of flesh hitting flesh. Y'all know what I’m talking about…

I obviously let them finish because I’m not a cock block but I hated every second of that erotic roller coaster ride and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone… unless you like that kind of thing of course. Then I'll probably ask if we can switch bunks lol.

Save your bunkmates the trauma and if you're going get it on in the room use the bottom bunk.

6. Keep your shower short


Between the hours of 7 am - 10 am the showers in a hostel are busier than a whorehouse on nickel night.

Getting the time to wash your ass in the morning can be very difficult when there are only 2 showers between 20 people.

Be mindful of the other guest and keep the showers to 5 minutes or less.

No one likes a bathroom hog!

7. Don’t steal food


This is a big one!

Many travelers in hostels are on a strict budget, I have been on trips where my spending limit was $3 a day for food.

The majority of hostels have kitchens which give you the opportunity to save money by cooking your own food instead of going out for every meal. Which means there are usually a lot of groceries and snacks lying around.

So when you get the munchies or drunchies (drunk munchies) stay away from other people’s food!!

If you’re lucky, some hostels will have a shelf or two in the kitchen where snacks and foods have been left are fair game to anyone. If not, do the right thing, buy your own shit, and don’t eat other peoples food!

Final thoughts…

Having some fun at hostel in South Africa

If you've done any of these things in a Hostel before, it’s not the end of the world.  We all have our asshole-ish moments in life (I know I do!) but it's all chill.

Recognize it, own up to it, and try to do better tomorrow.

 At the end of the day we are all just one big happy traveling community. I having nothing but love for all you wandering warriors out there.  Keep doing what your’e doing!

If you haven't taken anything away from this post yet, I'll drop one more tip for you and hopefully this one will stick. 

Be compassionate , kind, and understanding. Not just towards your fellow travelers but to every soul you meet.  Be apart of the system that helps circulate the love and light needed to heal our world

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