Confessions of a Backpacker: Things People Do in Hostels But Don’t Talk About

We’re all guilty of some hostel sins, c’mon it’s time to own up!  What prompted me to write this article? The other day I bought some nice new Schwarzkopf shampoo and conditioner, which is an investment to say the least, when a couple moved in next door to me. Originally I had the entire floor and bathroom all to myself but as soon as this nice, unsuspecting couple moved in…poof, my new shampoo purchase was gone! It’s always the quiet ones…

  1. Laundry sins– You’ve got clothes that haven’t seen soap powder in months and they’re now stained with noodles, alcohol and god knows what else. Your towel is now more like a mat because it’s so stiff from the sea salt and you desperately want to wash them before you hop back on another bus. You walk into the laundry room and someone’s laundry is in the machine but they haven’t taken it out yet, so you just kindly take it out for them! The alternative sin is not collecting your laundry and leaving it in the drier so that no-one else can use it!
  2. Use someone elses Shampoo–  You’re in the shower and you realise you’ve forgotten to buy shampoo when you spot someone elses lying on the floor. Who’s going to notice a drop or two?
  3. Stealing the bottom bunk- No-one likes the top bunk. In the middle of the night you have to climb up and down that ladder and sustain drunken injuries. It squeaks every time you move and if you engage in hostel sex, it shakes the bed. You arrive in your hostel dorm and notice someone has already claimed the bottom bunk with a towel…you carefully move it to the top bunk and move into the bottom!
  4. Stay on the internet for too long- There’s free internet in the hostel, but there’s only one computer. There’s a queue of people behind you but you really DO need to talk to that guy you met on your travels for hours via facebook! So what if it takes hours to upload all your photos?  Everyone will just have to wait…
  5. Read Something Someone Left on their bed- You’re bored when you notice someone left their passport on their bed. You can’t resist casually having a sneak peak at their photo!
  6. Forget Someone’s Name– Nearly everyone does this. Let’s face it unless you have a photographic memory, when you meet 6 people at once you’re hardly going to remember their names. But when you’ve been hanging out with the person for days, going to the beach, going out drinking and sharing your life stories with them and you still don’t remember their name, it’s a little bit embarassing.  You want to introduce them to someone but you have no idea of their name so you say ‘this is um….’ You spend the entire time hoping someone will call them by their name first so you can take note!!
  7. Have sex in a dorm- You’ve bagged the person you’ve been chatting up all night but there’s just that one problem, which bed and where? You could take them to the beach but then you have to deal with sand being in places it really shouldn’t ever be.
  8. Wake everyone up in the middle of the night- You come in drunk from a night out, switch the light on and fall over your bag trying to get to your bed. Stinking of Jack Daniels, you try to strike up a conversation with the contrastingly sober person trying to sleep in the bed next to you. Or maybe you’re the other culprit, the one who booked that insanely early sunrise tour or that insanely early flight and spends over an hour unzipping and zipping up your bag before turning on the hairdryer in the wee hours of the morning.
  9. Stealing condiments- You went to the supermarket and bought all the ingredients for your lovely meal but you forgot all the staples of butter, oil, ketchup, milk…you quietly look into the hostel fridge and help yourself to someone elses…
  10. Leaving your dishes- You spend 99% of your time drunk and for some weird reason the dishes just don’t clean themselves…you come in from partying at god knows what time and decide to cook some weird concoction of plain pasta and whatever you can find in the fridge. The dishes can wait till morning when the hsotel staff will find them…
Victoria Brewood
victoria@pommietravels.com

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

1 Comment
  • Tim smith
    Posted at 03:21h, 02 September Reply

    What about discretely watching someone undress ? Its dark but you can see what people are doing. You pretend to be asleep. Admit it some of us have done it.

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