Top 13 Ways To Get Kicked Out Of A Hostel
Looking for ways to avoid making enemies out of your fellow travelers? Here are 13 sure-fire ways to make your hostel hostile. Follow or risk deportation from your dorm.
1) Adult Relations
When people use the phrase “get a room” when you’re busy making out with the stranger you just met at the club, they do not mean a dorm room. Next time you meet a new travel “friend,” take him or her someplace else. The pool is always good, or try your own hostel room. If you happen to be in my room, I will turn on the lights and tell you to “get a room.” Trust me, that’s a pretty mild reaction. Some people have threatened to take photos, video or worse. Imagine that coming up on YouTube or in your Facebook videos for your friends to see. Smile for the camera.
2) Turning on the Lights
When you’re rolling in from the club solo at 3:00 a.m. and haven’t been lucky enough to meet Mr. or Ms. Right, you should not turn on the lights and wake up your seven roommates to get to your bed. Trust me, I’ve stumbled to my bunk and gone to sleep fully clothed enough times to know that it can be done . . . even in a skirt. Here’s a useful trick: If you know you’ll be in late and other people have to be up early, get your sleeping clothes out before you leave and put them someplace conspicuous on the bed. Makes more sense, doesn’t it?
3) Packing at Strange Hours
If you know your ride is leaving freakishly early in the morning, pack the night before. Nobody wants to wake up with you at 4:00 a.m. and listen while you fold your clothes, search for all your missing items, and zipper up your bag. Think of the others and plan ahead by packing before you even go to dinner (you know you’ll end up celebrating your “last night there” for longer than you’d planned).
4) Early Showers
If you know you’re leaving at some god-awful hour in the morning, use your head when it comes to appropriate shower times. Showering before the sun is up is just not okay. Pack and shower the night before; leave out your toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant for the morning. Besides waking people up, we all know what happens when a person has had a few cervezas before they go to bed then hears running water the next morning. You do not want to step out of the shower to an angry line of backpackers waiting for the toilet. Of course, if the shower isn’t in the room, bathe to your heart’s content, just don’t come back to the room and start packing up your bags (see #3).
5) Eating Other People’s Food
This is a cardinal rule. We’re all poor and trying to stretch every last peso, euro and baht. Just don’t steal other people’s food or drinks, ever, unless, of course you’ve been offered it.
This one is really an extension of #5. Everyone knows stealing is wrong. Being part of the travel community means that we all must trust each other. This isn’t even a rule that should have to be mentioned, but it does happen every now and then. Seriously, we all have enough to worry about with pickpocketers, bag slashings, and backpacks going missing from buses. Especially those of us who travel solo and don’t have anyone to watch our backs every second. (By the way, you can rest assured that you’ll find nothing of value in my pack unless you’re looking for dirty laundry or tiny shampoo bottles.)
We know you can’t help it, and we know many of you supposedly “only snore when you drink.” But if you know you snore so loud you rival a buzz saw, you can do everybody else a favor by buying some Breathe Right Strips at the Pharmacy and choosing a bed in the most remote corner of the room. Anyone who says they “don’t know” if they snore is either lying or an acutely lonely person.
8) Dirty Laundry
Leaving unmentionables where they need to be mentioned is a problem as well. I think I speak for most of the traveling community on this one. We do not want to look at your dirty drawers or smell your funky socks because they’re piled on the dorm floor. Use a laundry bag or get a locker. You never know, you could be the creator of an entirely new species of fungus after letting them marinate for a week.
Sleepovers aren’t that big of a deal, but when you wake up in the morning with six people in your four-bedroom dorm it can be a little unnerving, especially when it’s supposed to be a single-sex dorm. If you do have a sleepover, at least be discreet, or try going back to their place. Who wants to be invited back to a dorm anyway?
10) Known Hostel Difficulties
If you know the shower on the first floor never has hot water or the door will only unlock if you jiggle the handle, share the love and pass that information along. I once stored a turkey sandwich in the refrigerator in our room. The next morning, after quite a long night in the bars, I got the sandwich out, took a huge bite, and only then realized it was covered in ants. I ate an ant sandwich. After freaking out for a minute, one of my dormmates said something along the lines of, “Oh, that fridge doesn’t work.” Too little, too late. Thanks, buddy.
11) Intestinal Difficulties
Believe it or not, there is something louder than a giant drunken Canadian man snoring like a freight train. We all know the frequency that travelers develop stomach issues. For the sake of your dormmates, if you’ve developed intestinal difficulties, either avoid eating beans and rice all day or take some sort of over-the-counter remedy. If you’re are trying to clear the room to have a sleepover, this is probably the way to do it.
12) Party in the Room
Having a party in the room is only okay if everyone in the room wants to have a party. Sitting up all night talking and giggling is not very respectful of your dormmates. Hostels come with “common areas” for you talk all you want while other people have a good sleep. Better yet, leave the hostel and head out into town. That’s why you’re there anyway, right?
13) Alarm Clocks
Sure, alarm clocks are fine when you need to get up early. Just don’t hit the snooze button over and over again, waking all of your roommates. One snooze is probably acceptable. Any further snoozes may cause you to have something thrown in your general direction.
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For those new to traveling, don’t be afraid that an infraction of one of these rules is really likely to get you booted out of the hostel. The people you’ll meet on the road are likely to be among the most tolerant and friendly you’re going to meet on the planet, and treating others with respect while traveling will earn you new friends from every walk of life. Overall, if you use a tiny bit of common sense and keep in mind you’re living in close quarters with strangers from all over the planet, you’ll be fine.
Published on October 25, 2009