Ok so learning how to survive hostel life can be quite the adjustment. We leave the comforts of our home to travel to a new and exciting destination! There are a few reasons why we choose to stay in hostels when backpacking - they are cheap, social and usually right in the heart of where you want to be.
Some of us spend just a few nights in each hostel... travelling from city to city, or country to country, whilst many of us choose to place ourselves in the one place for a few months to really experience the country. We look for work. We attempt to look for a house. And we spend all of our money on alcohol. In the end - the hostel becomes our home... and that's the way we like it.
Either way, we asked our Base Blogger Katie for her 10 Tips to Surviving Hostel Life...
1. Train your Nose to turn bad smells into good smells
This is a hard skill to obtain - but it is possible! Grab yourself a 'How To' Book and start training - it will make your hostel experience a hell of a lot more enjoyable! Bye Bye Smelly Feet... Hello Vanilla Rose.
2. Make Friends with the Hostel Staff
Hostel Staff have the key to everything... Soaps, Bath Towels, Internet! You get the idea.
3. Make the most of Free or Cheap Stuff
Most hostels will offer Free Activities and Nightly Meal & Drink Specials. Familiarise yourself with these and make the most of them. Plan your weekly eating and drinking schedule on the backpacker specials in your area. Thursday? $7 Pizza & Beer Night... done!
4. Take the Stairs
Most of us get fat when moving into a hostel... it's a fact. A 2 minute noodle & goon diet accompanied by a lack of sleep does not do the belly any good. Accept it. Stop making fake promises to join a gym. Ignore the Lift. Take the Stairs.
5. Find a Washing Buddy
Simple. Find a Friend. Ask that friend if they would like to save money. Naturally, they will reply YES (if they don't... don't let it get you down. You are better than that anyway). Wash your stuff together... not only is this method a fantastic time saver, but a great bonding opportunity!
6. Keep Watch Over the Free Food Shelf
You'd be surprised what you can find on the free food shelf of your hostel. This morning I found... wait for it... an entire tin of Dinosaur Spaghetti! It required a can opener. I could not find one (I assume this is why the can was left behind in the first place). But not to worry... I used a knife. The result? Free Spaghetti!
7. Get Creative
'Where are you from?' Get used to it... you'll begin to dread the question. You'll begin to dread each time a new person moves into your dorm (or home away from home) for just a few nights. Don't hate it, get creative. My tip? Make up imaginary answers!
"Where are you from?" Oh, I was brought up in Timbuktu!
8. Plan Ahead
Ok so you've found yourself a job and you've convinced yourself that finding a house is the way to go. Forget it. Just bite the bullet and accept the fact that you are never leaving the hostel. Depending on the time of year many hostels offer a weekly rate. Ask if they have one and then settle into the long-termers room - just do it.
9. Befriend Locals
For an unknown and bizarre reason, some locals tend to hang out in backpacker bars. Befriend these people (even if they disgust you). These people will acknowledge YOUR financial situation as a hostel dweller and ensure that you are well aware of THEIR financial situation as a person with their own bathroom. Drinks shall be bought for you.
10. Take Naps
Say good bye to a good night's sleep. Say good bye to a predictable sleeping pattern. From the moment you move into the hostel your sleeping schedule will consist solely of naps. Afternoons are my personal fav... most travellers are out exploring at this time!
11. Embrace Goon
Goon is your friend. It will make you happy. Mix it up with some tropical juice and lemonade and you've got yourself a Goon Cocktail!
12. Invest in Extra Strong Deodorant
Forgot to shower? Not to fear! Your extra strong spray is here!