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Guide to Staying at a Hostel

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Hostels can be messy, unorganized, dirty and unwelcoming. Alternatively, they can be the best part of the whole journey. Commonly, staff at hostels is welcoming and foster a community-based system where the floorplan is open and guests are welcome to spend the day relaxing in the lobby instead of pounding pavement.

After checking in make sure you get a quick tour of the area, including the kitchen, lobby, a secure place to lock valuables and, most importantly, your room. Ask if the hostel has a bar and how they handle meals. The best hostels have family-style breakfasts and dinners, where guests pitch in and make large amounts of food for everyone. These meals will help you make friends and swap travel stories.

If you opted for a dorm-style room, make sure to choose a bed closest to the door and on the bottom bunk. You never know what kind of emergency can come up so it’s best to be prepared. Place whatever valuables you wish into a lock box — almost every hostel provides one. Other than that, feel free to leave your belongings on your bed. Most people that frequent hostels have the same mindset as you and won’t touch your stuff.

For showering, if the bathroom is communal, treat it as you would a communal bathroom in college. Make sure to wear shower shoes or flip flops, and have everything you need in an easily accessible container. Don’t spend a lot of time in the bathroom, and either be the first one to use it or be okay with waiting your turn.

If you have any concerns or questions talk to the staff. They are there to make your stay great. They also know the area well so feel free to ask them for travel ideas.

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