First Time Staying in a Hostel

Travel Advice

First Time Staying in a Hostel

The thought of staying in a hostel for the first time during my round the world trip is slightly worrying me. Where possible I will be staying in hotels, or, self catering accommodation, but, I am sure at some point during this trip the likelihood is that I will have to sleep in a hostel dorm. Hate is too strong of a word to use since I have never stayed a night in one before, but my introverted personality does not like the thought, at all. Before you say, yes, many hostels do have single rooms, but, they are the exception from my experience searching online, especially in Asia.

Snoring in hostel dorms

What bothers me more than anything is snoring; no, not a room full of people snoring (although that would be annoying), but my own snoring. I would hate to think I have kept people awake all night – most travellers wouldn’t give a damn, but, I’m conscious about these types of things. Also, bear in mind I’m 41 years old, the average age group of travellers staying in an hostel is early to mid 20’s, so, it could be the complete opposite, where my ‘dorm mates’ keep me awake all night. I don’t mean to sound like an old bore, but, I like my peace and quiet when returning to the accommodation, to relax and unwind.

They will be days where I want to be sociable and meet new people, and hostels are perfect for this, but, they will be days (like today) where I want to keep myself to myself, not socialise and just be in my own space.

Safety in hostels

The safety aspect of staying in a hostel also concerns me. I’m travelling with my Macbook Pro, which costs in excess of £1,000 (I’m not bragging at this point, just stating a fact), and while it will be backed up daily, it would be like losing my left arm if it was stolen, as pathetic as that all sounds. While I realise incidents are going to occur while travelling, I want to keep them to a minimum.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of ‘those travellers’ who moans about everything and expects luxury on budget prices. For me to survive all I really need is a roof over my head that has a clean bed (preferably comfy), a shower and free WiFi (I’d rather have an uncomfortable bed than have no WiFi!)

Your thoughts on hostels

When you read articles about why you should stay in a hostel, the writer always highlights that you will learn more about yourself and become an experienced traveller from listening to all of the stories and life experiences other travellers will tell you. Maybe that is true, but I am not convinced this makes staying in hostels more appealing than a hotel or self-catering accommodation. I would love to read about your experiences staying in hostels, will I have a pleasant surprise, or, am I doing the right thing, staying in hostels only when I have no other option?

What made me write this, was a blog post written by Eliza, who wrote about why she hates about hostels, it’s worth a read, and I love a good rant.

Hotel in Namibia. Photo: Thomas Schilp