Are you planning on staying in a hostel for your next trip? Hostels are a great cost effective way to find lodging, but there are some things to keep in mind as you pack for your trip.
The first is try and pack light. Chances are you will be sharing a room with several other people. You will most likely not have the same amount of room you will have in a hotel room. Plus if you have lockers for storage, you will have a very limited amount of secure space for all your belongings. Try only to pack enough clothes for a week. If you are traveling for more than a week, you can always go to a Laundromat. Bring your own detergent in a baggie and you can save space.
If the hostel has lockers in the dorm rooms, make sure you know whether or not they supply locks. If not, bring one of your own. This way you can keep you items in a secure location. I have stayed in both Hostels with and without safes. I have never had any issues with my items being messed with or stolen at the hostels without lockers. However, if lockers are provided, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure you know all the particulars of the hostels. Most US hostels do not have lock out (meaning the doors do not lock at a certain time and you can no longer get in), and they do not require guests to so chores. However, this might not always be the case. Some hostels only will take student or international travelers. Yes, this is unfair, but make sure your hostel does not fall into that category (unless you are a student or international traveler). I know it is to ensure that the guests are in fact tourists, not transients, but you would think proof of travel would be enough.
When you are packing there are some key items you need to remember to include. Be sure that you bring flip flops for the shower if the bathroom is shared. Don’t forget your PJ’s. Just because you sleep naked doesn’t mean it is appropriate for everyone to see. Bring earplugs. You might not think you are a light sleeper, but it is better to have them in case of an emergency. Bring a laundry bag to sort out the dirty from the clean clothes. See if the hostel provides linens, if not, you will need to provide your own bedding and towels. If that is the case, make sure you check to see what kind of bedding the hostel allows. Some places so not allow sleeping bags.
Hostels can be really fun, you just need to prepare a little differently that if you were staying in a hotel. By following a few simple steps you can uncomplicate your trip and ensure you will have one less thing to worry about.