In just 1,5 years I stayed in over 20 hostels. Before that I never slept in a hostel, so when I started traveling I didn’t really know what to expect. On my first trip to Australia I found out that I totally forgot somethings to bring. Luckily there are stores in Australia, so I survived the trip. But what do you really need when you’re going to stay in a hostel? I made a list for you with 9 essentials you definitely need to bring to a hostel.
1. Flip flops. Even though we have high hopes when we book a hostel, not every hostel is as clean as we want it to be. When it’s really bad, I recommend you to search for another hostel. But for most of the times you have to deal with it. My first hostel I stayed in was the dirtiest hostel I ever been (Sydney). It was a bit of a shock for me, but eventually I made the best out of it. So for the shower and the toilet I used my flip flops, so I didn’t walk barefoot on the dirty floor.
2. Ear plugs. I prefer not to party when I travel. Just because I want to get enough sleep, so I’m able to do a lot the next day. Not everybody thinks the same, which is totally fine. The thing is that with a few drinks down, they aren’t the most silent room mates. So ear plugs are really a must when you don’t want be interrupted in your sleep by those room mates.
3. Sleeping mask. This is a bit for the same reason, but than for the room mates who turn on the light in the middle of the night. Personally I would never do this, only when it’s really necessary to do. Another thing is that some hostels don’t have curtains, so for that reasons it’s also great to have a sleeping mask. So you’re sure you won’t wake up at five o’clock in the morning.
4. Padlock. Even though we want to believe we can trust everyone, it’s maybe a better idea to be really sure that your belongings are safe. In some hostels they have lockers and you need a padlock for it to close it. Which is really convenient, because you’re sure nobody can steal your belongings (or put ‘stuff’ in your backpack). Some hostels don’t have lockers, but for those moments you can use your padlock to close your backpack. Yes, if they want to it’s still possible to steal your belongings, but a bit less easier than without a lock.
5. Towel. In almost every hotel the towels are included, but this isn’t the same in a hostel. Most of the times you can rent a towel, but you can save some money when you bring your own. I have a travel towel with is fast drying and really compact, so it’s easy to bring in your backpack.
6. Flashlight. When you sleep in a hostel, you have to consider you’re not alone in the room. So there are moments you want to read for example, but others turned off the light already, because they want to sleep. Of course you can turn on the light again, but I don’t think you’ll make friends with that. In those cases a flashlight is really useful.
7. Pyjama’s. I hope this one is for the most of you needless to say, but you never know. There are two sides why you need a pyjama when you’re sleeping in a hostel. First, because it’s really nice to wear this after your shower in the evening and feel comfy after a long day. And second, because nobody wants to see you naked. In some countries it can be hot in some hostels, but still I think you have to wear something like a shirt and a short. But like I said, I hope everybody gets this.
8. Cutlery/a spork. This is sooo handy! I really missed this when I was traveling in Australia. Eventually I bought some plastic cutlery and I used it for the other weeks. When you want to save money, this is definitely something you need to bring. A lot of hostels give you the opportunity to have breakfast at the hostel for some extra money. Sometimes it’s worth your money, but sometimes it isn’t. In Australia I had a plastic jar with peanut butter with me, so I only had to buy some bread and I had my breakfast (or lunch) ready. It’s so easy and so cheap! The only thing you need is a knife. Now I always bring some cutlery on my travel, so I can make my own breakfast and lunch!
9. Sharpie/marker. A lot of hostels have a (shared) fridge you can use. Most of the times the rule is that your food has to labeled with your name and the date. Buying food in the supermarket is most of the times too much to eat at once, but it’s much cheaper. This is why it’s really useful to use the fridge in the hostel. So bring a marker when you’re going to stay in a hostel, so you can save (a lot) of money on your groceries.
What are your must haves when it comes to staying in a hostel?