Living with someone can take some serious getting used to but living with a lot of other people is even harder. Backpacker Hostel dorm rooms can be quite daunting when you first arrive at one and the combination of numerous backpackers and their own personal routines and habits can often result in sheer carnage.
Even for the experienced backpacker there is always that silent prayer you make just before you enter a new dorm room, “Please let this dorm room be occupied an attractive Swede.”
In actual fact the backpackers within a dorm can make or break your own hostel experience. I have lost count of the times when I have thought, “Why are you like that? How come you have no concept of normal, human behaviour? What the hell is wrong with you?”.
In order to make both your backpacker dorm room experience as comfortable as possible and to help you not to alienate your fellow backpackers here is a guide to backpacker hostel dorm room etiquette. I am sad to say that all these points have come from dorm room experiences I have witnessed whilst backpacking.
1. Don’t vomit in your dorm room (or pee in the bin!) This one comes in at #1. Why? Because to this day, it is still the most horrific backpacking memory I have ever had the unpleasantly of experiencing. Sure, travel seems to set a light off in our brains that encourages us to drink more so than usual. Monday? Jager please! However, this does not, and I repeat, does not, give you the excuse to vomit in your dorm room. Should you be so rank as to do this, at least have the decency to clean it up yourself and apologise to your fellow dorm mates
2. DO NOT turn the dorm light on at 3:00am. If there’s one thing we know, finding the old jim jams can be a bit of a struggle after a few jager-bombs or more. Here’s a tip – use the light on your phone!
3. Don’t use other peoples stuff! A cheeky squeeze of someone else’s shampoo bottle in the shower is ok right? How would anyone ever know? DO NOT use other people’s belongings without prior permission. Sharing a room does not then allow you to share everything within that room. Most of those that choose to travel are friendly enough so just ask their permission first.
4. Sleeping Naked! Please, please, please do not sleep naked especially when you know that you are an active sleeper. No one needs to see your morning glory.
5. Be reasonable to people who snore. Everyone snores at some point, be fair. If you have trouble sleeping, buy some earplugs. People go travelling to get away from being nagged at so leave the snorers alone.
6. Turn down the headphones. Some people need music to help them drift off especially when you are new to backpacking, it’s a comfort thing. However, not everyone in your dorm wants to listen to your music too. Especially when you can’t hear the tune properly, you only get the muffled version. Very irritating.
7. Don’t hang your washing off someone else’s bunk. Would you like to be confronted with someone else’s granny pants when you return to your dorm bed?
8. Be friendly. This may seem like an obvious one, but regardless of your mood, take the time to say hello to the other people staying in your dorm. First impressions can, and do, count when backpacking.
9. Pack your bags at a decent hour. Alcohol can wait for 20 minutes whilst you pack your bag, you can even have a beer whilst packing. It is never acceptable to start packing at 4am.
10. Sex – this is a tricky one! Firstly, hanging a sheet across your bed does not eliminate the noise (trust me)! A few tips? Head on down to your hostel reception and try and score yourself a cheap private room. Many hostels have 24 hour reception, and although you will forfeit the cost of your dorm room – you may be able to score yourself a cheap private room (wink wink). See our tips on having sex in a hostel here.
11. Kebabs – Kebabs are the famous “end of the night snacks” it fills your stomach, tastes good, it pretty much does the trick. The downside of this meaty deliciousness however is… Your farts smell like rotten bananas. So even if you carefully “break wind” the smell will cover the whole dorm gassing everybody in it. Of course it was you dumb ass, you still have a bit of kebab on your forehead.
12. Language – I know it’s easier to speak your own language with your fellow countrymen. But it’s still a bit risky. People in a dorm are suspicious and will get mad when they hear the sentence blablablablablabla JOHN blablablabla. Especially when the persons name is John. And John is the biggest fellow you’ve ever met in your life. And has some anger issues.
Read this list thoroughly, print it out, put in your wallet. Because you never know when this list should come in handy…
Adhere to these rules and you should enjoy your backpacker hostel dorm room experience. Let’s be honest the dorm room stories we hear and tell are some of the most amusing. If you have any stories you would like to share with us and help us compile the top ten backpacker dorm room stories please get in touch.